You often hear the cliche “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. It’s also a tradition for your fiancés to give you a diamond engagement ring or wedding ring. Nothing can top a diamond as the perfect ring, the perfect accessory. But, it’s also a fact that not everyone is rolling in money and can afford to pay for the highest quality, the most expensive and the rarest of the diamonds to adorn their lady’s hand. What then are your options when choosing a diamond that can still please your woman without breaking your pockets?
In choosing a diamond, you have to refer to the 4 C’s as the standard for a diamond’s quality and for some, its value. These are Cut, Clarity, Carat and Color. The cost (or value) of your diamond is dependent on these 4 attributes and it is up to you to define the limits or thresholds upon which you can decide on the diamond that you like. If money is no object, then choosing a diamond of the rarest cut or quality is not a problem. But if you have to adjust your standards to suit your budget, you can still have the “quality” without affecting the over-all appeal of the diamond if you learn to choose well.
The Cut shows the sparkle and brilliance
The quality of your diamond is shown by its cut, which is thought of as the most important attribute of a diamond. It is the cut that defines how the light is captured by the diamond and how it reflects it within the facets. The highest quality of a good cut is often measured by the way the facets reflect the light and by how good the proportions are. It’s also a huge plus factor if the resulting diamond is not prone to breaking.
The Clarity measures the “inclusions”
Since a diamond is a natural gemstone, it is possible to have some imperfections or “inclusions” that resulted from its formation as it crystallized. Often it is only a trained jeweler that is able to detect these inclusions through his gadgets and machines. The letters “V”, “S” and “I” stand for the clarity grades of a diamond. The highest quality is the VVSI1 (Very, Very Small Inclusions One). Diamonds in this category are considered “Flawless” and therefore very expensive. There are other grades like VVSI2, VSI1, VSI2, SI1 and SI2 that are still considered high quality because though they may have very small to small inclusions, they are hardly visible to the naked eye so they’re basically negligible. If you’re cutting your costs, you may want to stop at the SI2 threshold. There is hardly any difference when you look at the diamond but there’s a considerable difference when you look at the price.
The Color accentuates the gem
A diamond’s true color can range from the very clear (or colorless) to a yellowish, golden hue and even to a yellowish brown. The clearer the color of the diamond, the higher is its grade and value. There are only a handful of truly colorless diamonds so they’re very expensive in their rarity. The trick to enhancing a not-so-clear-colored diamond is to set it in white gold or platinum to make it whiter. Diamonds with yellowish hues may use a yellow-gold band to complement it and make it appear as if it’s clear. Colors D, E and F are the highest grades for colorless diamonds. Colors G, H, I and J are slightly colorless. K to Z are those with yellow tints.
The Carat has 100 points
For some, the carat has been the defining attribute for a diamond because people associate the carat with the size of the diamond. The bigger the carat, the bigger the size of the diamond. Some jewelers may suggest that if you want to save, you can choose a diamond that weights 90 points or 9/10s of a carat, instead of buying the full carat. The difference in size is hardly noticeable but the savings in money is.