Choosing a diamond for someone you love can be exciting and stressful at the same time. While it may seem like you’ll simply know it when you see it, you’ll be much better off with some knowledge before you start looking. From diamond cuts to color to diamond clarity, this diamond buying guide will get you started on the right track.
Know Your Diamond Cuts, Clarity, Shape, Carat and Clarity
Did you know that all diamonds are at least 990,000,000 years old? That means the diamond you place on someone’s finger or the ones featured in a brilliant bracelet have existed longer than recorded history! No wonder they’re a symbol of everlasting love! Here’s how to find the right one for your loved one.
A diamond’s cut is the arrangement of the stone’s facets and the result of a skilled professional’s diamond-cutting skills. Three criteria determine diamond cuts:
- Polish – the luster and smoothness of the diamond’s surface
- Proportion – angles and relative sizes of the stone’s facets
- Symmetry – precision of the cut design
You can find the cut grades on a diamond’s certificate, which often use the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) standards of excellent, very good, good, fair and poor.
The diamond’s shape refers to the outline of the stone. Knowing which shape to choose depends largely on whether the recipient’s taste is classic and traditional or more modern and contemporary. The most common diamond shapes include:
- Round – The most popular diamond shape, this is often used as a solitaire in engagement rings, earrings, or pendants.
- Marquise – With one of the largest surface areas, this modified brilliant cut has a narrow football shape and creates the illusion that it’s bigger than it really is.
- Pear – A blend of the round and marquise shape, the pear has a tapered point on one end with rounded shoulders and wings.
- Oval – One of the more classic choices, the oval’s is similar to the round shape but longer and slimmer.
- Princess – This fashionable shape is considered a fancy-cut diamond because its sophisticated square shape creates the illusion of a larger diamond.
- Emerald – This coveted emerald shape creates a hall-of-mirrors effect, with the interplay of light and dark planes. This cut is highly coveted due to its rectangle table-top and step-cut side facets.
- Asscher – A popular cut for Art Deco jewelry, this diamond shape is similar to the emerald but more brilliant with larger square facets, a higher crown and a smaller table.
- Cushion – A more antique feel, the cushion resembles a pillow shape with rounded corners.
- Radiant – A relatively newer shape, radiant is vibrant and lively with a square shape
- Heart – The symbol of romance, the heart-shaped diamond is a popular shape for engagement rings and Valentine’s Day jewelry gifts.
The clarity of a diamond measures its flaws or imperfections, known as inclusions. As expected those with little to no inclusions, which can be dark spots, scratches or cuts, are the most coveted because of their rarity, but they’re also the most expensive
Every diamond’s weight is measured in carats, which are subdivided into 100 equal parts called points. One point equals .01 carat or 1/100 carat; so a one-carat diamond equals 100 points while a half-carat is 50 points. It’s important to note that a larger diamond does not necessarily mean it has more carats.
As they grow deep within the earth, the crystals get coloring from pressure and elements like nitrogen. Diamond color is actually based on the absence of color, as determined by the GIA’s 12-letter alphabetical scale of D to Z. Diamonds on the lower end (D) are nearly colorless and those on the higher end (Z) have deeper tones. Your choice of color also depends greatly on the person’s personality.
Find Your Diamonds at The Jewelry Design Gallery
Our diamond buying guide is helpful, but nothing it better than seeing the real thing in person. At the Jewelry Design Gallery in Manalapan, we have a variety of diamond cuts in stock and can re-design a piece of jewelry using diamonds that you already own. Stop in today or call 732-536-1184 to learn more.