Fall is upon us, and this means engagement season is close behind. For those venturing into the world of diamonds for the first time, many will find buying one can often be an intimidating process. The initial step usually entails familiarizing yourself with The Four C’s (Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight) and how these characteristics are used to determine a diamond’s worth. Once you’re well versed on the fundamentals, the question then becomes: “How do I find the best value within my budget?”. To answer that, we’ve put together the following infographic below providing a refresher on the Four C’s as well as tips to finding the “sweet spot” in each category in order to save a considerable amount without sacrificing on a stone’s visible quality.
Below are a few key takeaways:
More expensive diamonds have little to no color. A diamond’s color is graded using a system of letters. A higher letter means that the diamond has less color. D – F diamonds are considered colorless or near perfect. While diamonds in the G – J category are those that are near colorless. If you’re on a budget, find a diamond that sticks to the G – J category. The difference is often negligible and you’ll end up saving a small fortune.
Most diamonds come with natural blemishes, inclusions, or a general cloudiness. Clarity refers to the lack of these inclusions. The higher the clarity, the fewer the marks. Clarity grade ranges from FL, a perfect diamond, to I3, obvious, visible inclusions . If you go for something between VS2 and SI2, you’ll save quite a bit of money without a noticeable difference to the naked eye.
The cut of a diamond refers to its proportions and finish, both of which are used to capture and reflect light. It’s difficult to budge on a diamond’s cut. Lower cut diamonds will drastically decrease the visible quality. You’re better off spending more money on a higher cut diamond and saving as much as possible on the other C’s.
The weight and size of a diamond is measured in carats. However, it’s important to note that prices increase significantly at every whole carat. For diamonds under 2.00ct, they also increase greatly at every .50 carat. As an example of how one can save, shoot for a diamond that’s just less than 1 carat, such as .9 carat or .85 carat. You’ll be able to trim the total price without a visible difference.
On a side note, the shape of a diamond can also help you get the most out of your money. Fancy shaped diamonds or those with geometrical shapes will make your diamond look larger than round diamonds. Additionally, if you invest in a ring setting with a halo, your diamond will look larger and more brilliant.