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These earrings look exactly same – so why is there such a big difference in cost?
Don’t be fooled – learn to value diamonds so that you can be confident about your next purchase
The earring on the left is VVS-EF and the earring on the right is SI-IJ. These letters refer to two characteristics of diamonds that greatly affect value: clarity and colour. The diamonds in the earrings on the left have fewer inclusions, or marks. They also rank higher in their value of colourless than the diamonds used in the earrings on the right. These differences account for the largevariance in price.
If you want to learn how to value diamonds like a pro and feel more at ease with your next diamond purchase, read our comprehensive guide below.
The 4 Cs
Diamonds are classic, sophisticated and timeless. Even so, shopping for a diamond is a very different experience than shopping for clothes or cell phones, because a diamond is valued based on four characteristics: cut, clarity, colour and carat. These are often referred to as the 4 Cs. Let’s examine each one of these in greater detail.
The cut of a diamond has the greatest influence on its overall beauty because it determines how your diamond plays with light, a term known as brilliance. When cut with the proper proportions and symmetrical facets, diamonds will reflect more light and give off maximum brilliance. A diamond's cut grade is an objective measure of its brilliance.
At Diseno Jewels, we believe that every diamond should shine. We only offer diamonds rated at or above Good or Very Good cut grades, which provide the ideal balance of brilliance and value. We do not carry Fair or Poor cut diamonds.
Diamond Cut Classifications
A rare cut, these diamonds will reflect almost all of the light that enters the diamond, thereby producing maximum brilliance. This cut represents the top 3% of diamond quality based on cut.
Very Good Cut:
This cut reflects nearly as much light as the Ideal Cut, but for a lower price, making it a great value for money. This cut represents the top 15% of diamond quality based on cut.
This cut is much less expensive than a Very Good Cut. A Good Cut reflects most light that enters. This cut represents the top 25% of diamond quality based on cut.
Fair or Poor Cut:
These cut grades are either too deep and narrow or too shallow and wide. As a result, the diamond loses most of its reflected light out of its sides and bottom. Fair and Poor Cut diamonds appear dull or glassy, even with excellent clarity or colour.
A well-cut diamond will always appear beautiful. Diamonds with the highest cut grades require substantial time and skill to produce, which is why they cost more than a poorly cut stone. Cut is so important to a diamond’s beauty that up to 75% of the diamond’s carat weight can be lost in order to achieve a high quality cut. Do not compromise on the cut, because even if a diamond is graded well in the other Cs, a lower grade cut can result in a dull, muted effect.
After cut, colour is considered the second most important diamond characteristic. This is because the first thing the human eye detects a diamond's brilliance, and then its colour.
Understanding Diamond Colour
Most diamonds have a yellowish tint. The less colour it contains, the more valuable the diamond. At Diseno Jewels, we only carry Colourless (D-F) or Near-Colourless (G-J) diamonds.
This is the highest diamond colour grade. Minute traces of colour can be detected only by an expert gemmologist.
G-J Near Colourless:
This range is an excellent value. Colour is difficult to detect unless compared side-by-side against diamonds of better grades.
K-Z Noticeable Colour:
The colour is visible to the naked eye.
Pairing Diamonds and Metals
The metal of your ring setting can visually impact diamond colour. Pairing diamonds with similar toned metals can neutralize colour in the diamond. Consider setting Near Colourless diamonds (G-J) in yellow gold and Colourless diamonds (D-F) in white gold or platinum.
The visible difference between diamonds of one colour grade (G-H or I-J) is so minor that it is difficult to detect with the unaided eye, but the cost savings can be significant. Keep this in mind when choosing your diamond colour grade.
What are Coloured Diamonds?
Only one in every 10,000 diamonds has a natural colour. The rarity and value of a naturally coloured diamond depends on the intensity of the colour. As diamonds form deep in the earth’s core, exposure to trace elements of different naturally occurring minerals affect their colour. For example, boron turns a diamond blue and nitrogen turns a diamond yellow or brown. Yellow is the most common colour and red is the rarest. Other very rare colours include green, pink and blue.
What is Diamond Fluorescence?
Fluorescenceis caused by trace minerals reacting to certain types of UV light. Diamonds with strong fluorescence may glow in daylight due to the sun’s UV rays. Blue and yellow are the most common colours of diamond fluorescence.
Most diamonds have tiny imperfections. These flaws are called inclusions, and the clarity of a diamond is determined by the number of inclusions—less inclusions means better clarity.
Clarity, which is graded on a scale from flawless (FL) to heavily included (I3), refers to the tiny, natural inclusions that occur in all but the finest diamonds. Many of these inclusions are microscopic, and do not affect a diamond's beauty in any visible way.For the best value, select a diamond with inclusions that cannot be seen without magnification, such as an SI or VS grade. Choosing a lower diamond clarity grade can save money and let you prioritize one of the other 4Cs, like cut or carat.
Understanding Diamond Clarity
IF, FL - Flawless, Internally Flawless:
IF diamonds have few blemishes and FL diamonds are practically perfect, making them extremely rare.
VVS2, VVS1 - Very, Very Slightly Included:
These are excellent quality diamonds. Even under 10x magnification, it is very difficult to see any imperfections.
VS2, VS1- Very Slightly Included:
Inclusions can be soon only with magnification. This grade of diamonds is more affordable than the previous two.
SI2, SI1 - Slightly Included:
A good diamond value because inclusions are not typically visible to the naked eye.
Diseno Jewels does not carry diamond jewellery made with the I1 grade.
I3, I2 - Heavily Included:
Diseno Jewels does not carry diamond jewellery made with with I3 or I2 clarity grades.
Understanding How Diamond Clarity and Cut Work Together
As diamond size increases, the size of the facets, or tiny mirrors in the diamond, also increases. This can make inclusions more visible. Be sure to prioritize a higher clarity grade as the size of your diamond increases.
Understanding How Diamond Clarity Affects Different Shapes
Some diamond shapes require a higher clarity grade than others. Emerald and Asscher shaped diamonds are designed with rectangular facets that emphasize transparency and let you see further down into the diamond, which can make inclusions more visible. For these diamond shapes, choose a clarity grade of VS1 or better to ensure that any inclusions will not be seen.
Round, princess, oval, marquise, pear, and heart shaped diamonds may not require as high of a clarity grade. Cut with a brilliant facet pattern, which reflects light from many different angles, these shapes naturally hide many inclusions.
Understanding Eye-Clean Diamonds
For an excellent value, choose eye-clean diamonds, which have no inclusions visible to the unaided eye. These diamonds are much less expensive than the extremely rare Flawless (FL) or Internally Flawless (IF) diamonds.
Contrary to popular belief, carat is the physical weight of your diamond, not its size. Beware that bigger is not always better. Here is what you must consider when choosing your carat weight:
The size of her finger:
The smaller the finger, the larger the diamond will appear.
The size of your setting:
Not all settings will fit all diamond carats or shapes. If you have already selected a setting, check the diamond specifications of your ring or ask us for help. We can accommodate almost any special jewellery request.
Cut, colour, and clarity great effect on the overall beauty of your diamond. Keep this in mind when determining which carat size is right for your budget.
Remember that a diamond's cut will affect how large the diamond looks.When a diamond is skilfullycut, it reflects the maximum amount of light, which makesthe diamond appear larger than a poorly cut diamond of equal carat weight.
Certain diamond shapes will look larger than others, even though their carat weight is exactly the same. For example, marquise and pear-shapes have elongated silhouettes that make them look larger. You should choose a diamond with an elongated shape, or the popular round shape, if you want a bigger looking diamond within a particular budget.
A diamond’s shape refers to the general silhouette of the stone – the diamond’s visual outline when viewed from above. Choosing a diamond shape is a reflection of personal style. Here are a few popular shapes:
This is the most popular cut for diamonds. Almost all round diamonds are brilliant cut, which ensures that they reflect the most light.
This versatile shape creates makes the diamond appear larger. A square shape can look modern or vintage, depending on the setting. When choosing a setting for a square diamond, make sure that the corners are well protected.
This shape comes in a variety of cuts, including princess, cushion and baguette.
This classic shape is a very good choice for those who want their fingers to appear longer and slimmer. It is often cut in the brilliant style to maximise the reflection of light.
The marquise shaped diamond also creates an illusion that the diamond is larger than it truly is. Symmetry is very important in marquise shaped jewellery, as even the slightest difference can make the diamond look uneven and flawed.
The pear shape looks like a teardrop, and is a very popular and elegant choice for women who wish to make their fingers appear slimmer. Once again, symmetry is very important.
This is one of the newer shapes in diamonds, which makes it all the more special. It is a great choice for romantics.
Generally, triangle shaped diamonds are used for side stones, but they can also be worn as solitaires. When triangle diamonds are cut in the brilliant style, they are referred to as a trillion or trilliant cut. When chose a triangle cut, clarity is a very important factor, as inclusions tend to be seen.