Selecting a diamond: What determines its value?
If you want to know how to select value diamonds, the first step is understanding the specific grading criteria by which diamond value is measured. The big four grading criteria or “the four c’s” determine the value of your diamond and whether or not you are getting a good deal. Understand the four c’s is critical when you are purchasing a diamond, whether for yourself, a loved one or as an investment. The four c’s stand for: Color, cut, clarity and carat weight.
The “color” of the diamond is a result of various properties of the composition of the diamond and is stable. When you hear a jeweler describing a diamonds color, they are actually describing the absence of color in a white or normal diamond. The less color there is in a diamond, the more valuable the diamond is although current trends have many specificly colored diamonds selling for more money because they are trendy. The reason why a lack of color would make a diamond have more value is because when a diamond has no color it refracts the maximum possible amount of light and makes the diamond more vibrant and shine with more radiance. This makes “colorless” diamonds very attractive because they have a much greater sparkle than colored diamonds.
The cut of a diamond refers to the work and craftsmanship put into the diamond and its reflective properties. The average diamond is cut with 58 facets (the name for cuts on a diamond). The radiant brilliance of a diamond depends very heavily on the skill of the jeweler who cut it and the placement of the facets. All of the different angles and facets on a diamond helps the diamond to reflect light more effectively and makes the diamond shine brilliantly which is referred to as the diamonds “fire” or brilliance. The cut of a diamond is also very important for its durability as well, not only its attractiveness. If there are mistakes in the cut it can make the diamond extremely vulnerable to chipping or breaking. If a diamond is cut extremely thin for example it can have an impact on the diamonds return of light as well and make the diamond less likely to sparkle. Cut is one of the most important aspects of the four c’s.
While diamonds are forming in the subterranian conditions under the molten earth, tiny flaws called inclusions occur in the vast majority of diamonds. The quantity of these inclusions as well as their size and positioning determine the next one of the four c’s: clarity. The more clear a diamond is, the more brilliance, fire and sparkle the diamond is likely to have which increases the price dramatically. “Flawless” diamonds are extremely rare and high priced because to be considered flawless there must be absolutely no inclusions or scratches either internally or on the surface of the diamond when it is magnified by a professional 10 times under a microscope.
The next one of the qualities as we study the four c’s of diamond value is the carat. Carat is what most people are familiar with when they think of diamonds and diamond prices but not many people understand what carat actually means. A Carat is a unit of measurement to determine the weight of a diamond. A single carat is the equivalent of 200 milligrams. A carat is subdivided into 100 equal segments called “points”. As an example a 400 point diamond would be the equivalent of 2 carats.
When you find a jewelery store to select your diamond be sure to ask all of the important questions about the aspects of the four c’s for a particular diamond. When you see extremely good prices on what seems like a lot of diamond for the money, most likely the diamonds are lacking severely in one or all of the categories of the four c’s. This is why normally I reccomend buying certified diamonds because they came with a certificate from a professional diamond grader that has specifically noted each of the qualities of the four c’s of that particular diamond. This way you can really see the value of the diamond you have selected.
Understanding these “four c’s” will really allow you to do some serious comparison of the value of different diamonds and determine if you are getting a high quality diamond or a very poor quality one. Check out all the different shapes and styles to determine which one of them are most appealing to your individual taste before you make a purchase. Diamonds are forever and understanding the four c’s can make you enjoy the beauty and value of your selected diamond for years to come!