When you shop for that precious diamond ring that will last forever, how can you be sure you are getting the best value? If it sparkles, it’s good enough, right?
Well, there’s a lot more to it. Here’s a short primer on what goes into valuation of the gem.
What Color Should a Diamond Be?
The best color for a traditional diamond is white – pure white. If it has a yellow tint, even a little bit, that will detract from its beauty and hence its value. Of course, if you are wanting some non-traditional variety like pink, blue, or black, that’s a different story to be told in another article.
What Is the Best Cut?
Again, if you are looking for the traditional diamond ring, the most popular cut is the Brilliant Cut, which can include the Princess Cut and the Round Cut. The proportions of the ring are important, too, as the depth of the stone can enhance or detract from the stone’s brilliance and scintillation. A properly cut diamond reflects light, but it also refracts light like a prism, showing different colors of the rainbow, and disperses it back out. So, it’s important to look for that fire in a ring, which shows you it is in proper proportion.
Should I Buy a Flawless Stone?
You will probably not need to buy a perfectly flawless diamond in order to find one with the brilliance mentioned above. There are 6 primary grades of clarity, the highest being F (Flawless). The flaws in the other 5 designations range from very minor to very obvious. Second to the best is IF (Internally flawless). You probably don’t even need to buy that one. We’re just reviewing what gives a stone more or less value, and this is one of the major attributes. The flaws are called “inclusions”, by the way, and the other designations all refer to this in their names. Next is VVS (Very very slightly included), then VS (Very slightly included), SI (Slightly Included) and I (Included).
The most popular grade by far is the SI category, which has two grades within it: SI1 and SI2. SI1 is just a little better, or has less obvious inclusions, than SI2. You probably can’t see the flaws with your naked eye, or they may be skillfully hidden by the mounting.
With the I designation, you probably won’t need a magnifying glass or loupe to see the flaws.
There you have the major differences causing a diamond to have a higher or lower value, and you will be a lot more knowledgeable on your shopping trip. The choice is obviously yours, but remember, this choice will affect you for years to come, so be sure. It may be worthwhile to pay a little more for better quality. Just know what you are buying and why.