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Understanding The Price Of Loose Diamonds

With online shopping’s overtaking of retail stores, more and more customers are doing all of their holiday shopping online. For many couples, that means jewelry. However, buying diamonds online takes a bit more knowledge that picking out a sweater. To help our customers better understand the price of loose diamonds, we’ve put together this guide ahead of the holiday season. Known as the Four C’s, we’ve outlined how cut, color, clarity, and carat weight are factors which determine the price of a diamond.

Cut Is King

When it comes to the price of loose diamonds, cut is the most important of the Four C’s. Cut, though, refers to the quality of a diamond’s cut and not to the diamond’s shape. Essentially, the higher the quality of the cut, the higher the price. This is because a diamond’s cut will determine the proportions of the diamond, and therefore diamond cut determines the amount of reflected light. This means better quality cuts will create more fire and brilliance. Rated from highest to lowest, diamond cuts range from fair to good to very good to excellent to Affinity.

diamond cut example
An example of a diamond’s proportions with the cut rated Very Good. Diamond cut has a high impact on the price of loose diamonds.

Color and Clarity

Clarity and color are closely related because both terms refer to a lack of elements that will reduce light refraction. The best diamonds, then, are referred to as “colorless” diamonds as they appear to be completely clear. Additionally, diamonds with “flawless” clarity will have no inclusions- marks inside the diamond- or blemishes which are surface marks. Diamond color ranks from K, representing diamonds which have a yellow or brownish hue, to near colorless diamonds in the J through G range then colorless diamonds in D, E, and F. Clarity tops out at flawless followed by internally flawless then VVSI down to the low end of Slightly Included 2.

Why Carat Weight Matters

Finally, carat weight is the diamond’s size. Carat, though, is probably the most commonly recognized element of the Four C’s. For example, many times entertainment media will refer to a star’s diamond by carat size. Although carat size is the least important factor of the Four C’s, it still has a major impact on the price of a diamond. While diamonds of the same carat size will range in price due to cut, color, and clarity, larger diamonds cost exponentially more. This is because larger diamonds are much more rare, and finding them with ideal qualities even more so.

When shopping for the perfect diamond jewelry this year, it is best to be informed. Continue your diamond education on Adiamor!

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Why Do 1 Carat Diamond Prices Vary So Much?

When many people start shopping for engagement rings, they are unaware of how complex the process is. The first thing to do when buying diamonds online is to get educated about the four c’s. Learn about cut, clarity, color, and carat weight are all extremely important in deciding which diamond to purchase.  For many shoppers, the first item on their wish list is carat weight. However, carat weight is generally considered to be the last characteristic to consider. Because of this, 1 carat diamond prices can vary dramatically. While many customers will search for a 1 carat diamond, they are surprised to find the costs can vary between $1,000 and $13,000. To best help our customers be educated about their diamond purchases, we’ve put together this explanation as to why 1 carat diamond prices vary so much.

Cut, Clarity, and Color

As we’ve mentioned many times before, cut is the most important factor in determining a diamond’s value. The highest quality of cut is affinity, and affinity cut diamonds will have perfect symmetry. This means the diamond will produce the maximum amount of fire and brilliance, and therefore has the highest impact on how much a diamond costs. Additionally, clarity describes the amount of inclusions, or internal markings, that a diamond possesses. These inclusions are unique to each diamond, and they are also used to help identify and appraise diamonds. Finally, the most valuable diamonds are colorless diamonds. This means the diamond has not been affected by external sources that tint the diamond with yellow or brownish hues. Colorless diamonds allow for the maximum amount of light to pass through, which then provides the most sparkle.

 

1 carat diamond
The price of a 1 carat diamond can vary widely based upon cut, clarity, and color.

Tips On Shopping For Value

When shopping for an engagement ring on a budget, it is important to shop for diamonds with value in mind. Because a diamond’s cut is so important, be sure to select a loose diamond with at least a very good cut. Diamonds that have a clarity of Very Very Slightly Included will not contain inclusions visible the naked eye. In fact, a microscope would need at least 10x magnification to identify internal flaws. Finally, a 1 carat diamond that is near colorless in the G to I range will appear to be crystal clear to the naked eye. When these factors are combined with a 1 carat weight diamond, typical prices start around $5,000. While this is only a starting point, it does help first time diamond buyers understand how much they are spending on diamonds– and why a 1 carat diamond can vary so much in price.

To learn more about diamonds, visit the Adiamor Diamond Education center today!

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Know Your Diamonds, Part 5: The Carat Weight Considerations

If you were to ask anyone on the street about diamond engagement rings, carat weight is one of the first things they will mention. This happens for a number of reasons. In celebrity engagement news, the size of the ring is almost always the lead information. Additionally, celebrities enjoy rather larger rings, often in the 5 carats and up size. However, while carat weight is a crucial aspect of the four C’s, it is possibly the most misunderstood. While large carat diamonds are certainly more rare and therefore more prized, the largest carat weight is not always the best possible diamond. To better understand carat weight and its relation to a diamond’s fire and brilliance, we conclude our Know Your Diamonds series with important information on carats.

Carat Weight and Diamond Cut

When most people first start shopping for an engagement ring, they often consider diamond size first. However, as we’ve discussed previously, the most important of the four C’s is actually diamond cut. The quality of a diamond’s cut directly affects fire and brilliance, better known as a diamond’s sparkle. If a diamond has a poor cut that results in less desirable proportions, light will leak from the diamond. Shallow cuts create glassy diamonds, and cuts that are too deep result in dark diamonds. However, many diamond shoppers are unaware that diamonds are often cut poorly on purpose. The reason for this is to maximize carat weight, and this process is known as spreading.

The Effects of Spreading

Spreading essentially means that a diamond retains the highest possible carat weight while being cut to a specific shape. When a diamond is cut with a laser, the shape of the diamond cut should have ideal proportions. However, in an effort to keep as much of the rough diamond intact, sometimes the cut sacrifices these ideal proportions. The reason for this is many customers prefer larger diamonds, and therefore they would rather purchase a less shiny 1 carat diamond than a perfectly cut ¾ carat diamond. While this is the current market trend, and has been for years, it certainly does not result in the best quality diamond for an engagement ring. Nevertheless, this does not mean that all 1 carat diamonds are poor quality. In fact, there are an incredible amount of gorgeous diamonds available that are 1 carat or larger.

Consider Your Options

When buying a diamond engagement ring, it is incredibly important to do your research. At Adiamor, we do our absolute best to inform our customers to they make the right choices. Whether you are creating a custom ring or shopping for a preset diamond ring, be sure you are paying close attention to the quality of the diamond’s cut in addition to the size of the diamond. For the best possible cuts, limit your diamond searches to Very Good and higher. After selecting the cut, then you can adjust the rest of your search settings based on personal preference. If your future wife wants a large gemstone, carat weight is the next place to explore. It is important to remember, though, that carats refer to a diamond’s weight and not total size.

carat weight chart
This carat weight chart shows relative diamond sizes and weights.

 

Be sure to pay close attention to the measurements of a diamond when shopping for diamonds online. If you have any questions while shopping, we are always here to help! Contact us today for assistance with your purchase.

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Know Your Diamonds, Part 4: Diamond Cut

In a continuing celebration of the diamond being April’s birthstone, we forge ahead with our Know Your Diamonds blog series. In part 4, we examine what most experts consider to be the most important of the four C’s: diamond cut. When many people think of diamond cut, they are actually thinking of a diamond’s shape. Diamond cut determines the gemstone’s proportions, and these proportions create brilliance, fire, and scintillation– also known as a diamond’s sparkle.

The Most Important of the Four C’s

In the diamond industry, a diamond’s cut is widely considered to be the most important aspect. Diamond cut will greatly affect how a diamond sparkles as well as the diamond’s carat weight. In order to keep the maximum weight of the mined rough diamond, most diamonds are “spread” when cut. The result of spreading creates a heavier diamond. However, this technique sacrifices the potential fire and brilliance of the stone. Therefore, the diamond could potentially have less sparkle, especially to the naked eye. The way light enters and exits the diamond depends heavily on the cut because the width and depth have the greatest effect on how light travels within the diamond. The light exiting the diamond is also affected. Both shallow cuts and deep cuts have specific characteristics.

Shallow Cuts and Deep Cuts

When diamonds have shallow cuts, light leaks out of the bottom. Unfortunately brilliance is lost, and the diamond appears dark or watery. A shallow cut diamond with these characteristics is referred to as a “fisheye”. On the other hand, in diamonds with deep cuts, light leaks out of the sides. This means brilliance is lost, and the center of the diamond will appear to be dark. A diamond with these characteristics is referred to as a “nailhead”. When a diamond has an ideal cut, it will retain the maximum amount of light, resulting in a more brilliant diamond.

Diamond Cut Characteristics
Diamond Characteristics

Grading A Diamond’s Cut

There are several measurements used to grade a diamond’s cut. Two key factors in grading diamond cut are known as depth percentage and table percentage. Depth percentage measures the height of the diamond against the width of the gemstone. To calculate table percentage, a gemologist would take a measurement of the diameter of the top facet of the gemstone against the average width of the diamond. The GIA or AGSL grading reports that accompany every loose diamond from Adiamor list these percentages.

While different gem experts possess differing opinions on the best table size and the best depth for a diamond, these two factors are not enough to fully grade a diamond’s cut. A number of other factors contribute to the overall diamond cut quality, including crown angle, culet size, girdle thickness, polish, and symmetry.

Thanks for checking in on our current installment of the Know Your Diamonds series. For more information on diamonds, visit the Adiamor Education Center.