How to Choose Your First Diamond

close up of diamonds

The diamond has been considered the most expensive stone for several centuries. But not everyone knows that initially it looks plain. And only after falling into the hands of an experienced jeweler, a rough diamond acquires its beauty and exclusivity.

A real mystery of nature, the color of a diamond, has a special magnetism that catches the eye of a person. The natural color palette of diamonds is diverse. It can be found as a completely colorless stone, or with a yellow or dark brown color. Indeed, most diamonds are colorless or have a faint smoky hue. Less common are black-violet and greenish-yellow stones, even more rare are light aquamarine, bottle green, as well as brown and purple-cherry. The most affordable are natural yellow diamonds, and then come pink, green and blue. Reds are a rarity, the price per carat, even for a stone the size of a match head, hovering around a million dollars.

A diamond has four characteristics that affect its value: it is weight (carat), color, clarity and cut.

Weight

As we have already said, the weight of diamonds is measured in carats. In this case, all stones are divided by weight into:

  1. Small – up to 0.29 carats;
  2. Medium – up to 0.99 carats;
  3. Large – from 1 carat.

Pricing in the diamond world is not linear: one stone per 1 carat will cost more than two – 0.5 carats. If you want to save money, choose borderline options: for example, a 0.99 carat stone will be much cheaper than a 1 carat stone.

Another important feature is color

Although we are used to thinking that a diamond is a transparent and colorless stone, this is not entirely true. Most of them have a tint. The international classification provides levels from D to Z. Colored, so-called “fantasy” diamonds are evaluated individually: the price for them can be much higher than for colorless ones.

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Clarity of a diamond

The purity is affected by the presence of visible defects of bubbles, dots, cracks. Flawlessly clean diamonds are extremely rare. The international GIA clarity scale has 11 levels: from FL-IF – an absolutely clean stone to I1-I3 – a stone with significant inclusions and defects. Absolutely pure diamonds are rare. Most often, stones from level 3 and above go on sale. Visually, diamonds from 3 to 7 clarity levels are quite bright and shiny. They are the best choice to buy.

Cut

Cut affects the brilliance and “play” of the stone. The round shape of the cut – 57 facets – is considered ideal, in which the light is completely reflected from the facets and back out creating an incredible brilliance. There are other cuts that are popular: pear, oval, marquise, etc. The cut quality is divided into groups: ideal cuts, good quality parameters, satisfactory cut, cut quality below a satisfactory level.

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