Diamonds have a rich history of beauty and power. The ancient Greeks believed that diamonds were tears of the gods, and the romans believed that they were splinters of fallen starts. Today, diamonds symbolize everlasting love.
A diamond’s worth is evaluated on four levels. The characteristics used to evaluate a diamond are cut, color, clarity, and carat. Here at Greenberg’s, we’ve put together a guide to help you pick your perfect diamond.
Cut is possibly the most significant factor of the 4 C’s. Cut determines up to 50% of a diamond’s value, and it is the only thing man does to a diamond to enhance its beauty. The cut of a diamond determines its proportion, symmetry, and polish. A well-cut diamond transforms light into a radiant prism of color.
The best cut diamond has exact proportions. Proportion refers to the exact angles needed to balance fire, brilliance, and sparkle. How light enters a diamond is demonstrated in the illustration below.
Diamonds naturally come in a variety of colors. From colorless, to faint yellow, pinks, blues, and greens. Selecting diamond color is a matter of preference.
A diamond’s color grade actually refers to its lack of color, and up to 25% of a diamond’s value is determined by color. The rarest diamonds are colorless and have the appearance of distilled water. When diamonds are formed, trace elements may be trapped inside, causing a visible tint in the diamond’s color. Virtually all diamonds will have some body color. Just as you can see the differences in fire, brilliance, and sparkle, you can also see differences in diamond body color. See our chart below.
Clarity grading is determined by evaluating the size, nature, color, and location of internal characteristics called “inclusions” and external characteristics called blemishes. Most diamonds have natural inclusions; they are nature’s footprint.
Up to 20% of a diamond’s value is determined by clarity. Diamonds with few inclusions are extremely scare, and therefore, they hold more value. Although the rarest diamonds have higher value, the clarity differences have little effect on the visual appearance of a diamond. Unless an inclusion is obvious to the naked eye, it will have no influence on the visual beauty of the diamond.
Carat weight is the standard measure of a diamond’s weight, and only up to 5% of a diamond’s value is determined by it. One carat is 1/5 of a gram, and it’s divided into 100 smaller units called points. Therefore, a diamond of 50 points weighs .5 carats.
Carat weight is purely a personal choice. It’s important to remember that two diamonds with equal carat weights may have dramatically different values depending on the stone’s cut, clarity and color.
When it comes down to it, only you can decide what the most important aspects of a diamond are to you. If you have any more questions, call or stop in one of our stores, and our diamond experts will be happy to help. Happy diamond shopping!