The qualities to look for when buying a diamond
Knowing diamond qualities is extremely important for you. Buying a diamond is one of the most expensive personal purchases you’ll make. Hence you, like many of us, may not know which diamond qualities to look for. As a result, you could end up with an inferior one at a high price.
Seems like we have a sense of what we want. We want one that sparkles. Is a nice size (or even bigger). In the shape we prefer. That’s how we look at it from our perspective. (To see the shape options available check out our recent blog on the shape of diamonds )
In contrast to our wishes, experts tell us there are four important criteria used to evaluate diamond qualities.
The 4C’s of buying a diamond
It seems like there are four (4) diamond qualities that are considered standard. They include: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat weight. More about them.
The diamond cut is the biggest factor in creating sparkle and fire. And without a high cut grade even a high-quality diamon can appear dull and lifeless. A diamond cut poorly and too deep can face-up smaller than it actually is. Like the three bears: Not too shallow. Not too deep. Just right.
To maximize your budget, choose the highest diamond cut grade your budget allows. We suggest a cut grade of Very Good or better.
After diamond cut, diamond color is the second most important characteristic to consider. The highest quality diamonds are colorless. Those of lower quality have noticeable color, such as pale yellow. Here is a guide to preferred color ratings. For your convenience, the GIA table these and other criteria are obtained from is shown at the end of this blog.
D-F Color Diamonds (Highest Quality)
Near Colorless Diamonds
G-H Color Diamonds (Best Value)
I-J Color Diamonds (Great with Yellow Gold)
Diamond clarity is the assessment of small imperfections on the surface and internally. The surface flaws are called blemishes, and internal defects are known as inclusions. These tiny, natural blemishes and inclusions are microscopic and do not affect a diamond’s beauty in any way. Diamonds with the least and smallest inclusions receive the highest clarity grades.
Flawless (FL) Diamonds
Diamond carat is often misunderstood and refers to a diamond’s weight, not necessarily its size. When comparing diamond carat sizes, take a diamond’s cut into consideration as well: a high-carat diamond with a poor cut grade may look smaller, often cut deeper, than a diamond with smaller carat weight and a better cut.
We think all of the above make sense. To help make it even clearer, below we’ve included the chart that GIA created to help you judge diamond qualities. If you want to learn more about diamonds, including certification and appraisals, go to Gemological Institute of America. You’ll find a detailed discussion of diamonds.
The chart below was created by GIA to you can understand what the ratings of diamonds. If you see a string of letters in the description of the diamond, just check out the chart below for what they all mean. Better yet, make sure you have an expert help you select the best diamond for your budget.
We would welcome you to visit the Regency Jewelry showroom in person or you can see some of our collection on our web page.