Diamond Carat Weight
A diamond’s weight is measured in carats, where one carat equals 100 points. So 50 points equals ½ carat and 75 points equals ¾ carat.
A diamond's carat is a measurement of weight, not size. For example, a perfectly cut one carat round diamond will look bigger than a deeply cut one. Likewise, this same diamond will appear smaller than a wide and shallow cut one.
What size diamond should I get?
As the diamond carat size increases, the price increases at a faster rate. This is because larger diamonds are much more rare. The diamond price will change with each incremental change in size, color, clarity and cut quality. Even the shape of the diamond will affect the price!
The size you choose will be based on your preference and your budget. Do as much or as little research as you like. Then come in to Fox Fine Jewelry. We'll show you diamonds side by side, in a comfortable setting, and answer any questions you have. We're diamond experts and we'd love to help!
Diamond “cut” refers to how well proportioned the diamond is, not the shape of the diamond. Shape refers to the outward appearance of the diamond, such as round, princess or emerald.
Ideal Cut Diamond versus Poorly Cut Diamonds
Of the 4 C’s, cut is a diamond's most important characteristic. It has the greatest overall influence on a diamond's beauty and gives a diamond its brilliance.
Diamonds are given cut grades by the GIA and AGS laboratories. A diamond's cut grade is an objective measure of a diamond's reflection of light, or the sparkle that we see. When a diamond is cut with the proper proportions, light is returned back to us from the top of the diamond. When a diamond is cut too shallow, light leaks out of the bottom; too deep and it escapes out of the side.
If you compare a well-cut small diamond next to a slightly larger diamond of lesser cut quality, the small diamond may well look larger to the naked eye.
What cut grade should I look for?
Fox Fine Jewelry recommends selecting the highest cut grade that fits within your budget. While there are several cut grades, a “Very Good” (GIA) or “Excellent” (AGS) cut grade will sparkle beautifully, although you may notice an improvement in brilliance by upgrading to the best cut grade of “Excellent” (GIA) or “Ideal” (AGS). Only about the top 3% of diamonds are cut to this top cut grade.
The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) created the color grading scale that grades diamonds from a high of D (no color) to a low of Z (light yellow). A Z color diamond is not considered a yellow diamond. Yellow diamonds are ‘fancy’ diamonds and are not part of this grading system.
Diamonds graded D through H are generally preferred for white gold or platinum jewelry. Colors below H have a slightly yellowish hue and when selected, are often better suited to yellow gold settings.
What is Diamond Fluorescence?
A small portion of diamonds have fluorescence. The fluorescence is usually blue, and is visible in sunlight or ultraviolet light due to a small amount of boron in the diamond.
While a D color diamond with strong fluorescence may look hazy or cloudy, a lower I color diamond may seem more white, giving the appearance of a higher color.
The diamond trade still undervalues diamonds with fluorescence, even after in-depth study by GIA. Therefore it may be possible to buy your diamond at a relative bargain if you chose a G - J color diamond with a fluorescence grade of medium or strong blue.
Clarity measures the number and size of inclusions - those tiny spots or flaws that occur in almost every diamond. In higher clarity diamonds, these imperfections are microscopic and do not affect a diamond’s beauty. Of the Four C’s, Clarity has the least impact on a diamond’s appearance, apart from the lowest clarity grades.
What Clarity is Right For Me?
When selecting a diamond, it is always best to view diamonds side by side, unmounted, in optimal lighting. In this environment, if you can’t see any inclusions with the unaided eye, the diamond is considered “eye-clean.” Many SI diamonds are eye-clean and are therefore an excellent value.
For larger diamonds or people with a keen eye for detail, you may want to choose a VS or even a VVS diamond. Without a microscope, you will not be able to discern the difference between these and the FL or IF diamonds, which command higher prices.
If you are on a tight budget, consider an I1. But please allow us to assist you. Not all Diamond Grading Labs grade equally. You will want to select an I1 diamond with care.