Clarity, Carats & Colour
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Diamonds are forever! And when you are choosing one to treasure forevermore, there are a number of things to consider. Hailed as The Four C’s determining the value of a diamond, the diamond colour, diamond clarity, diamond carat weight and diamond cut should be considered.
Building upon Part 2 of our Engagement Ring Guide series, which talked about the cut of your diamond or stone, this week get ready to be enlightened by the clarity, carat and colour of a diamond. Although cut is the only element influenced by the human hand and therefore considered as key to a diamond’s quality, the remaining elements should also be considered.
Choosing your Diamond Clarity
What is a diamond’s clarity about? Clarity is about a diamond’s imperfections. A diamond’s clarity refers to the tiny natural imperfections or blemishes that can be found on a diamond, many of which do not affect a diamond’s beauty in any noticeable way. The fewer imperfections, the higher the clarity grade a diamond is awarded.Diamond Clarity Grading Chart: Serendipity Diamonds
Diamond Clarity Tips
- Tight budget? Opt for a more affordable diamond with a visible imperfection and conceal it in a prong setting.
- Purchasing a large diamond? The larger the size of a diamond, the larger is its facets. A higher clarity grade is important for larger diamonds with larger facets.
- Fancy Emerald and Asscher-cut diamonds? As both these diamond cuts feature long facets, a diamond with a clarity grade at VS1 and higher is essential to ensure that no imperfections are visible.
TOP BUDGET TIP: Looking for a good value diamond clarity grade? Diamonds with a slightly included (SI) clarity grade or diamonds regarded as “eye-clean” often have imperfections that aren’t visible to the naked eye. These are great value as opposed to the rarer and pricey internally flawless (IF) or flawless (FL) diamonds. Always ask a jeweler or diamond consultant to confirm that imperfections are not visible through the crown of the diamond to the naked eye.
Choosing your Diamond Carat Weight
What is a diamond’s carat weight about? Carat is about a diamond’s weight, not size. A diamond’s carat refers to the actual weight of a diamond and cannot be solely relied upon to reflect a diamond’s actual size. A diamond’s size can be established by considering its carat weight in addition to the all-important cut grade and millimeter measurement of its top section. Remember that 1ct = 100 points in weight and 1ct = 0.20 grams
Diamond Carat Tips
- Choose carat weight last – First consider your diamond’s cut, colour and clarity grade before choosing the carat weight of your diamond to suit your budget.
- Consider finger size, setting size and your budget – Choose the best carat weight for you and your ring by first considering the size of your finger (remember, the smaller your finger, the bigger the diamond will appear), the size of your setting (to fit your diamond carat weight and shape), and then your budget.
- Hell-bent on having a large carat weight, but have a tight budget? We understand! Get the best carat weight for your buck by aiming for a diamond with a good cut, I-J color grade and a SI1-SI2 clarity grade.
Check out this handy Diamond Size Chart to learn about the different carat weights and sizes for Round, Princess and Emerald-cut stones.(Above) Diamond Carats and Popular Diamond Sizes | Serendipity Diamonds
- One Carat is not always One Carat! Understand the difference between the size of your main or centre diamond and the size of your entire ring when diamond ring shopping. Carat Weight (CW), Carat (CT) or Diamond Weight (DW) refers to the weight of one single diamond; whereas Carat Total Weight (CTW) or Diamond Total Weight (DTW) refers to the cumulative weight of all the diamonds set in a ring.
- Many diamonds vs. One diamond – A group of diamonds sharing the same weight as a single diamond will not have the same value.
TOP BUDGET TIP: Looking for a good value diamond carat weight? Aim for less. Diamonds that fall slightly under the full-carat and half-carat marks can differ greatly in price, but with minimal visible difference in size.
Choosing your Diamond Colour Grade
What is a diamond’s colour about? Colour is about a diamond’s whiteness. After cut, the colour grade is the second most important characteristic of a diamond to consider. A diamond’s colour grade refers to its grading of whiteness – the less colour found in a diamond, the greater its colour grade is, with a colour grade of D being the highest and Z the lowest.Diamond Colour Chart | Source: Serendipity Diamonds
Diamond Colour Tips
- Pick diamond shapes that are more light reflective and sparkly – Round or princess cut diamonds can mask some color in a diamond.
- Consider the type of metal in which your diamond is set – For diamonds with near colourless color grades such as from D to H, platinum or white gold works best. Diamonds that border on having a tinge of faint yellow such as from I or J is best complemented when set in a yellow gold band.
- The bigger the diamond size, the more noticeable the colour – When purchasing a diamond of two carats or more, bear in mind that a diamond’s colour becomes more noticeable as its size increases.
TOP BUDGET TIP: Looking for a good value diamond colour grade? Near colourless diamonds graded from G to I vary more in cost than in appearance. Diamonds graded as near colourless from G-J exhibit very little visible differences to the naked eye, but can differ greatly in price, making them a great value diamond.International Colour Grading Scale : Mazal Diamond
Diamond-struck? Overdose on these fabulous facts about the many engagement ring stone cuts and shapes: Engagement Ring Guide: Stone Cuts & Shapes. Look out for the final installment of our Engagement Ring Guide series, which will cover all of the pretty and sparkly diamond alternatives for your special ring.
Build upon your diamond education by taking a look at these extra diamond resources, which we adore:Blue Nile | Jewelry Secrets | Serendipity Diamonds