Finding the most beautiful diamond within your budget for the best value can be daunting.  Understanding the 4C’s is important.  Let’s briefly review them.  (For a deeper understanding of the 4C’s, please visit our Education section of our website found here.)
Note: The various scale references below were created by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and are globally accepted standards)

  • Let’s begin with the Cut, not to be confused with the shape.  The cut provides the sparkle and brilliance that diamonds are commonly known for.  The facets interact with the light, providing the fire (the effects of light scattering across the colors of the rainbow) and scintillation (the sparkle and reflections within the diamond.)  Finding the best cut is the most important aspect of the diamond because the cut will determine how much sparkle you will see.  Diamond cuts are as follows:
    1. Excellent
    2. Very Good
    3. Good
    4. Fair
    5. Poor
  • Clarity refers to the characteristics called inclusions and blemishes.  Inclusions are internal crystals formed during the heat process of carbon transformation occurring in the ground over many years.  The results are crystals of carbon residue in both black and white colors and vary stone by stone.  Blemishes are external and are usually caused by the cutting process during the making of each particular stone.  The clearer, the diamond, the more it will cost you to purchase.  The diamond clarity ranges are:
    1. Fawless(F)
    2. Internally Flawless(IF)
    3. Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1-VVS2)
    4. Very Slightly Included (VS1 – VS2)
    5. Slightly Included (SI1-SI2)
    6. Included (I1 – I3)
  • Color in diamonds vary from colorless to fancy colors —steel gray, white, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink to purple, brown, and black.  The color grading is based on the “lack of color” in a diamond under controlled lighting.  Color grades are also a matter of preference.  For those wanting to select a “white” or “clear” diamond, the less color that exists in the diamond, the more expensive it will be.  If you prefer fancy colored diamonds, there will be a premium added due to it’s rarity.  For example a red diamond is the rarest and less common.  You will pay a hefty price for a very small red diamond.  The diamond color scale is as follows:
    1. D, E, F – Colorless
    2. G, H, I, J – Near colorless
    3. K, L, M – Faint Color
    4. N, R – Very Light Color
    5. S – Z – Light Color
  • Carat refers to the weight of the diamond.  A 1 carat stone is exactly 0.2 grams.  Not all diamonds are cut the same and some may appear to look bigger than others even though the actual total weight may be the same.  If size matters and your budget is a little constraint, you may need to select lower options on the other characteristics.

There is no magic formula for selecting a diamond.  Everyone has different preferences as to what their diamond should look like.  Be sure to review various diamonds with different characteristics to get the best combination for your budget.  If clarity is important, then you may have to give a little in the color category.  If color is important, then some inclusions that are undetectable by the human eye may be acceptable.  At iTouchDiamonds, we pride ourselves on finding our customers the best diamond for the best value.  Click or call today!