Diamond Buying Guide
When you’re searching for the perfect diamond to fit in the perfect engagement ring, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of picking the first stone to catch your attention. While we here at Medawar Jewelers understand how gorgeous diamonds can be, it’s important to have a diamond buying guide in hand when you’re getting ready to make a major purchase like a diamond. After all, you’re going to be admiring your diamond for the rest of your life. You should have a piece that’s worthy of your admiration!
The 4 C’s
The most important things to consider when browsing loose diamonds are the 4 C’s. That phrase is the shorthand for four categories of diamond grading: Cut, color, clarity, and carat. Color is the easiest to understand for the lay person, referring to the amount of off-tones that are present in an otherwise clear diamond. The GIA grades diamond colors from D, colorless; to Z, an extremely yellow color. Cut isn’t synonymous with “shape,” but they are related. When a diamond is cut, how closely it adheres to a geometric formula determines how well it will reflect and refract light, giving it its elegant fire and sparkle.
Carat is a measurement of weight, equal to 0.2 grams. It doesn’t refer to the size of a diamond, but simply to a stone’s weight. A compact diamond shape, like round cut, will appear smaller than a step-cut shape of equal carat weight. Last, but not least, the clarity is something that crucially affect your diamond. Inclusions in the stone, which can range from iron flecks to discontinuities in the stone. When these inclusions are numerous, they can cause light to pass poorly in the diamond or impact the visual appearance of the stone.
Once you’ve decided which of the 4 C’s are most important to you, the diamond buying guide goes onto the shape of the stone. There are three major categories of diamond shape. First is the brilliant cut. Characterized by 57 or 58 facets, these shapes are ideal for the woman who wants something really blindingly brilliant and rich with rainbow fire. Round cuts are the prototypical brilliant cut, but this category also includes princess-cut and radiant-cut diamond.
Next are the step cuts. Named for their step-pyramid shape, the emerald and Asscher cuts are extremely vintage, square shapes that lack the raw sparkle of a brilliant cut. But instead, their steps create a “hall of mirrors” effect that alternates dark spaces and light ones.
The fancy cuts are the remainder of the common diamond shapes you’ll encounter. Some of the more popular shapes include the marquise, oval, and pear cuts. While they have a great deal of brilliance, they’re often favored for their special shapes. Marquise cuts, for instance, are a wildly unique “lozenge” shape.
Here at Medawar Jewelers, diamonds have been our passion for decades. We’re always happy to pair fiancées to be with the right diamond for them, which includes both the 4 C’s and diamond shapes. If you’d like to find out more about diamonds, contact us at 833-850-8015, or visit us at our showrooms: West Lansing, Portage, Okemos, Brighton, and Jackson, Michigan!