Other than a house or a car, there are few purchases that will be as extravagant as a diamond. Usually, it will fall into the ring variety and while diamonds are included in practically every piece of jewellery on the market, for the Average Joe the purchase is very likely to be related to an engagement. Bearing this in mind, it’s not just going to be one of your biggest buys from a financial point of view, but also from a personal one. Get it wrong, and your other half won’t hesitate in reminding you for the rest of your life, but perfect it first time and the whole proposal will be that extra bit special. Unfortunately, and perhaps unsurprisingly, diamonds aren’t the easiest thing to put your finger on. There’s a very good reason why they can turn out to be expensive and it won’t simply be a case of turning up to the local jewellers and picking the first one that crosses your eye line. Instead, most buyers will follow a stringent criteria and it doesn’t matter whether you are looking at the Monica Vinader collection at Benna or an engagement ring, you should always pay attention to the four C’s…
The first of the issues we’ll analyse is the cut, with this referring to how the diamond liaises with the light. It goes without saying that the expensive diamonds have a very good cut, which means that the light will reflect much better and should disperse straight out of the top of the stone. If you’re looking at cheaper diamonds on the other hand, light will tend to escape through the side portions of the diamond. Suffice to say, the better the cut, the bigger the sparkle.
Most people are under the impression that all diamonds are the same colour. This isn’t actually the case and if you do have a large budget at your disposal, you should be looking towards the colourless options which are regarded as the most premium. At the opposite end of the scale are light shades of yellow and if you think about it logically, this doesn’t allow as much light to pass which hinders its ability to sparkle.
The clarity of a diamond is probably the hardest issue to spot. Most jewellers will require the use of a special loupe magnifying glass to be able to identify this factor, although if the diamond has an exceptionally poor clarity it can sometimes be possible for the naked eye to notice. In short, it refers to the impurities that are part of the diamond, which again hinders how much light can pass through the stone. The best diamonds in the world don’t have any of these impurities and are classed as flawless, while others are rated depending on the size of the inclusions.
This is the one that most people are well aware of and the general consensus is that the carat makes a diamond. While it does play a major part, it should be reiterated that all four factors contribute towards a diamond’s quality.
The carat describes the weight of the diamond, with one carat classed as 100 ‘points’. This means that when you see a diamond with .55 ct, it simply means it is comprised of fifty five points.