White diamonds are renowned for their glamour and versatility. They portray a special luminance as rays of light shimmer on its surface and melt the hearts of its admirers. This unique quality tran…
White diamonds are renowned for their glamour and versatility. They portray a special luminance as rays of light shimmer on their surface and melt the hearts of their admirers. This unique quality transcends into an inexplicable and timeless attraction from different people globally. As such, they have adorned several uses over time as both ornamental and ceremonial components of society.
However, despite their matchless beauty, the diamond selection process can be daunting and painful for prospecting clients.
As a buyer, I’d think that the primary questions running through your mind are how do I select the perfect diamond? What are the best features to look out for to make the best of my budget? How do I avoid being ripped off? Where can I find the best diamond dealer that understands my needs and can facilitate my process?
And yes, I know that despite the wide range of information on the internet, many of the articles available present information in jargon, creating even more confusion around the diamond selection process.
Does this description match your challenge?
Well, here’s what you should do and look out for.
Guiding Properties for Diamond Selection
Firstly, it is imperative to understand that while research into diamonds and other gemstones is conducted by various institutions globally, the standard grading you should know and follow is that offered by the gemological Institute of America or GIA. Through their research, we earn the prominent 4Cs of the diamond selection and grading. These are a diamond’s Clarity, Colour, Cut, and Carats.
Knowledge of the 4Cs coupled with an understanding of your needs and requirements will make the selection process smoother. However, they are not the only factors for consideration. We’ll discuss the extra factors in time. Now, let’s familiarize ourselves with the 4Cs and how they impact your decision.
As a definitive guide on how to select a white diamond, it is only fitting, to begin with, color. In this case, color refers to how clear a diamond is, with properties ranging from colorless to toned.
Specifically, white diamonds are graded on a color scale starting at D, being completely colorless; E-F which are nearly colorless but color flaws are distinguishable by a qualified gemmologist; G-H where color differences can be noticed when compared against a better quality diamond all the way to grade N-Z where the color of the diamond is noticeable to your naked eye.
When weighing color against price, it would be okay to choose categories E-F which are relatively cheaper than category D, while being indistinguishable from them. How a diamond is cut also influences the kind you select.
Diamonds are cut with high precision to ensure their value is maintained. Cuts also affect the diamond’s general appearance, in terms of shape and form, where the arising surfaces influence its reflectivity or interaction with light. The more facets a diamond has, the more reflective it will be. As more of the allure of a diamond stems from how it glitters, the cuts become a critical component of the selection process.
The most prominent type of cut is the round brilliant cut. Over the years, this type of cut has been used for engagement rings hence its popularity among social circles. However, there are other types such as the princess cut for engagement rings, the cushion cut which offers a unique novel antique feel, and the oval cut.
The selection of the type of cut depends on individual preferences for shape.
Overall, the clarity of a diamond references the presence or absence of inclusions (flaws arising from the formation of the diamond or from poor cutting). When buying a diamond, ensuring high clarity is of the essence to ensure higher quality. A trained gemologist is able to assess a diamond’s clarity based on the position of occurrence of blemishes, their relative sizes, and observable characteristics. However, you can achieve near similar accuracy by paying attention to the Gemological Institute of America’s categories of diamonds based on the inclusions or blemishes. These have been systematically organized into six distinct groups.
From their diamond clarity scale, a buyer should opt for flawless or near-flawless diamonds as they have no imperfections on their surface. These are however relatively expensive hence the choice to opt for diamonds in either the very very small inclusions (VVS1 or VVS2) categories. As the flaws are only visible under magnification, these are a better alternative for some buyers due to the cost-saving effect.
Often, people confuse the term carat to mean the diamond’s size. In truth, the carat is the unit of measurement for the weight of gems. Cross-referencing carat as a unit of weight to the British system, 1 carat is equal to approximately 0.2 grams. Only, when measuring diamonds, the carats are allocated based on a point system such that the size of a diamond doesn’t necessarily imply an increase in weight.
For a prospecting buyer, understanding that size doesn’t mean more carats could be a useful tool for getting the desired size at a lower cost. The decision on type should include a clear consideration of the other Cs as well.
As mentioned, while the 4Cs are critical to choosing a white diamond, they are not the only considerations that ought to be put in place or considered.