Selecting a diamond starts with personal preference: What diamond shapes do you like? What styles of jewelry do you gravitate towards?
But knowing those things is only the beginning. You also need to understand diamond concepts like shape, color and clarity, brilliance and fire. And if you don’t consider yourself a diamond expert, you may have concerns about getting the best quality diamond for your budget, no matter how large or small.
Here are 7 steps to selecting a diamond.
#1 Know Your Jeweler
Develop a relationship with a qualified, award-winning and credentialed professional. Buying things online may be de rigueur these days, but the best way to get the information you need and feel confident about your diamond purchase is to buy from someone you know and whose reputation is trusted in the industry.
At Coffin & Trout Fine Jewellers, we love to take a personalized approach and guide you through the jewelry selection process.
#2 Select your diamond shape
There are a number of things that guide your jewelry piece’s design, and the shape of your diamond is an excellent starting point. Most people have a definitive idea of what shape they prefer, whether it’s round, princess, cushion, oval, radiant, heart, or one of the other fancy shape possibilities.
#3 Decide on a carat weight
This one is particularly important for an engagement ring, where the diamond is often the center of attention. The higher the carat weight, the higher the price, but keep in mind that there are plenty of other factors that influence the price, as well.
#4 Make an informed choice about cut quality
This is a diamond trait that isn’t standardized across all who sell diamonds, but it’s definitely an important one—if not the most important, if you ask us. That’s because cut quality, or grade, is indicative of how well your diamond will interact with light, and it also has a part in determining the final value. The shape of diamond you seek will help determine which cut grade you should purchase.
#5 Understand the color grade scale
Most diamonds aren’t truly colorless, and have some varying degrees of yellow or brown (which aren’t necessarily visible to the naked eye). The color grading scale starts at D (colorless) and goes all the way to Z (yellow). The American Gem Society grades color consistently using an experienced grader. We can assist you in selecting the best color grade for your budget and ring design.
#6 Know your diamond clarity grade
Clarity refers to how free a diamond is of blemishes or “inclusions,” also known as clarity characteristics. Clarity grade refers to the lack of inclusions and the scale ranges from FL/IF (Flawless or Internally Flawless) to I1-I3 (imperfect). A diamond with zero inclusions is extremely rare. When shopping, ask about clarity grade, and look for a diamond that looks clean to your eye.
#7 Compare your top choices
If you’ve found a diamond that you like, compare it with similar stones, looking at characteristics such as diamond cut, brilliance, clarity, color, and price.