4 key considerations before buying a diamond

September 30, 2016

From the experts at Charm Diamond Centres

Because each diamond is beautifully unique, knowing what to look for when you’re shopping for the perfect diamond will not only make your experience easier, but help ensure your loved one receives a gift that he or she adores!

Chantel Van de Vrie, Digital Marketing & Communications Specialist, Charm Diamond Centres »

Purchasing a diamond represents a special moment in your life. Before you buy, consider these four things to help you find the perfect bling.

4 key considerations before buying a diamond

No two diamonds are alike. Having a grasp of the basic terms and what’s available will make finding the perfect diamond that much easier.

The basics of buying diamonds

“Understanding the fundamentals of diamonds will help you know what to look for when buying the perfect diamond,” says Chantel Van de VrieDigital Marketing & Communications Specialist at Charm Diamond Centres. “Just think of the four Cs: cutclaritycolour and carat.

Together, the four Cs affect the overall value and appearance of a diamond – and your final choice.

1. Cut

Apart from referring to its shape, cut also determines a diamond’s brilliance and sparkle. A diamond’s cut attests to the quality of the proportionssymmetry and finish of its polished surfaces.

  • Generally, the higher the quality of these three aspects (which determine cut grade), the more sparkly the diamond appears to the naked eye.
  • Cut grades range from ideal and excellent at the top end to goodmediumfair and poor at the lower end of the grading scale.
  • Ideal and excellent cut diamonds return more light to the eye, and are considered the most beautiful.

In the hands of a skilled jeweller, diamonds can be cut into almost any shape.

According to Van de Vrie and the experts at Charm Diamonds, “Round diamonds are by far the most popular choice due to their incredible brilliance, fire and light performance.” Round brilliant diamonds make up about 75 per cent of all diamond purchases.

Another popular choice for diamond rings (especially engagements), a princess-cut diamond has a square or rectangular shape with pointed corners.

Emerald diamonds have a large, rectangular open face. The bottom half, called the pavilion, is cut with concentric rectangular facets for a unique appearance. Square versions of emerald diamonds are called Asscher cuts.

Marquise diamonds are usually brilliantly cut, similar to oval cut diamonds, and feature a pointed end.

Oval diamonds have an elongated rounded shape. They are not pointed at the ends.

These diamonds have a unique tear-drop shape, which has a slimming effect on the fingers.

Heart-shaped diamonds are a distinctive and popular choice for pendants, engagement rings and other jewellery designs.

These diamonds have rounded corners and larger facets to increase their brilliance.

2. Clarity

“Clarity refers to the internal and external characteristics of a diamond,” explains Van de Vrie. As such, the unique characteristics of each diamond determine the clarity of the diamond.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) diamond clarity grading scale goes from Flawless to I3, and is determined by a skilled grader viewing under 10X magnification in lab conditions.

  • Internally Flawless diamonds are free from inclusions and characteristics (markings).

3. Colour

Generally, diamonds with less colour are more desirable when it comes to colour grading. Those said to have “fine colour” have no colour visible to the naked eye.

  • Diamond colour is graded on the GIA colour scale from D (colourless) to Z (Fancy), with 23 different grades. Each grade represents a range of colour.
  • Colourless diamonds are rarer and are considered to have a higher value.
  • As you progress down the scale you’ll notice a warm yellow tone in the lower-rated diamonds, meaning they are less rare.
  • In most diamonds the less colour, the higher the value. In fancy diamonds, the value increases with colour saturation.

The term “fancy diamonds” refers to diamonds with a distinctive, appealing colour that can occur naturally or is artificially induced by heat or irradiation.

  • Treated coloured diamonds are often used in fashion jewellery.

4. Carat

Simply put, a diamond’s weight is measured in carats, which is basically a term like pound, ounce or gram. It is the universal unit of measurement used to weigh all diamonds and gemstones.

“Another diamond term is total carat weight,” says Van de Vrie, “which simply means the combined weight of all the diamonds in a piece of jewellery.”

Making a choice

Purchasing a diamond isn’t simply about the size of the bling or price tag – the most important part is talking with your partner and establishing a budget and their personal preference.

According to Van de Vrie, “We’ve heard the one-month salary rule, the three-month salary rule, and even the compromise of splitting the difference. But really, there is no particular rule that works for everyone. When it comes to purchasing an engagement ring, you have to find a budget that works for you.”

Because a diamond is a timeless symbol that celebrates the special bond between two people, take the opportunity to make the experience of choosing such a special expression of love as magical as giving it.

Over the past four decades, Charm Diamond has grown to be the largest Canadian owned & operated independent jeweler; building the business on quality, trust & experience in helping Canadians celebrate the most important moments of their lives – love, marriage, anniversaries & other milestones. Charm’s success story was a labor of love. In 1972, founder Richard Calder sold his car & house to finance the first Charm store in Halifax. With a mission to, ‘Win the Customer for Life’, Calder quickly grew the business by focusing on quality product & unmatched customer service. Soon, his wife Sharon would join the business and together they would grow the business to over 70 stores nationwide. Benefit from Lifetime Warranties on diamond products. See their extensive inventory of Canadian Diamonds Charm’s, Glacier Fire Signature collection is mined, cut & polished in Canada. Each Glacier Fire Canadian diamond has a Certificate of Origin so owners can trace the history of their diamond.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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