Even though some diamonds may appear equal at first glance, the differences may ultimately move the price point significantly. First and foremost, it's important to know the basics of the 4C's: carat weight, cut, color, and clarity. These four elements are what generally determine the overall value of a diamond. At GMG Jewellers, we want to help you understand how diamonds are priced so you know what to look for when shopping for your center stone. This guide will walk you through the basics to give you a head start before making a purchase.
How Diamond Value is Determined
The first aspect to understand of the 4C's is the carats. A diamond's carat weight is determined by the diamond's mass as expressed in carats. Remember, the carat is not the size of the diamond, it's the weight. A diamond's size is measured in millimeters, length by width. In other words, the diameter of the stone is the size.
As the most common of the 4 C's, you probably know the value of a diamond increases exponentially as the carat weight goes up because larger, heavier diamonds are rarer. Though few can tell any difference between a diamond that is 0.95 in carat weight and another that is 1-carat weight, the price will be affected. However, the weight of the diamond is not the only aspect that affects price—it is actually far from the most important characteristic to consider.
Color, Cut, and Clarity Explained
The other factors that affect a diamond's value, color, cut, and clarity, are graded based on the established system created by the Gemological Institute of America (GSI).
Traditional diamonds (not the colored variety) are graded on their lack of color. Colorless diamonds are regarded as the highest in value. Once a yellow tint can be obviously detected, the price starts to decrease dramatically. After colorless “D-F” on the scale, you can find “Near Colorless” in the range of G-J, which still provide gorgeously clear diamonds.
On the other hand, a diamond's cut is determined by the proportions of a stone and its proximity to the benchmark for an ideally cut diamond for each shape like round, emerald, or oval. The benchmark for the ideal cut is that which maximizes the diamond's brilliance and sparkle. However, it is to be noted that some diamond shapes have a higher value than others to begin with.
Lastly, clarity looks for the appearance of inclusions or natural flaws within the diamond and grades each diamond based on visibility. Diamonds with fewer inclusions visible under 10x magnification have a higher value while diamonds with inclusions visible to the naked eye have the lowest value.
Overall, these four criteria are what influence the price point the most. Some of these characteristics can contribute as high as a 56% differential in price even though they might look exactly the same.
Tips On Shopping for Value
When you're shopping for a diamond engagement ring, it is important to shop for diamonds with value in mind. Diamonds that have a “Very Very Slightly Included” clarity will not contain inclusions visible to the naked eye. You would need a high-functioning microscope in order to identify its internal flaws.
Also, a 1-carat diamond that is near colorless in the G to I range will appear to be a crystal clear color right off the bat. Typically, this kind of diamond could start at around $5,000 and only increase from there depending on all of the other factors. It's common knowledge that there are no two diamonds that are crafted the same exact way.
While understanding the 4 C's might only be a starting point, it does help first-time diamond buyers know why a 1-carat diamond can vary so much in price. The most common reason for price inequality is always related back to the quality of the diamond itself. Most diamonds lose their value if they're too deep, long, short, shallow, or misshaped. Being able to understand these specifications, will make the process of finding a valuable diamond that much easier.
Find Stunning Diamond Engagement Rings at GMG Jewellers
Overall, shopping for any diamond can be a lengthy process but should also be a joyful one.
Having a basic understanding of diamonds and a trustworthy jeweler can make all the difference. That's why shopping with GMG Jewellers is the perfect place to find any and all of your diamond needs. Their team is dedicated to helping you snag the perfect diamond ring, necklace, earring, or bracelet that brings joy to you as a giver and, of course, to the gift's recipient. We specialize in pieces that will endure as timeless items for many generations.
With a location in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, GMG Jewellers is guaranteed to welcome you with a smile and assurances that you will find everything you're looking for. Whether you're browsing around or looking for something specific, come by and meet the team today!