Selecting your perfect diamond can feel a little overwhelming. Do you choose the biggest stone in the display? The one that sparkles the brightest? Or simply the one that makes your heart beat a little faster?
When it comes to choosing diamond jewellery – or any jewellery – there is no right or wrong answer. Picking out your perfect sparkling match is a subjective affair and depends largely on your priorities (including budget) and personal preferences.
There are, however, a number of influencing factors that could affect the stone you choose and, importantly, the size of stone you buy. In the world of diamonds, a bigger stone doesn’t always mean better and being armed with the knowledge to pick out a good quality diamond is vital. A little extra research can help you make an educated diamond decision – even if the heart does have the last word!
At Burrells, we are diamond experts and we're passionate about sharing this knowledge with our customers. We have brought together everything you need to know about choosing a beautiful diamond (whatever its size) below.
The Importance of the 4 Cs
If you have begun to look into the world of diamonds, you have probably come across the 4Cs:
These are the ways we assess diamonds for quality, desirability, and ultimately, value.
Carat is a measurement of diamond weight and therefore the more carats, the heavier the stone. Owning a diamond of a carat or more is often considered to be very desirable but remember that weight or size has little bearing on quality.
A huge but poorly cut and imperfect diamond is unlikely to offer the same dazzle as a smaller stone with better clarity, cut and colour.
Many diamonds have minor flaws in the stone called inclusions. Essentially, the more inclusions, the less valuable the diamond.
Remember, though, that many of these inclusions are invisible to the naked eye. Selecting a stone with minor inclusions is a great way to help your budget stretch a little further. They are particularly hard to spot if they lie at the edge of the stone.
In fact, many diamond lovers see inclusions as a sort of diamond fingerprint –an identifying mark that makes the stone unique.
A badly cut diamond will never achieve the same sparkle as a well-cut stone. The impact of cut on a diamond cannot be underestimated.
The application of expert cutting and polishing techniques by a skilled craftsman is what brings a diamond’s true beauty to life. This means you should try to choose a diamond that sparkles a little brighter than its neighbours. This is a sign of a quality cutting process.
Round, brilliant cut diamonds have the most facets and therefore provide the most noticeable sparkle. It does, however, have a high wastage factor (a lot of the diamond is lost in cutting) and therefore attracts a high price tag. A princess or cushion cut diamond will retail at a more affordable price. Cut is often the most important of the 4 Cs when it comes to the appearance of a stone.
When it comes to white diamonds, the most valuable are those that are completely absent of colour. Most natural diamonds have some coloured tones, and this can impact the price enormously. The most prized and expensive diamonds are the clearest. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fall in love with a diamond with hints of natural colour; for many people this only makes a stone more beautiful. To find out more about the 4 Cs, there is a brilliant article, with video content, on the GIA's website here.
The Role of Certification
Another factor in looking at diamond quality is certification. A certified diamond has been assessed by experts and assigned a grading based around the 4 Cs. It is a mark of quality that will push up the price of any diamond. Certified diamonds help you to be sure of the quality of the stone you are buying although certification makes little real difference to aesthetic appeal. For more information on certification, we suggest having a read of our article on Certified Diamond vs Non-Certified Diamond Engagement Rings.
A Mix and Match Approach
The great thing about the way diamonds are assessed is that it gives you room to decide which factors matter most to you. You could choose to pick a larger but slightly coloured diamond with some inclusions or a small but stunningly high-quality stone.
You are in control – mixing and matching the qualities that matter to you to find a diamond that fits both your budget and your wish list. We say pay attention to cut, though, regardless of your other priorities – a badly cut diamond will never achieve the right shine.
The bottom line is that size or carats are only one factor in looking at the true beauty of a diamond. And, in fact, it may offer the least important measurement of all. The most beautiful diamond is the one you love. After all, it will probably play an important role in the rest of your life.
Visit Burrells in-store today and talk to one of our experts to find out more about diamonds and discover the perfect one for you.