There is no doubt choosing a diamond can be a daunting experience for the uninitiated. With endless shapes and sizes available, there is then colour and clarity to consider, cut grades and various certificates, it can be hard to know where to start.
Before you start considering the four ‘C’s, Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat, it’s a good idea to have a think about your ‘B’, or budget, whether it be $2000, $20,000 or $200,000.
Once you have settled on an amount you are comfortable spending on your chosen stone, it’s time to choose the shape of the diamond. Traditional cuts such as round brilliant, princess and emerald cut remain popular as ever, cushion cuts have been in strong demand of late, and some fancy cuts including pear, marquise and trilliant can be utilised to make some very individually designed jewellery.
The first of the four C’s to consider is Cut. Regardless of colour or clarity, a poorly cut diamond will generally appear dull and lack brilliance, aim for a very good cut grade or higher.
Colour is the next in grade to consider. D, E and F colours are considered colourless, with G and H near colourless, so try to choose a diamond within these gradings.
Clarity refers to the amount, size and or positioning of natural inclusions (imperfections) within a diamond. Ideally you don’t want these to either be visible to the naked eye or affect the stone’s brilliance. SI2 and above are good grades to aim for, however don’t discount a good Pique diamond especially if you are trying to maximise size on your budget.
The last of the four C’s, Carat, refers to the weight of the stone.
When choosing a diamond, we recommend to always view a selection of loose diamonds alongside each other, with a variety of colour and clarity gradings. Observe under a Jeweller’s loupe (10x magnification). This will allow you to compare each with the other and physically see the differences between them all. A poorly cut stone may look great in isolation, but when compared to other stones even the novice will be able to see its flaws and be far better equipped to make a fully informed decision.