Diamond Buying Guide

Diamonds are one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world, known for their beauty, rarity, and durability. If you’re looking to buy a diamond, you might feel overwhelmed by the options available to you.

In this comprehensive buying guide from Carl Christopher the Jewellers, Lytham, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision about your diamond purchase, including the 4Cs, diamond shapes, certification, and the different types of diamond settings.

The 4Cs refer to the four key characteristics that determine a diamond’s quality: carat weight, colour, clarity, and cut.

Carat Weight
The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. One carat is equal to 0.2 grams, and a diamond’s weight is often expressed as a decimal or fraction of a carat. For example, a 0.50-carat diamond is sometimes referred to as a “fifty pointer.” While many people believe that a diamond’s carat weight is the most important factor in determining its value, the other 3Cs (colour, clarity, and cut) also play a significant role.

Colour
A diamond’s colour is determined by its degree of yellow or brown tint. The Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) has developed a colour grading system that ranges from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow or brown). Diamonds graded D-F are considered “colourless,” while those graded G-J are considered “near colourless.” As you move down the scale, the diamond’s colour becomes increasingly noticeable. While colourless diamonds are more rare and therefore more expensive, the difference in price between a near colourless diamond and a colourless diamond can be significant. You may be able to save money by choosing a diamond that is a few grades down the colour scale.

 

Clarity
A diamond’s clarity refers to the presence of blemishes and inclusions. Blemishes are surface imperfections, while inclusions are internal flaws such as bubbles or cracks. The GIA has developed a clarity grading system that ranges from Flawless (no inclusions or blemishes visible under 10x magnification) to Included (inclusions visible to the naked eye). While a flawless diamond is the rarest and most valuable, diamonds with slight inclusions that are not visible to the naked eye can be a good value. The type, location, and number of inclusions can also affect a diamond’s clarity grade and value.

Cut
A diamond’s cut refers to its proportions, symmetry, and polish. A well-cut diamond will reflect light well, creating a sparkling and brilliant appearance. A poorly cut diamond, on the other hand, will look dull and lifeless. The GIA has developed a cut grading system that ranges from Excellent to Poor. A diamond with an Excellent cut will reflect the most light and have the most sparkle, while a diamond with a Poor cut will reflect the least light and have the least sparkle.

Diamond Cut Chart

Diamond Shapes

Diamonds come in a variety of shapes, each with its own unique characteristics and style.

 

Round
The round diamond is the most popular diamond shape, accounting for more than 75% of all diamond sales. Its classic and timeless appearance makes it a popular choice for engagement rings.

Princess
The princess cut is a square-shaped diamond with pointed corners. It has a modern and elegant appearance and is a popular choice for both engagement rings and other types of jewellery.

Cushion
The cushion cut is a square or rectangular-shaped diamond with rounded corners. It has a soft and romantic appearance and is a popular choice for vintage and antique-style engagement rings.

Emerald
The emerald cut is a rectangular-shaped diamond with cut corners. It has a clean and elegant appearance, and its step-cut facets create a unique and distinct sparkle.

Asscher
The Asscher cut is like the emerald cut, but with more facets and a square shape. It has a vintage and art-deco appearance and is a popular choice for those looking for a unique and timeless style

Marquise
The marquise cut is an elongated diamond with pointed ends. It has a unique and dramatic appearance and can make the wearer’s finger appear longer and more slender.

Oval
The oval cut is similar to the round cut but elongated. It has a modern and elegant appearance and can make the wearer’s finger appear longer and slenderer.

Pear
The pear cut is a combination of the round and marquise cuts, with a rounded end and pointed end. It has a unique and feminine appearance and can make the wearer’s finger appear longer and more slender.

Certification
When buying a diamond, it’s important to ensure that it has been certified by a reputable organization. A diamond’s certification report will include information about its 4Cs, as well as its measurements and any other unique characteristics. It’s important to review the certification report carefully to ensure that the diamond matches the seller’s description.

Diamond Settings
The setting of a diamond refers to how it is mounted onto a piece of jewellery. There are many different types of diamond settings, each with its own unique appearance and advantages.

Prong Setting
The prong setting is the most common type of diamond setting. It features thin metal prongs that hold the diamond in place, allowing light to enter from all angles and creating maximum sparkle. Prong settings can be designed to hold a single diamond or multiple diamonds.

Bezel Setting
The bezel setting features a metal rim that surrounds the diamond, holding it securely in place. This type of setting provides excellent protection for the diamond, making it a good choice for those who lead an active lifestyle.

Channel Setting
The channel setting features a row of diamonds that are held in place by a metal channel. This type of setting provides excellent protection for the diamonds and creates a continuous line of sparkle.

Pave Setting
The pave setting features a large number of small diamonds that are set closely together, creating a surface that appears to be paved with diamonds. This type of setting creates a high level of sparkle and is a popular choice for wedding bands and other types of jewellery.

Conclusion
Buying a diamond can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s important to do your research and make an informed decision. By understanding the 4Cs, diamond shapes, certification, and diamond settings, you’ll be able to choose a diamond that meets your needs and budget.

Remember to buy from a reputable seller such as Carl Christopher the Jewellers, Lytham, Fylde, Lancashire  and to review the certification report carefully to ensure that the diamond matches the seller’s description. With the right information and guidance, you can find a diamond that will be a treasured piece of jewellery for years to come.

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