Diamond Price and Quality
When looking for a diamond, several factors can affect its quality and its price. Knowing these factors can help you find the right diamond that has a good quality and matches your budget. Although knowing these factors can help you a lot, an expert trustworthy jeweler is the one who can truly help you. This information will help you be more confident in the process of choosing the right diamond.
Back to our topic, the most popular factors are what is known as 4Cs of diamond which is cut, carat, clarity, and color. In this blog we will cover the 4Cs and some other factors such as fluorescence, symmetry, polish, origin (mined or natural).
The 4Cs: clarity, cut, color, and carat
If you have not heard of the 4Cs, these are the main characteristics of any diamond. Diamonds are traditionally calculated by these four factors. Therefore, all these four directly affect the price of a diamond.
Clarity refers to how clean and clear a diamond is. The fewer inclusions and blemishes of a diamond make it clearer and its price higher. Diamond clarity can be recognized by the naked eye. If you do not see any spot or cloudiness, the diamond probably has a good clarity grade.
There are several grades for diamond clarity according to GIA: FL (Flawless), IF (Internally Flawless), VVS1, VVS2 (Very Very Slightly Included), VS1, VS2 (Very Slightly Included), SI1, SI2 (Slightly Included), I1 (Included 1st Degree). The higher the clarity grade is, the more brilliant and clearer the diamond is and the higher its price will be. You can update your information on diamond clarity by reading the blog What Is Clarity in a Diamond?
When we talk about diamond cut, we are referring to two different factors; diamond shape and diamond cut grade.
There are several shapes for diamonds including round, princess, emerald, cushion, radiant, pear, oval, and more fancy shapes. Each shape can affect the finished look of a diamond and its price. For example among different cuts, round diamonds are usually the most popular and the most expensive. It is also important which cut is more of a trend. The more a cut is popular, the higher its price will be.
Another aspect of diamond cut refers to cut grade. The higher the cut grade, the more sparkly and valuable the diamond will be. Diamond cut grade has an important effect on its value. Diamond cut according to GIA has 5 grades; excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor. If you want more information about diamond cuts and their different grades check this blog: What is Diamond Cut.
In gemology, the diamond color refers to the physical color of the gem's material. AGS and GIA appraise the color grade within the framework of a spectrum. The color of diamonds falls into two main categories, fancy colored stones, and colorless diamonds, each possessing its own color spectrum for appraisal. As we are considering diamond price, we will only go through the second category which is colorless diamonds.
The GIA diamond color grade starts with the letter D and ends in the letter Z. According to this system the better the color grade, the higher its price will be. If you need more information about diamond color and its grading system read this blog: Learn What Diamond Color Is and What it Means.
Carat indicates the weight of a diamond. One carat is 200 milligrams in weight. Therefore, the heavier the carat, the more expensive the diamond is.
Keep in mind that carat does not equal the size of a diamond. Two diamonds with the same carat may look different in size. Depending on diamond shapes and cuts, two 1 carat diamonds might be different in size. If you are curious to know more about diamond size vs. carat weight read the blog.
Fluorescence is the tendency of a diamond to emit a (soft) glow when exposed to ultraviolet light (UV light). In a small number of diamonds, the presence of fluorescence creates a hazy, milky, oily, or cloudy appearance. Therefore, diamonds with higher scales of fluorescence have a lower value.
Fluorescence can affect diamond price in two different ways. In diamonds with high color (D-F color), fluorescence increases the price. However, in diamonds with a lower color scale (J-M color) the bluish tint can cancel the yellow color of the diamond and cause a more colorless appearance.
Diamond symmetry is related to cut quality. The more symmetrical the facets are in a diamond, the more brilliant the diamond is and the higher the diamond price is. Symmetry is graded in three scales; excellent, very good, and good.
After diamonds are cut, they will be polished. Polishing is an important step because it affects diamond’s final look and brilliance. The better diamond polish is, the higher the price will be.
There are two origins for a diamond. It can be created naturally in earth or made in laboratories. Both natural and lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds sharing the same characteristics and structure. Although you will not be able to recognize the difference between a mined diamond and a lab-grown diamond, mined diamonds are more expensive.
Lab-grown diamonds have become very popular in recent years. Many people consider lab-grown diamonds as fake diamonds which is not true. If you are looking for a lab-grown diamond and need more information about it, check these two blogs: Lab Grown Diamonds vs. Natural Diamonds: How Are They Different? and Lab Grown Diamonds Price.
If you are looking for a diamond and you have a limited budget and of course want to buy the best diamond according to your budget, you should consider several things. The most important factors are diamond cut, clarity, carat, and color. The clearer, bigger, whiter, and brighter the diamond, the higher the price. You should also consider some other factors such as fluorescence, symmetry, polish, and origin.
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By: Koorosh Daneshgar CEO/Design Chief