What makes them so expensive? A why can two diamonds of the same size be so different in price?
Even though more and more people these days are choosing non-traditional center stones for their engagement rings (and we love it!), a vast majority will always choose the traditional diamond center stone for such an important purchase.
There's a lot to consider when choosing the right diamond for you, and we're here to guide you through the process.
Below is a brief primer on the basics of how diamonds are graded (and therefore priced) to help you know what to look for when we start finding your stone.
Natural diamonds are the result of carbon exposed to tremendous heat and pressure deep in the earth. This process can result in a variety of internal characteristics called 'inclusions' and external characteristics called 'blemishes'.
Evaluating diamond clarity involves determining the number, size, relief, nature, and positon of these characteristics, a well as how these affect the overall appearance of the stone. While no diamond is perfectly pure, the closer it comes, the higher its value.
The GIA Diamond Clarity Scale has six categories, some of which are divided, for a total of 11 specific grades: -Flawless (FL): No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification -Internally Flawless (IF): No inclusions visible under 10x magnification -Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): Inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification -Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): Inclusions are observed with effort under 10 magnification, but can be characterized as minor -Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification Included (I1, I2, and I3): Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance
Diamond color actually refers to the lack of color. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue, like a drop of pure water, and consequently, a higher value. The GIA's D-Z diamond color grading system measures the degree of colorlessness by comparing a stone under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions to masterstones of established color value.
Diamonds are renowned for their ability to transmit light and sparkle so intensely. We often think of a diamond's cut as the shape (e.g- round, oval, marquise, etc.), but a diamond's cut grade is really about how well a diamond's facets interact with light. Precise artistry and workmanship are required to fashion a stone so its proportions, symmetry, and polish deliver the magnificent return of light only possible in a diamond.
Three desirable effects to look for in a well-cut are: -Brightness: Internal and external white light reflected from a diamond -Fire: The scattering of white light into all the colors of the rainbow -Scintillation: The amount of sparkle a diamond produces, and the pattern of light and dark areas caused by reflections within the diamond
The GIA Diamond Cut Scale for standard round brilliant diamonds in the D-Z diamond color range contains five grades ranging from Excellent to Poor.
Diamond carat weight is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs. A metric "carat" is defined as 200 milligrams.
Each carat can be subdivided into 100 'points'. This allows very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place. Diamond weights greater than one carat are expressed in carats and decimals. A 1.08 carat stone would be described as "one point oh eight carats".
All else being equal, diamond price increases with diamond carat weight, because larger diamonds are more rare and more desirable. But two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values and prices depending on the other three factors of the diamond: Clarity, Color, and Cut.