Diamond purchasing can be intimidating, and maybe even overwhelming. So many choices and different prices for seemingly the same stone, and what does a nice diamond look like even if you saw one?! Diamonds like any other major purchase, should be researched, but then follow your heart. You're not purchasing this diamond for resale, it's a gift. You can select your own diamond if you have the time and the credit card balance to do it yourself (online diamond purchases if returned, can take 14 to 21 days to arrive back on your credit card) or have a trained jeweler to do it for you and head straight to the finish line.
Following are the 4 C’s described, and our recommendations on selecting a quality stone all by yourself.
Color: Diamond color is actually the absence of color. Everyone has a different tolerance for how much color they like in a diamond. H and G are near colorless, or a warm white and are the best value for a "colorless" diamond. F and E are completely colorless and are a pure cool white, these stones in my opinion are the perfect diamond color. D is the rarest and coolest white available, and the most expensive.
Cut: Arguably the most important of the 4 C’s, the cut is responsible for the sparkle or brilliance. People often think of the cut as the diamonds shape(pear, oval, marquise) but it is actually the diamonds facets ability to interact with light. Always look for Very Good or Excellent Cut stones, as these stones are closer to the mathematical proportions associated with a perfectly cut stone.
Clarity: Diamonds are stones formed in the earth under extreme pressure, these rocks when forming crack, cloud and spots of uncrystallized carbon can become trapped as black specks. Inclusions are not bad, and MOST diamonds have them in one form or another. Depending where the inclusions are, how many there are and of what type, they are often invisible to the unaided, untrained eye. Diamond clarity refers to the absence of these inclusions and blemishes. Diamonds without inclusions are very rare and are graded as IF or Internally Flawless. Inclusions do affect the value of the diamond, and can affect the stone's brilliance if the are grouped tightly together or if they are scattered throughout the diamond. The inclusions break up the light entering and leaving the diamond, making it less brilliant. SI2 and SI1 can be very clean and are the best value. VS diamonds will be more brilliant, and will sell for a higher price than the SI diamonds.
Carat: Is a weight not a millimeter measurement. The diamond’s cut determines the closeness to mathematical perfection of the diamond and therefore the diamond's millimeter size. Two diamonds with different carat weights such as 1.0 and 1.10 can be the exact same millimeter size. For example a perfectly cut one carat round diamond is determined to be 6.5 mm, but when looking at one carat diamonds in the very good to excellent cut range, the millimeter sizes will vary from 6.2 to 6.5 millimeters.