A Round or Brilliant Cut diamond is the most popular cut for your engagement ring for two reasons; it looks great on any hand shape, and when cut properly is the most sparkling of all diamond cuts. It is also the most expensive, due to the amount of diamond material lost in cutting, and supply and demand! A Brilliant Cut diamond will be 25 – 35% higher in price than other diamond cuts for the same grade.
Selecting a diamond for your engagement ring online can be challenging if you don’t have a few simple tips to help you choose the best diamond for your budget.
Carat: Carat is a weight. A one-carat diamond, depending on its cut, will have a range from approximately 6.2 to 6.5 MM's. A diamond price per carat will rise exponentially once it reaches the one-carat mark due to popularity and rarity. If you’re looking for a nice size stone at a lower price point search from .80 to .99 carats. They will range in MM size from 5.8 to 6.2. Carat is a weight not a MM size, keep your Cut in the Very Good to Excellent range and keep your eye on the MM size to maximize the diamonds visual size.
Cut: The Cut is what makes the diamond sparkle, and is the math of the diamond. In searching our diamond database keep the slider Very Good or Excellent Cut and look for a Table between 56 and 60% and Depth between 57 and 60%. My preference is to get as close to a Table/Depth of 60-60% as possible, but some experts like the facets to have a more steep crown angle so anywhere from 56 to 60 is great.
Color: Color-less in my opinion is G to D. G is a warmer white while D is a cooler white, and F is my favorite color. H and I are also a beautiful warm white, and can look pretty 'white' in a colored metal setting paired with a higher Clarity to enhance the white light sparkle of the diamond. Diamonds are graded upside down for color so that the white light a diamond is designed to bounce back at you does not interfere with the grading. So a little warmer, or near colorless is fine and sometimes preferable. G through D are considered premium will command a higher price, with D as the most expensive color due to its rarity.
Clarity: The Clarity of a diamond refers to the number of inclusions or birth marks in a diamond. Every person has a different level of tolerance when viewing a diamond with inclusions, and all types of inclusions are not created equal! Wisps and twine are thin and white so a few of these won't effect the over all appearance of the diamond, clouds and carbon spots are more visible and if in the table they will greatly effect the quality of the diamond. Generally speaking start with a diamond with a GIA clarity grade of SI2 and up, and look at the certification or pictures keeping in mind the images are usually 100X the size of the actual gemstone. As long as the few 'visible ' inclusions in an SI stone are out in the facets or not clustered into a big group of light blocking obstructions, your good to go. An inclusion isnt a bad thing and 98% of diamonds on the market have them!
Florescence: Is a natural soft glow or fluorescence in a diamond when it is exposed to ultra violet light like sunlight. A diamond with Fluorescence can appear one color grade lighter, making lower color graded diamonds with fluorescence cost more, while higher color grades (G, F, E and D) will cost up to 15% less because fluorescence is ultimately viewed as a flaw. However, fluorescence is a flaw most people will never notice so a diamond with a GIA grade of Faint to Medium Fluorescence can be a good value.
With these few tips at hand, and the knowledge that diamond cutting is a highly skilled art and that all of our diamonds are cut by the most skilled craftsman providing you with a leg up from the start, you too can select a beautiful diamond using the Laura Preshong On-Line Diamond Search Tool and then we'll set it in one of our original engagement ring designs.
Love oval shaped stones? Read about how to select your oval diamond online here.