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Choosing the Right Diamond

If you are shopping for a diamond, there are a number of things that you should consider before making your purchase. You can easily find your diamond at a great value without exceeding your budget by following these 4 easy steps.

Set a Budget

Many diamond customers go shopping before setting a budget and end up having an unsatisfied experience finding the correct stone. Setting a budget and understanding where your money is allocated can make for a much more pleasurable diamond buying experience.

Diamonds are price based on their color grade and diamond weight. Many shoppers find it difficult to identify the difference between a diamonds color grade. If you invest in the lowest color grade that looks appealing this will allow you to purchase a larger diamond in the same budget. The highest color grades include D, E and F, this is categorized as colorless. The following color grades G, H, I and J are nearly colorless and can be bought at a lower price.

Smaller diamonds cost less to purchase compared to a single diamond with the same carat weight. Buying three diamonds at a weight of 0.50 will cost a fraction of what you will have to pay for one diamond weighing 1.50 carats.

Most diamonds have inclusions, the importance lies in checking them with the naked eye. If the diamonds that you are viewing look clean, there is no point-paying extra for high clarity grades as they only add to the expense.

Diamonds that are of same carat weight and shape can also differentiate. Cut can also influence the millimeter size. Comparatively shallow diamonds are larger in width and length. Type of setting for these diamonds can also create an impact on perceived size and price. White gold settings for these diamonds can cost around one third of the price of platinum. Diamonds that have pave or bezel around the setting appear larger.

Choose a Shape

While buying diamonds, choosing the right shape is crucial for determining its overall appearance in jewelry. Diamonds are available in many variations and cuts. A diamonds shape not only refers to its outward appearance but it also refers to how the stone is fashioned and how many facets it has. Knowledge about all the shapes can help you buy the right shape for yourself.

Round brilliant diamonds are one of the most popular shapes and account for more than 75% of the diamonds that are purchased. The brilliance and fire of these diamonds add to their popularity. Oval diamonds offer symmetrical designs yielding more surface area that give the appearance of a larger stone. These diamonds are preferred by the women who have short fingers and small hands as they give elongated look.

Princess cut diamonds are the smallest of the diamonds and have an inverted pyramid shape. In this shape, weight of carat is on the bottom side. It is a favorite of the solitaire. Marquise diamonds appear larger than they are; this shape is elongated with the points on every end and is sometimes changed to French tip where the points are almost excised. It is also one of the great options for solitaire.

You can look for Emerald cut diamonds, they appear rectangular with cut corners. This type of diamonds is also known as step cut due to its shape that resembles a staircase. Open and large facets of this diamonds give it an imperative look with higher color and greater clarity. You can also buy pear shaped diamonds that look like a teardrop. Most of these diamonds are found in earrings and pendants. Brilliant cut heart shape diamonds are a perfect romantic choice but the shape can vary based on the jewelry store you are buying from. This shape is greatly influenced by the configurations and whimsy of gem cutters.

Trillion cut diamonds are that with a triangular shape with equal sides. Use this shape for making a beautiful pair of earrings. Baguette cut diamonds are another type of step cut that frequently are employed as side stones. Because of a limited number of facets, color and quality come to play, as imperfections are greatly visible in this simple shape.

Asscher cut diamonds are rectangular with the high crown step facets and are known for the ability to throw light. Cushion cut diamonds are another form of diamond that are referred to as pillow diamonds. This shape is elegant with a touch of old world. Trapezoid, Kite, and Half-Moon shaped diamonds aren’t as common, when used it is frequently as a corner stone.

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The 4 C's

While buying a diamond, one should always check the 4Cs so that he/she can make the most educated decision. The 4Cs are used for valuation of diamonds and refer to Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat weight.

Cut plays an important role in deciding a diamond's brilliance. Brilliant round diamonds have roughly 58 facets, 33 of them are on top of the diamond body. There are 24 crown or star facets at bottom, which are known as pavilion facets.

All the facets of a diamond should be in the geometrical relations with each other. You can be sure about the quality of diamond by the lack of bow tie or fish eye in it. Fish eye will make the diamond appear larger and spread out with lower brilliance. With bow ties, there is a black region formed on the diamond, making it undesirable.

Color is also an important determinant for finding the diamond's worth. Colorless diamonds are of the highest value while traces of color depreciate its value. Most of the diamonds seem colorless to naked eye but majority of these diamonds have a tint of brown and yellow when they are under illumination and gemscope. Natural diamonds are found in blue, red, deep yellow and green shades. These are also known as fancy colorful diamonds basing on alphabetical scale starting from colorless D to yellow M.

Clarity of the diamonds is dependent on a number of factors including location, number, type, and size of inclusions. Inclusion is an imperfection or mineral trace in the stone, visible by the naked eye, under magnification of the loop or a gemscope. The fewer inclusions in a diamond allow for better brilliance and clarity. Fewer inclusions also mean higher prices.

Carat is another determinant for finding out a diamond's value. Weight of the diamond is measured in carats. Every carat is further divided in the 100 points. A carat weight is not of any use without considering clarity, color, and cut of the diamond. Large diamonds are not that worthy if they lack purity, better grade color, and brilliance. Since larger diamonds are rare to find as compared to smaller ones, value of the diamond increases exponentially with the carat weight.

You will not find similarity between any two diamonds. You must find out their value on a basis of 4Cs i.e. Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat while doing your diamond shopping.

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Other Characteristics

Fluorescence is another characteristic of the diamond that should be considered before buying. It refers to the blue light, which is emitted by some diamonds under black UV lights. Some diamonds emit blue glow while others emit moderate glow, some don't even glow at all.

Fluorescence is a complicated characteristic as it can either decrease or increase the worth of a diamond. For the colorless diamonds from the scale of D, E, F. Fluorescence is not that beneficial but for the stones that have yellowish tinge as J, strong or medium Fluorescence help in making it appear white. Consider all the above stated factors and have a happy diamond shopping experience.

Read more about diamond characteristics.
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