Buying a beautiful diamond with an unlimited budget is easy; finding something just as stunning within your means can sometimes be a bit more challenging. While a lot of us might sometimes believe that we have champagne tastes with a beer budget, you can get an amazing diamond without breaking the bank.
Learning how to pick the bargains just takes years of training, exposure to thousands of diamonds of different grades, and good relationships with overseas diamond cutters. But if you don’t have the time to do this, don’t worry!
All you need to do is find a diamond expert who does have this kind of training and relationships. Balancing the four C’s – cut, colour, clarity and carat weight – is all about deciding which of the four groups you want to allocate more of your funds to, to give you the greatest bang for your buck.
One of the biggest mistakes a lot of clients make is to mistake a diamond’s cut for its shape rather than its cut performance or sparkle. When we talk about a diamond’s cut grade, we are only talking about its ability to sparkle.
A diamond’s cut grade is one of the main things that distinguishes your diamond from cubic zirconia and is the thing you should absolutely never compromise on. For the most sparkle, you should be looking out for a diamond with an ‘excellent cut grade’.
The colour range for diamonds sits on the alphabetic scale starting from D-Z.
However, most commercial jewellery store graded diamonds will fall in the G-N range.
While diamonds in the G-I range are considered near colourless, they still pull a lot of yellow and have a distinct yellow tinge. These diamonds are the ones normally found in most jewellery stores stocking mass-produced items.
Diamonds in the D-F range are the only diamonds considered to be in the truly white range. If you are looking to maximise getting the best diamond for your budget, I recommend that the lowest colour you should accept is an F colour.
D and E colours are great if that’s within the budget, but an F colour is the best way to still leverage all the other diamond characteristics to achieve the best performing white diamond.
Clarity refers to the natural marks or inclusions in a diamond under 10× magnification. These inclusions can be:
graphite-type inclusions – these show up as black spots
feathers – these look like a small semi-circle
crystals – these are essentially small crystalline inclusions that occurred in the stone at the time it was being formed
clouds – these are a group or mist of minute inclusions that give a cloud-like appearance.
Carat weight refers to the actual weight of the stone (one carat = 0.2 grams) and this doesn’t always relate to the physical size or diameter you see. As a diamond increases in weight, it also increases in volume in every direction.
So some of the increase or decrease in diamond weight will be seen in the diameter and some will be in the depth. If the stone is poorly cut, it will have more of the weight in the depth and so have a smaller diameter.
It is always better to go for a slightly smaller, more perfectly cut, diamond, over one that just weighs more. A diamond with a better cut will give you many more years of enjoyment and compliments as it sparkles from across the room.
If you’d like more information about the 4 C’s or get amazing tips about determining your ideal budget and choosing the perfect wedding rings, download a free copy of my book by clicking on this link here.
Alternatively, you can book a Discovery Session and come down to our luxury diamond showroom with a budget in mind and speak directly to our expert diamond consultants who can help you decide your maximum budget and find the right engagement ring for your needs.