Buying a diamond is a big deal. Not only is it expensive, but it's also an important sentimental gift to give to someone special in your life. With this kind of pressure, picking out the right diamond can feel stressful and confusing. What's really important when choosing a diamond? Should you prioritize carat over clarity? Does color matter? All of these questions may be swirling around your head as you begin to shop for diamonds.
Ultimately, when it comes to diamonds, you should prioritize looks over carat weight. Thinking with your eyes first is the best way to find the perfect diamond that is beautiful, sparkling, and will make a great impression on everyone who sees it. Read on to discover why thinking with your eyes is the best strategy for diamond shopping, plus helpful tips to put this strategy into action to pick out the best diamonds.
Why Should You Prioritize Looks Over Weight?
Diamonds are graded by the four Cs–cut, clarity, color, and carat. Each category is evaluated and given a grade that reflects its value. When all four categories are added together, jewelers are able to determine an appropriate price that reflects the value of the diamond.
As someone who is shopping for a diamond, understanding the four Cs and how they can affect the value, price, and appearance of a diamond is important. While all four categories play a role in the overall value and price, the cut of a diamond is often the biggest determiner of overall beauty.
Using your eyes to judge appearances is one of the most effective tools to shop for diamonds. That's because cut, color, and clarity can all have a big impact on the quality and appearance of a diamond. If you find a diamond that has a bright sparkle, it means that it is a well-cut diamond with the power to reflect maximum light.
One reason to prioritize the appearance of a diamond (cut, clarity, and color) over a carat is the price. Even incredibly small differences in carat weight can mean thousands of dollars. For example, if you like a 2-carat diamond, a 1.90-carat diamond will look the same size to the naked eye but cost significantly less than the heavier stone.
When you prioritize the cut appearance of the diamond rather than the weight or size, you'll end up picking out a beautiful stone that anyone will be thrilled to receive.
Helpful Tips for Choosing the Right Diamond
Picking out the right diamond is not the easiest task in the world. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the best diamonds within your price range. If you're looking for a strategy to utilize while you shop around for the perfect stone, thinking with your eyes will be your best bet at finding a diamond you'll love. We'll go over what to look for in the 4Cs, so you'll be prepared when you start shopping for diamonds and find the one that suits your preferences.
Clarity refers to the natural flaws in a diamond. Because a diamond is naturally formed, you will rarely encounter a flawless diamond that is without blemishes or inclusions. People who cut diamonds will try to work around these imperfections and hide them through polishing or cutting. Even with this extra work, the imperfections are still there. A clarity grade is assigned to measure these imperfections on a scale from flawless to included (the lowest grade).
While you may not notice inclusions from the naked eye depending on where they are located on the diamond, the inclusions will be visible under a magnifying lens. All diamonds are unique, so you'll have to use your eyes to notice any visible inclusions that may hinder your decision when buying a diamond.
When you picture diamonds in your head, you might think about sparkling white stones, as they are often the most popular ones. But diamonds can come in many different colors. The color scale ranges from D-grades (highest) to Z-grades (lowest).
The grading scale favors white diamonds the most, with the highest grade awarded to stones that appear colorless. A D-grade is considered to be super rare, with the overall price of the diamond reflecting this rarity. As you move on down the color grading scale, you will start to notice a yellow tinge slowly progressing to darker hues of yellow, gray, and brown.
If you want a white color but you have a fixed budget, you might want to choose an H-grade or an I-grade. These will still be considered white but will reduce the price. If you choose a J-grade or lower, you might start seeing tinges of yellow throughout the diamond. Of course, you'll have to look closely, and the yellow color may not be apparent to you.
Diamonds with vivid colors are oftentimes quite expensive and rare if naturally formed. If you are looking for diamonds with color but on a budget, there are alternative lab-made options. With color treatment, diamonds can be enhanced or turned into vividly beautiful colors. Depending on your tastes, preferences, and sentiments towards colors, you may want to buy a diamond with color instead of traditional white diamonds.
The cut is the biggest determinant of a stone's overall appearance and perceived beauty. A diamond's cut is often the most important of the 4Cs if it has been done well. This is because the cut of the diamond is a complex prism of light that reflects back toward the viewer. An expert will grade a diamond on a scale of ideal (highest), excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor (lowest).
You will be able to notice if a diamond is cut well by how it reflects light. The best diamonds will reflect light, fire, and sparkle back to the viewer. Poorly cut diamonds will be lackluster, dull, and lifeless. Ultimately, the cut will determine how brilliant and beautiful a diamond will be to the viewer.
When observing the cut of a diamond, you should take note of three things–brightness, fire, and scintillation. Brightness refers to the light reflected from the diamond. Fire is a term that describes how light moves through the diamond to create a rainbow prism of light. Scintillation is the amount of sparkle that is visible through the top surface of the diamond as it passes under a light.
All three of these factors determine the overall grade of a diamond. However, people have many different preferences when it comes to these factors. While some people may prioritize sparkle over other characteristics, others may prefer a diamond with a lot of fire or brightness.
Ultimately, it comes down to how you perceive a diamond's beauty. If you want a diamond that sparkles and gives off a rainbow color in the sunlight, then you'll need to opt for a well-cut diamond with these characteristics. As all diamonds are unique, you'll have to look carefully and closely to determine which stones have the fire and scintillation that you want.
Carat often has a big stake in the overall price of a diamond, though not much in the way of appearances. If you are on a budget or if you care more about the beauty of the diamond, then you'll want to pay close attention to the other 4Cs instead, especially cut and color. A good way to save money but keep the beautiful appearance is to go with a bigger size stone and a lower carat. The diamond will still look large but will be less heavy and expensive.
When Buying Online, You Need to See a Diamond Photographed Up-Close
When buying a diamond online, you'll need to see high-quality photographs of the diamonds up close. Much of the diamond's beauty comes from its brilliance, which can be difficult to distinguish in poorly lit or far away photographs. You'll need to see the diamond close up with proper lighting and side by side with other diamonds in order to choose the one that speaks to you.
The right lighting in photographs can alter your opinion of the diamond's overall beauty. If you're looking to buy a diamond online, you'll need to look at photos with proper lighting. Poor lighting can distort the appearance and brilliance of a diamond. In order to get the full effect of a diamond's sparkle and brilliance, good lighting is a must.
You'll also want the photographs to have close-up shots of the diamond, specifically by a lens that allows at least a 10x magnification level. At this level, you'll be able to see any inclusions on the diamond. Also, pulling up other photographs of diamonds to compare them is wise, as you'll be able to determine which stones you prefer.
Ultimately, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and what may look the most beautiful to you may not appeal to everyone. The best diamonds are going to be the ones that you think are the most beautiful. Trust your eyes to make the best decision possible.
There Are Some Risks of Not Seeing a Diamond Up-Close Before the Purchase
When buying a diamond online, you should carefully and closely look at all the available pictures of the diamond, as these will show you the actual beauty of the stone. There are a few risks of not seeing a close-up photograph of the diamond before you purchase it. The biggest risk of not seeing a diamond up close is purchasing a lackluster diamond that you will regret buying. You want to have a good understanding of the diamond you are purchasing, which will more than likely include blemishes and inclusions, as flawless diamonds are incredibly rare.
Another risk is paying too much for a diamond that isn't worth the expensive price tag. If you can't find good pictures of the diamond that showcase its brilliance up close, then you risk paying too much for a diamond that may turn out to not be up to your standards of beauty.
For instance, you may prioritize the sparkle of a diamond. But if the photograph is poorly lit or taken from too far away, you may not accurately see how the diamond sparkles under the light. Or perhaps, if you don't enjoy the rainbow prism that certain diamonds give off and you would rather have a stone without much fire, then you'll need to see it clearly in the photos.
There also may be visible inclusions, blemishes, and other imperfections that may be more noticeable up close. If you don't get the chance to view these imperfections before you purchase the diamond, you may be stuck with a stone you don't like.
Choosing a diamond can be a nerve-wracking process. You want to pick out a beautiful ring at a comfortable price for you. This isn't an easy decision if you have no shopping strategy and little research to go off of to pick out a diamond. That's why you should focus on the appearance and beauty of the diamond in your final decision. However, if you can't see how a diamond performs, then you won't be able to confidently choose the right one. If you decide to shop online for a diamond, you need to be able to look closely at the stone in good lighting, from multiple angles, and up close. You'll need to see the stone photographed up close in order to make the best possible decision when buying a diamond. Our collection of diamonds is photographed so that you can confidently purchase the best diamonds. If you're ready to find your perfect diamond, start shopping our full selection.