– A small difference in points can make a big difference in dollars.
The cost of a diamond increases significantly when it reaches the full, 1 carat weight. However, try to find a diamond that weight 90 points (or 9/10 of a carat). When set, few can see the difference between a 90 points diamond and one that is a full one carat diamond. The difference, however, is very noticeable in dollars. Where a fine one carat diamond (G/VS1 quality) might sell for $9,800, the same quality diamond weighting 90 points might cost only $8,500. The money you save could pay for a beautiful diamond studded wedding band!
A word of caution: Be careful that you aren’t sold a diamond that is too “spread” (a term used to describe a diamond that is cut to look larger than its real weight). We’ve seen diamonds weighing 90 points that are actually LARGER in dimension than 1 carat diamond that is cut well. These diamonds usually lack the brilliance and sparkle of a well made diamond. You may be pleased with with their size, but make sure you are pleased with the sparkle. After all, if you are paying for a diamond, you deserve a stone that show its full beauty.
– What to consider when selecting the color grade.
D-color is the rarest and most expensive color in white diamonds. There are very few diamonds that receive this very high grade. Diamonds graded from D through H on the GIA scale are graded in the “white” by other grading systems and, when mounted, will appear white. I and J colors are colored “slightly tinted” by other systems and you may see some yellowish or brownish tint in the stone body color. K and L may also be called “tinted white,” and you can more easily see the tint. M through Z may also be called “tinted color” or “off white” and appear yellowish or brownish white.
The difference in cost between D and E color, however; even though both considered “white” diamonds, can be significant.
It is important to remember that when a diamond is set, it is extremely difficult to tell the difference between D, E, and F colors without comparing them immediately nest to each other. For those on a budget, selecting a diamond with E, F, or G color rather than D might enable you to bets meet all your expectations; a “white'” diamond with lots of sparkle in a pleasing size.
– The color of your setting can make your diamond appear more white.
If you are on a limited budget, keep in mind that if you feel you can’t afford a diamond as white as you would like and still have the size and sparkle that’s important, setting the stone in a white gold or platinum may make the diamond appear more white than it really is. Less white diamonds (L through M colors) can actually look more white in a white gold or platinum setting; the whiteness of the metal is reflected into the diamond and masks the yellow, making the diamond appear more white. Yellowish tinted diamond ( M – Z Colors) usually look more white in a yellow gold setting, where the contrast with with the bright yellow of the setting masks the yellowish tint of the diamond and often makes it appear more white.
– Flaws may mar the beauty of your diamond ring less than you think.
On a budget, they may add beauty! As discussed previously, flaws cannot normally be seen in a mounted diamond with the naked eye until the classification I1 clarity! And even in diamonds classified as “I'” flaws are not immediately visible when the diamond is set, especially when worn. So, while it’s important to know what the flaw grade is to be sure you are paying the correct price, this is the factor you can stretch the farthest without affecting the beauty of the diamond you select. It’s one area in which juggling can dramatically affect the budget while not affecting the sparkle. Therefore, we normally recommend trying to meet your personal preferences regarding the other three factors first. The price difference between Flawless and Internally Flawless, and each successive grade, can be dramatic. Looking at the diamonds without using a loupe, the D/SI@ would look like the D/IF!
– Consider shapes other than round.
While the round brilliant cut diamond is considered by most to be the cut that best reveals the diamond’s maximum beauty, it normally looks smaller than diamonds cut in other shapes. Today women are showing an increased interest in other shapes. In comparison to the round, pear shaped diamonds and marquise shaped diamonds look larger.
– Consider a design that uses several small stones than one large diamond.
As we discussed in greater depth in previous articles, may beautiful designs use several small diamonds rather than one large diamond. These designs offer a beautiful way to keep the budget down. The smaller the diamond, the lower the price per carat. For example, a one carat round brilliant cut diamond set in a solitaire ring more than a ring containing three diamonds having a total weight of one carat (each diamond weighing 1/3 carat). A solitaire, while it is the most popular ring style among new brides-to-be, is also the most expensive.
Look for the innovative designs available in multi gemstone rings. These offer an alternative that can create a very important and individual look.
– Illusion settings.
Certain settings create an illusion that diamond is larger than it is.
– Bold designs in gold and platinum add importance and distinctiveness to smaller diamonds.
New designs reflecting today’s more independent woman have had a major impact on the engagement ring and wedding band market. Using wider, innovative designs in metal can create a very impressive look, using a smaller diamond (less that one carat) as well as larger diamonds.
– Listen to your heart as well as your head.
The most important consideration in the selection of your engagement ring is how you feel about it. You want to feel a thrill; you want to feel excited; you want it to be your choice. If you really prefer yellow gold, don’t let someone talk you into platinum; if you really prefer the pear shape diamond, don’t let someone talk you into round shape diamond.
One of our clients was torn between two diamonds; one had the finest possible color D and she knew it was the “better” diamond.
The other was a little larger and it was not quite as white, F color, but it had a magnificent make and the sparkle was really dazzling. She decided on the slightly larger diamond, even though it was F color, because she was honest with herself and her fiancee; she really preferred a diamond that was a little larger, she was constantly drawn back to that diamond because of its “personality.” The other diamond was a “rarer” stone, color-wise, which made it more expensive on the per carat basis, but it was not the one she really felt excited about. She made the right choice in going with her heart and not her head!
Diamond Grading report (certificate)
Today, few fine diamonds over one carat are sold without a diamond grading report (or certificate, as they are also called) from a respected laboratory. Reports issued by the GIA, Gem Trade laboratory, are the most widely used in the United States and in many countries around the world.
A grading report does more than certify the diamond’s genuineness; it fully describes the stone and evaluates each of the critical factors affecting quality, beauty, and value. The information they contain can provide verification of the facts as represented by the seller and enable one to make a safer decision when purchasing a diamond. Another important function of the reports is to verify the identity of the specific diamond at some some future time. Also for insurance purposes, the the information provided on the report will ensure replacement of the lost or stolen diamond with one that is truly compatible quality.
The availability and widespread use of these reports can, when properly understood, enable even those without professional skills to make valid comparison between several diamonds and more informed buying decisions.