Posted on May 21st 2015
As a rule of thumb, the recipient’s preferences take precedence whenever choosing a piece of jewelry.
Yet beyond tastes and finger size, price for a piece of jewelry – especially, if it includes diamonds – is based on four factors:
Considered the most objective measurement for a diamond, carats indicate weight. However, keep in mind that, especially with this stone, weight and size are not identical, with the latter factor determined more by the cut.
A carat, in its purest form, is precisely one-fifth of a gram. Jewelers measure out each stone to the hundredth of a carat, also called a point.
When it comes to price, too, a one-half, three-quarter, or one carat has more value than other points. If a piece of jewelry contains multiple diamonds, a jeweler will use the total carat weight instead of a single-stone measurement.
While there’s no “good” or “bad” shade, color essentially plays two roles. One, a customer in a jewelry shop frequently looks for a clear natural diamond. Or, he or she is seeking an exotic diamond – one, usually, in a hard-to-find pink, blue, orange, yellow, or green tone.
Naturally, these stones feature tints of yellow and brown, and for clear diamonds, a scale used to grade by the lack of color. Now, however, the system gives a letter grade ranging from D – meaning the stone has “no color” at all – to Z, an indicate that the natural yellows and browns are clearly visible.
Along with this factor, jewelers examine the diamond’s florescence – if the diamond changes color when exposed to certain lights. This factor may change the stone’s value: a seemingly-clear diamond may turn a yellow-brown, while a yellowish stone may increase its value with a tint of blue. To make sure you’re paying the right amount, a buyer is advised to view the stone in multiple lighting conditions.
The typical buyer seeks a diamond that allows light to pass through, and while most are clear, varying degrees of imperfections surface. This metric is what describes the “clarity” of a stone, and impacts the price nearly as much as the carat.
Generally, the average eye can’t see imperfections up close, but like color, a system grades each diamond based on the number and degree of flaws present. The GIA Clarity Scale gives diamonds an F1 if they’re perfectly clear – free of flaws – under 10x magnification. At the other end, I1, I2, and I3 indicate a high number of noticeable impurities are present.
As well, stones come with unbiased, independent laboratory certification, which points out the locations and types of flaws found.
Keep in mind that a diamond alone doesn’t produce that sparkling effect customers seek when buying a ring or necklace. Rather, how the stone’s cut significantly impacts what you see.
Jewelers look at a stone for the brilliance, fire, and scintillation produced. However, with the 58 small cuts added to a diamond – each no bigger than 2 mm – the stone may be deep, shallow, or well cut. The combination of flat surfaces reflects light, but if the stone’s cut poorly, it loses that luminescence toward the bottom.
As a general guide, round cuts produce the greatest sparkling effect, while a princess stone – the second-most popular option – offers an angular, geometric appearance. Cushion, by contrast, has a vintage look, and a radiant diamond tends to have a rectangular appearance.
As several factors go into selecting the “best” diamond, be sure to use our matching tool in your search. If you have a specific piece of jewelry in mind, contact Tiara Jewelers or come by our Nanuet, NY location for more information.
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