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Four Factors Influencing the Cost of a Diamond

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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:

Carat

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.

Color

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.

Clarity

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.

Cut

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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