What are the 5 ‘Cs’ of diamonds?
A diamond is cut in facets and polished to give it sparkle and shine. Each diamond is specifically cut and polished with a certain number of facets depending on its shape. There is a variety of shapes including oval, princess, marquise, round, heart, asscher, emerald, radiant and pear. Choosing the shape can be difficult, however, princess, round cuts and pear shaped stones are always a classic.
Diamonds range in colour from white to yellow stones, graded in alphabetical order from D (White) to Z (Yellow). White stones are usually higher priced because of their rarity and demand. It can come down to personal preference, but white diamonds are commonly the way to go. Depending on your budget, look for a diamond in the H to K range; most commercial and chain jewellers will sell a range of stones between these colours.
No diamond is perfect, but some have fewer imperfections than others. Stones are graded from Flawless to Inclusions, with ‘FI’ having the least number of imperfections and ‘I’ having a variety of inclusions. Flawless diamonds are highly rare and therefore much more valuable.
Diamond weight is measured in carats, with one carat equating to one hundred points. When it comes to weight, bigger isn’t always better! Imperfections are more noticeable in larger diamonds and cluster settings can give the same big look at a better price.
At the end of the day a diamond is going to hit your pocket. To help save you money and still get a quality ring, here are some tips:
- Look for a whiter diamond with an inclusion or imperfection, compared to a yellow diamond with fewer inclusions.
- Get a cluster ring with a smaller diamond weight (you will still have the big diamond look, but at half of the price).
- Shop around. A diamond varies depending on where you shop, but there are always quality bargains at second hand stores.