Choosing the right diamond.
For many people, a diamond is one of the largest purchases of their life. With that consideration, Thomas S. Fox Fine Jewelry Outlet recognizes the importance of understanding exactly what you are buying. This guide simplifies the four Cs — cut, color, clarity, and carat weight, as well as diamond shapes and certifications. After reading this guide, you will be better prepared to choose the diamond that is right for you. We set our quality standards high to ensure you’re choosing from the best selection. Come visit us and we can help you better understand how to choose the diamond that’s right for you.
At Thomas S. Fox Fine Jewelry Outlet, we apply the same high quality standards to all of our diamond shapes. We have an exceptional collection of traditional round diamonds and we also offer the finest non-round, or “fancy-shaped”, diamonds available. All of our certified diamonds are graded by the GIA or AGSL to have FL-SI2 clarity, D-J color, and Ideal, Very Good, Good, or Fair cut.
The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance. There is no single measurement of a diamond that defines its cut, but rather a collection of measurements and observations that determine the relationship between a diamond’s light performance, dimensions and finish. Most gemologists consider cut the most important diamond characteristic because even if a diamond has perfect color and clarity, a diamond with a poor cut will have dulled brilliance.
Too Shallow: Light is lost out the bottom causing the diamond to lose brilliance.
Too Deep: Light escapes out the sides causing the diamond to appear dark and dull.
The width and depth can have an effect on how light travels within the diamond, and how it exits in the form of brilliance. How important is diamond cut? While there are many factors to bear in mind when choosing a diamond, diamond cut is probably the most important to consider, as it has a direct correlation to a diamond’s appearance. A diamond with Ideal/Excellent cut grade proportions will return the maximum amount of light to the viewer’s eye
Acting as a prism, a diamond can divide light into a spectrum of colors and reflect this light as colorful flashes called fire. Just as when looking through colored glass, color in a diamond will act as a filter, and will diminish the spectrum of color emitted. The less color in a diamond, the more colorful the fire, and the better the color grade.
D – Absolutely colorless: The highest color grade, which is extremely rare.
E – Colorless: Only minute traces of color can be detected by an expert gemologist. A rare diamond.
F – Colorless: Slight color detected by an expert gemologist, but still considered a “colorless” grade. A high-quality diamond.
G-H Near-colorless: Color noticeable when compared to diamonds of better grades, but these grades offer excellent value.
I-J Near-colorless: Color slightly detectable. An excellent value.
K-M Noticeable color: Color detectable.
N-Z Noticeable color: Color detectable.
For the purist, look for a colorless diamond with a grade of D-F and a fluorescence rating of faint, inert, none, or negligible. For an excellent value in a diamond with no noticeable color to the unaided eye, look for a near-colorless grade of G-I, and a fluorescence grade of medium or strong blue. Or, if you’d rather not compromise on color but would like to stay on budget, choose a diamond with a good cut, SI1–SI2 clarity, and consider going with a strong fluorescence. It will still be beautiful to the unaided eye and you may prefer the unique effect of a strong fluorescence.
Diamonds that are absolutely clear are the most sought-after and therefore the most expensive. But many diamonds have inclusions — scratches, trace minerals or other tiny characteristics that can detract from the pure beauty of the diamond. The GIA and AGSL use a detailed system of rules and standards to summarize the number, location, size, and type of inclusions present in a diamond.
We recommend that you select an “eye-clean” diamond — one that has no inclusions visible to the unaided eye. An excellent value, diamonds of this clarity are much less expensive than IF- or FL-grade diamonds and typically do not contain visible inclusions that detract from the beauty of the diamond. If you’d rather not compromise on clarity yet are budget conscious, choose a diamond with a good cut and G or H color.
Once you’ve determined what cut, color, and clarity grade you’re looking for in a diamond, it’s easy to determine the carat weight of diamond that will fit within your budget. When diamonds are mined, large gems are discovered much less frequently than small ones, which makes large diamonds much more valuable. In fact, diamond prices rise exponentially with carat weight. So, a 2-carat diamond of a given quality is always worth more than two 1-carat diamonds of the same quality. To choose the best carat weight of diamond, consider her style, the size of her finger, the size of your setting, and your budget. If you have a set budget, explore all your options and you’ll find that there is a wide range of diamond carat weights and qualities available in your price range. If your recipient is very active or not used to wearing jewelry, she may find herself bumping or nicking her new ring. Consider a smaller size diamond or a setting that protects a larger diamond from getting knocked against doors and counters. Also keep in mind that the smaller the finger, the larger the diamond will appear. A 1½-carat diamond solitaire looks much larger on a size 4 finger than a size 8 . If you have already chosen a setting, make sure you choose a diamond to fit. Look for the diamond size specifications of your ring or ask Thomas S. Fox Fine Jewelry Outlet what size diamond you should look for. Finally, if a large carat weight is important to you, yet you’re working within a budget, consider a diamond with a good cut, SI1–SI2 clarity, and an I or J color grade.
Before purchasing a diamond, you should expect to review a copy of its certificate as proof that it has undergone an unbiased, professional examination. A diamond certificate is a report created by a team of gemologists. The diamond is evaluated, measured, and scrutinized using trained eyes, a jeweler’s loupe, a microscope, and other industry tools. A completed certificate includes an analysis of the diamond’s dimensions, clarity, color, polish, symmetry, and other characteristics. Many round diamonds will also include a cut grade on the report. What is the difference between the AGSL and the GIA certificates? The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL) are among the most respected laboratories in the diamond industry. Both laboratories are highly respected due to their consistency and their conservative grading
We set our quality standards high to ensure you’re choosing from the best selection. Come visit us and we can help you better understand how to choose the diamond that’s right for you.