CARAT, CUT, QUALITY AND CLARITY
4 C’s of Diamond Buying: Making the Right Decision
Most everyone has heard about the 4 Cs for buying diamonds. Cut, color, clarity, and carat weight all affect the look, feel, and emotional impact of the ring. And each of these has an impact, of course, on your buying budget. Let’s walk through these terms:
Cut refers to the way the stone is styled when being shaped; it means the proportion, polish, and symmetry of the diamond itself. Cut affects a diamond’s brilliance because it affects how light hits the stone and to what depth.
Here’s something to note: cut doesn’t really refer to its shape, although some sources mistakenly use the term this way. A round, princess, pear, or emerald shape isn’t the same quality you’re evaluating in the cut. The shape is strictly the outline of the stone.
Color refers to the perception of any tinge of color in the stone. From truly white diamonds to no-color to faintly yellow or pink, color ranges from faintly colored diamonds to nearly colorless to truly no-color diamonds for a pure iced look. The less color there is to perceive, the more expensive the diamond.
Keep in mind, too, that you may necessarily want an icy look. For example, depending on the color ring you’re going with, a pale pink-ish tone with a silver base might be quite attractive.
Diamond clarity refers to any small imperfections both on the surface and within the stone. Those imperfections are called blemishes when they’re on the surface. Any internal defects are called inclusions. Those don’t often affect a diamond’s beauty because they’re simply not seen with the naked eye; you need a microscope to see them. But inclusions or the lack of them, do receive the highest clarity grades—and higher price tags to reflect that.
And finally, the big kahuna, carat weight. In gemstones, carat refers to the stone’s weight, not its actual size. But, depending on cut and shape, bigger isn’t always better. Yes, carat size affects the price, but there are tricks to getting a good value even with a smaller carat. For example, you can buy a size just below whole and half-carats to get a good value, and the slight difference in size/weight won’t be obvious. Additionally, keep the partner/woman’s hand size in mind. A woman with large hands and a size 9 ring finger will make a 1.5 carat ring look smaller than a woman who wears a size 6 ring.
Carat definitely has the most direct impact on price so making this decision early will help you shop and narrow down your choices.
Coast to Coast Jewelry and Coin can help you make these important decisions. Our decades of experience in the diamond business will help give you peace of mind about your purchase, and we can guide you through the details of your shopping experience. You want the best for your wedding partner: the best ring, the best price, and the best choice to start your lives together.