So you’re in the market for diamond jewelry. Do you know what to look for, especially when shopping online? Most people are familiar with the four “C’s,” the qualities upon which experts grade diamonds — color, clarity, cut and carat. Together, they’re known as the GIA scale, and reputable diamond retailers use this industry-standard scale to determine quality and pricing.
Let’s break down what each of those qualities describes and how to find the right diamond for your aesthetic and budget.
The color portion of the GIA scale is a grade each diamond receives based on how colorless it is. The more color in the diamond, the less valuable it is. This does not include diamonds that are specifically sought after for their distinct colors such as blue or pink.
Diamonds are graded from D, which are the most colorless and most rare, to Z, which are diamonds with a light brown or yellow appearance.
Though someone with an untrained eye may not be able to spot the difference between a diamond with an “H” color grade and a diamond with a “K” color grade, that difference in color grade can significantly impact the price and overall quality of the diamond.
All else being equal, a color grade closer to “D” makes a diamond more valuable, which is something to keep in mind while you shop.
Just as each snowflake is unique, so is each diamond. They have imperfections both inside and out that make them what they are.
Clarity is an assessment of how significant these imperfections are. Some very rare diamonds have the highest clarity grade, flawless, meaning they appear absolutely perfect even under high magnification.
After flawless, there are 10 more grades of the GIA clarity scale that determine the number of inclusions (flaws). Since diamonds with better clarity ratings are more rare, they are also more valuable.
The cut of the diamond describes its proportions and symmetry. An expertly cut diamond will be brilliant and sharp-looking. Many people think of the cut of a diamond as the shape it takes such as emerald or princess and, while that is the case, the cut grade is more focused on how the diamond handles light.
The GIA cut scale ranges from excellent to poor and takes into account factors like brightness, weight ratio and polish.
Simply put, the carat grade for a diamond is an assessment of the diamond’s weight in metric carats or CT. for short. Logically, larger, heavier diamonds are rarer and thus those with higher carat weights are worth more.
One 2-carat diamond is worth more than two 1-carat diamonds because it is much harder to come by. While shopping, expect to see carat weight expressed down to the hundredths such as a 1.75ct. diamond.
Choose Quality Diamonds
So as you now know, not all diamonds are created equal. Quality counts. With these four characteristics in mind, you can confidently pick out the right diamond jewelry for yourself or your recipient, and be able to make apples-to-apples comparisons when shopping online.
If you’re shopping for quality diamonds, look no further than IBGoodman! We’re a family-owned business that has been selling American fine jewelry since 1937. Our legendary jewelry is meticulously crafted from responsibly sourced materials. Shop our wide range of high-quality diamonds today on our website! For more tips and our latest updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Instagram!
Since 1937, the team at IBGoodman has looked forward to helping our clients find the best gifts for the important people in their lives. In this year’s gift guide, you’ll find options for nearly every budget, so read on and let us help you find just the right gift.