Diamond Math: 4C's + Confidence = Five C's
Diamond size is an important factor, but not as crucial as some people think. It should not be decided arbitrarily by picking a carat weight at random or base it on an obsolete social norm. Most people are easily persuaded to trade diamond size for quality.
Diamond size is not dependent on a body height or a finger's length. A diamond ring is an accessory, but a diamond itself is a status indicator. Therefore, its size should be based on the level of social obligation moderated by the available budget.
The ring style and personal preferences must be taken into account as well when deciding on a minimum diamond size.
Which Grade Is Better?
People enjoyed wearing diamonds centuries before they learned how to evaluate them.
The 4C’s system does not measure a stone’s beauty, but rather it indicates a stone’s relative rarity and value.
Even a perfectly symmetrical, completely void of color or inclusions stone is not superior to a lower grade stone. It’s a matter of personal taste, individual preferences, and budget.
A diamond’s only purpose in life is to make people happy.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Or as the Roman poet Lucretius once uttered “One man's meat is another man's poison.”
Inclusions should be considered to be gifts from above. Unless they are clearly visible. According to GIA guidelines, SI2 grade or higher is eye-clean, and I1 and below is not. In real life, about half of SI2s and perhaps five to ten percent of SI1 stones inclusions are noticeable even without magnification.
The SI1 grade is a recommended cut-off for brilliant cuts, and some amazing bargains can be found within that grade. For step cuts, the bar is a little higher since their reflections do not mask inclusions as well as brilliant cuts do. VS2 is the lowest recommended clarity grade for Emerald and Asscher cuts.
Both VVS and SI1 are eye-clean and cannot be told apart, yet the price difference can be staggering.
“Eye-clean” is not a grade but a highly subjective opinion that depends on the observer’s eyesight, lighting conditions, depth perception, and even his/her mental condition.
Investment grade stones should be selected in IF-VVS range.
ColorDiamond color grade has a major effect on a diamond’s price because it reflects how rare the stone is.
Completely colorless diamonds are extremely rare, but it doesn't make them the best-looking GIA is the only lab whose grade is a guarantee of diamond’s value because it is an established benchmark of strict diamond grading accepted worldwide. What other labs are saying is simply irrelevant.
The 4C's is an established diamond evaluation system that allows a buyer to compare diamonds based on four simple-to-understand metrics.
Until the 1940's there was no agreed-upon standard by which diamonds could be judged.GIA created such a system and we still use it today.
The 4C's is the only way to compare apples to apples, so to speak, and all attempts to create competing systems have failed miserably.
Stones by comparison.
In fact, diamonds that are completely void of color have a somewhat unnatural look, very similar to that of synthetics such as cubic zirconia.
A small amount of a yellow tinge can be good, and it gives a diamond a more natural look.
The sweet spot for modern cut stones lies in G-J range. Below that, the color becomes too apparent.
Antique and step cut diamonds, on the other hand, look fantastic in warmer tones, all the way down to O-P color.
GIA does not evaluate a cut grade for shapes other than a round.
It’s a good indication that while the diamond cut must be carefully considered, an excellent (ideal) cut is not an absolute requirement in order for a stone to be beautiful and full of life.
A cut grade has more to do with the rate of material loss while cutting a stone (its yield) rather than its aesthetics.
The Fifth C - Confidence
Having confidence in the jeweler you are working with is more important than knowing the 4C’s by heart.
Ultimately, you will rely on the jeweler’s advice no matter how many sleepless nights are spent studying diamond charts or reading online message boards.