If you are planning to invest in a quality piece of diamond jewelry, are you aware that there are several things that need to be considered before your final purchase? The four key "C's to consider are: color, clarity, carat and cut.
Cut: How a diamond is cut is vital to its brilliance and reflective factor. Make sure that you are looking at a diamond either in natural sunlight or in an very well lit area. Observe how the light enters the stone and reflects back. When a diamond is cut proportionatley, light entering from the top will reflect from one facet to another and then will bounce outward. A good quality diamond will show a sparkling reflective surface and this is when you see that incredible fire, known as brilliance.
Color: While fancy diamonds (naturally occurring colorful diamonds) are rare, the average consumer purchases the transparent/colorless diamond. Fancy diamonds range in color from red, blue, yellow, pink and purple. These diamonds also command a very high price. Colorless diamonds allow more light through which = more sparkle and fire. The highest rating for such a diamond is D. The most valuable diamonds are rated D to F. The scale rates color down to Z.
Clarity: Is the stone clear or does it have flaws or cloudy areas? It is rare to find a diamond that has no flaws, since most of them do. Small minute crystals are called inclusions. Inclusions affect the beauty and value of a diamond. If there are many inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye, then it is a poor quality stone with less sparkle, while a stone with minute inclusions that can be noticed with a jeweler's loop has more sparkle and value. Diamonds that are perfect are graded as IF = internally flawless, VVS1-VVS2, very very small inclusions, VS1-VS2, very small inclusions, SI1-SI2 - small inclusions, I1,I2, I3-visible numerous inclusions.
Carat - This refers to the weight of the diamond. For example 100 pts = 1 carat, 75 pts = 3/4 carat, 50 pts = 1/2 carat, 25 pts= 1/4 carat.
If you have a set budget, rather invest in quality than size. Down the road, you can always upgrade to a larger diamond, or even add more diamonds if the design allows.
Several years ago one of our customers purchased a beautiful 1/2 carat diamond engagement ring--it was exquisite. On their 5th wedding anniversary, we remodelled the ring by adding smaller diamonds giving the ring a 1 carat total weight in diamonds. It went from 1/2 a carat to a full carat with VVS quality diamonds--not to mention its value on today's market.
Shop around, ask questions and you will make the right choice.