Diamond Ring Shopping: How To Choose The Right Diamond
*written by a partner of sequins & satin
When shopping for a diamond ring, it’s important to consider the diamond itself. Diamonds come in various different styles – and this can affect their overall appearance and price of the ring. Below are just some of the important elements to consider when choosing the perfect diamond.
Diamonds can be cut into a variety of shapes. By far the most popular is the traditional round shape, which can fit any style of ring. However, there are many other shapes to consider.
For a similar brilliance, you could consider the princess cut, which takes the form of an upside down square topped pyramid (check out this princess cut vs round cut to compare the two).
The oval cut can meanwhile offer a similar sparkle to the round cut while being more slender. Other shapes include the marquise, emerald, teardrop and even a heart.
Larger diamonds typically weigh more – and this weight is referred to as the ‘carat’. The carat has a big impact on the price of a diamond. Most diamonds are less than 1 carat, as prices typically shoot up once you reach this mark.
Larger diamonds are popular for those that want to make a statement. However, it’s important to remember that bigger is not always better – choosing a larger stone can restrict your choice of ring settings and may also increase the risk of damage to the ring due to how much these stones protrude.
A diamond’s ability to catch the light is sometimes known as its ‘brilliance’. It is largely affected by the ‘cut’ rating of a diamond. The cut of a diamond is graded from ‘poor’ to ‘ideal’ – with ideal offering the most sparkle.
When shopping on a tight budget for an impressive diamond, many diamond experts will recommend prioritising the cut over the carat. A small diamond with a lot of sparkle is likely to have more impact than a large diamond with no sparkle – and it will cost less.
Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and rough cut diamonds have become a popular alternative in recent years.
On top of the cut and carat, diamonds are often rated by their ‘clarity’. This determines how transparent the diamond is – some stones will be slightly cloudy or may have other blemishes.
The clarity rating of a diamond affects the price, however in most cases its best to ignore the clarity rating and instead rely on ‘eye-cleanliness’.
This is how clear a diamond looks with the naked eye. Unless there are imperfections that are clearly visible from a glance, clarity shouldn’t matter.
Color – alongside carat, cut and clarity – make up the 4 Cs by which diamonds are formally graded. Most of us prefer diamonds that are colorless, however you can buy diamonds that are naturally tinted in various colors.
Pink diamonds for example have made a comeback in recent years – as have blue diamonds. The deeper the color, the more expensive the stone. Clear stones and those with a slight tint are the most affordable option.
With love, Keira