Why Aren’t All Diamonds Cut to be Superior
Both the cutter and the seller usually have a strong financial incentive to offer diamonds with inferior cut. Why is this? When a rough diamond is cut to superior standards, about 50% of the stone’s original weight can be wasted in the process. This is because diamond cutting to achieve a superior cut is governed by very strict mathematical formulas and measures.
The depth, width at the top and at the waist, the number of facets or surfaces, and other cut features all must be according to a precise table and formula in order for the resulting cut stone to be categorized as a superior or higher cut.
More importantly, these are critical for the stone to have the maximum fire and brilliance that sets a diamond apart from other gems. By cutting a diamond that is too deep or too wide, a piece of rough uncut stone can yield a “bigger” diamond of greater carat weight than the same rough which is cut to yield a superior cut diamond that is a smaller carat weight.
The poorly cut bigger diamonds are always dull, milky, or dark in appearance compared to the superior cut stone but, unfortunately, retailers will never show you a side by side comparison for you to judge.
At Diamond Jewelry Masters we do business differently. We want you to know, to see, and to judge for yourself in finding your perfect diamond.
Choosing the Right Color
The finest diamonds are colorless, rare and expensive. On the GIA grading scale below, D-F are considered colorless, G-I near colorless and any grade J or below shows an increasingly yellowish tinge. Beyond the preference for a whiter stone, however, the color of a diamond does not affect its brightness or sparkle.
Fast Fact: Most experts agree that, when mounted, diamonds in the “G-H” range appear colorless, and represent a much better value than “D-F” stones which command significantly higher prices.
Choosing the Right Clarity
Diamonds with fewer internal flaws (inclusions) are rare and therefore more highly prized. In many cases, these flaws don’t detract from the beauty of the diamond because they are invisible to the naked eye. The clarity chart here shows you the range of clarity in a diamond, from flawless (IF) to obvious flaw (I3).
Fact: Any grade “SI2” or better could have inclusions that are “eye clean”, or not visible to the naked eye. An “I1” grade can be an excellent value, particularly if the inclusion is on the outer edge where proper setting will conceal it. “I2” grades will still exhibit a fair degree of fire and light whereas “I3” grade diamonds are noticeably more opaque or dark to the naked eye.
So what does this mean to you?
If you are planning to buy a diamond purely as an investment to be locked away for a future day when you will sell it, you likely will want to buy a truly colorless stone in the IF or VVSI category.
But if you are like most people we know, and probably 99% of everybody who buys a diamond pendant, ring or earrings, you can get a whole lot more value for your money by selecting a stone of less than colorless quality and SI1 or SI2 clarity, and consider focusing your budget on the Cut, the most critical feature that gives you the best diamond value possible.