Diamonds Buying Guide
Each diamond can be put in one of the following cut categories:
Ideal - Most Beautiful Sparkle. This cut is intended to maximize brilliance, and the typically smaller table sizes of these diamonds have the added benefit of creating a great deal of dispersion or "fire" as well.
Excellent - Almost Highest Cut Grade. Most Excellent Cut diamonds have cuts that are the equal of any Ideal Cut diamond, though they often can be purchased at slightly lower prices than Ideal Cuts.
Very Good - Beautiful Sparkle. These diamonds reflect most of the light that enters them, creating a good deal of brilliance.
Good - High Quality. Diamonds in this range offer an excellent cost-savings to customers who want to stay in a budget without sacrificing quality or beauty.
Fair - Fair Quality. These Diamonds barely meet the proportion standards of diamond cutting.
Poor - Poor Quality. These Diamonds do not meet the proportion standards of diamond cutting. The light reflection in these stones is minimal. My Solitaire does not carry these diamonds.
Each diamond can be put in one of the following color categories:
D Color: Absolutely colorless. The clearest diamond color grade, which is very rare.
E Color: Extremely colorless. Trained gemologists can detect slight color. A high-quality diamond.
F Color: Colorless. Only trained gemologists can detect color. Lowest of the colorless grades.
G Color: Very Near-colorless. When compared to better color grades, very slight color detectable, but is a much better value.
H Color: Near-colorless. When compared to better color grades, slight color detectable, but is a much better value.
I Color: Near-colorless. An excellent value set in 18K or Platinum.
J Color: Color slightly detectable. An excellent value set in 18K or Platinum.
K-M Color: Color is very noticeable. My Solitaire carries a selected number of K and L color Diamonds.
N-Z Color: Lowest grades of color. My Solitaire does not carry Diamonds of this color. These diamonds start falling into the fancy colored diamond range.
Each diamond can be put in one of the following clarity categories:
FL-IF: Flawless: No internal or external flaws. Internally Flawless: Extremely Rare and Beautiful. This grade is awarded to diamonds with no internal flaws and only minor external blemishes.
VVS1-2: Beautiful Brilliance. Very Very Slightly Imperfect - These stones have very, very small inclusions. VVS1 is better than VVS2.
VS1-2: Beauty with Value. Very Slightly Imperfect - These stones have very small inclusions. VS1 is better than VS2.
SI1-2: Exceptional Value. Slightly Imperfect - These stones have inclusions that may be visible with the naked eye. SI1 is better than SI2.
I1: These stones have inclusions ranging from eye visible to very easily seen to the naked eye.
I2-3: These stones visible inclusions and are of lowest grade. My Solitaire does not carry these diamonds.
External Flaws: There are many impurities that are on the surface of the diamond. External flaws are the result of wear and tear on the diamond or from damage caused during cutting.
Internal Flaws: These are any of the many impurities that reside solely in the interior of the diamond. There are many kinds of internal flaws such as clouds, black spots (carbon), fractures, etc.
Diamond Carat Weight:
Carat Weight Facts:
1 Carat = 1/5 gram
1 Carat = 0.007 oz
While selecting the carat weight there are several factors to keep in mind:
Your Budget – There are a wide range of choices you have to spend your hard earned money. If you have already decided on the cut, color and clarity then the decision for the carat weight is easier. If you have not decided the other Cs you will need to figure out what is more important to you and proceed further from that point.
Setting – Sometimes a setting preference will guide the decision for the diamond size. If you are using a bezel setting then the size of the diamond is dictated by the size of the bezel in that setting. If the bezel can only take up to 1.05 carat stone you cannot purchase a 1.25 carat stone for that setting.
Recipient Build and Size – Another important factor is the build and size of the recipient. For a petite person with a small finger you can purchase a 1.25 carat diamond and it will look larger than on a person that is of normal build.
Recipient Life Style – The life style of the person wearing the diamond can also change the buying decision. People with active lifestyle might prefer a slightly smaller diamond.
Preference – At the end it all comes down to your preference. Some prefer larger stones over smaller one and then you might have to compromise on the other Cs. Maybe to get a larger diamond you have to buy one color down or one clarity down.
Each gemological laboratory refers to the report with different name:
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) – Diamond Grading Report and Diamond Dossier
American Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL) – Diamond Quality Report or Diamond Quality Document
The European Gemological Laboratory (EGL) – Diamond Certificate
The International Gemological Institute (IGI) – Diamond Report