Picking The Right Diamond

imagesLove is a special thing which is shared between people who find each other special. They find them pleasing to the eye, calming to the soul, electric to the touch. When it comes to professing love through gifts, there is perhaps no greater expression of it that through diamonds. That big diamond ring or that elegant pair of diamond earrings, they are all gifts which cause wonder in the eyes of the recipient.

Diamonds have, are and always will be the symbol of eternal love. They are the hardest material on the planet and after being cut and polished, they have an allure which is nothing like anything else in this world. It can capture attention and hold it for hours.

Perhaps it is also a symbol for eternal love because it takes so many thousands of years under immense pressure below the Earth’s crust to form diamonds. Diamonds are made of carbon and they have the strongest of any atomic bonds. They’re incredibly strong bonds translate to dense crystals which when stacked together, from the translucent material that we know as the shiny rock of ages.

Below, are a few basic tips aimed towards helping you judge a diamond when you go to buy one.

  • Carat

Carat is the international unit of measurement for gem weight. A carat is two hundred milligrams. The first question you would probably face will be regarding the size of the diamond and this is generally something that you will base your budget around or if you have a pre-planned budget, then this is something which will be decided by your budget itself.

  • Cut

Diamonds come in a lot of shapes and there are quite a few ‘cuts’ to choose from. The emerald cut has been a cult favourite for a while but the Ideal Cut with its fifty eight facets has become the most popular cut. The Ideal cut is said to balance the brilliance and fire and diamonds perfectly. The secret could lie in the fact that the Ideal Cut is oval and oval stones create the optical illusion of a larger size that their actual carat weight.

When in the store, ask for a loupe and ascertain two specifics: 1) table position and 2) pavilion length. Then look for the polish as well, meaning, check for lines on the surface, the symmetry and the balance of the facets from side to side. Bear in mind that certain cuts work with certain functions. For example, a cut meant for a diamond ring may not work well with a diamond earring.

  • Clarity

Use the loupe to see into the stone. The top is called the ‘table’ or the ‘crown’ and look through it to spot any inclusions or black spots. A clearer stone will be more expensive and rarer. Follow the process of looking through the loupe from the pavilion side as well.

  • Color

While colored diamonds such as yellow diamonds are more valuable than white diamonds, colorless diamonds are the ones that command the most value. Hints of color in a diamond can make a large difference in price. Color is generally graded by letter, from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). Other colors such as red, blue or blue green are too rare and are judged in a different way altogether.

Use the loupe to check the ‘depth of color’.  Most untrained observers and even many gemologists will find it difficult to tell the specific grade of a diamond. Thus, most gemologists use a master stone in order to ascertain color.

Color is as important as carat weight as color becomes easier to perceive in a larger diamond and also it’s in a different setting such as a ring.


Jennifer Lovelace is a jewellery and fashion writer. Jennifer has extensive experience in the field of jewellery design and her experience helps her provide valuable advice to those in the market for various types of diamond jewellery such as diamond earrings or rings. Contact Jennifer for information regarding color, cut, clarity and carat values of a diamond and how to spot the right diamond.