Buying a Diamond ring is an exciting and enduring process. A pricey one too. A price tag of $20,000 for a two-carat diamond can make most people balk. Why are these rings so expensive anyway?
The 4Cs of a Diamond
A diamond has 4 facets that determine the price: color, cut, carat weight and clarity. Many experts say that the cut of your diamond often has the biggest effect on its price–up to 50%. Color has a 10-15% impact, carat weight has about 20% and clarity is between 10-15%. A common mistake guys make when shopping for engagement rings is that they look at the weight of the rock. Bigger is better right? Well not exactly. In fact, carat weight should be the last feature to consider if you’re looking for value.
You’re probably getting a bit confused now. After all, you have always thought that getting a big rock is the way to go. So let me explain. The cut of a diamond affects its sparkle or brilliance. And remember that it’s always nice to look at a diamond ring that sparkles, right? Besides, even a small size diamond can look much bigger if it is properly cut.
But this just begs the question – how will you know the quality of a particular cut of diamond? It’s simple – ask the jeweler.
Now let’s talk about color rating. The highest grade is “D” and it can continue up to Z. The best color quality rating is white or colorless so if your diamond has a rating of J or K then it will start to show a hint of yellow. Usually though (and especially if you have a budget), you don’t need to go for a D rating. Anywhere from D to H are still white in color.
Flaws such as laser lines or minerals present in the diamond are referred to as inclusions. So when it comes to clarity, an “eye clean” diamond is the most expensive. An “eye clean” diamond means it looks flawless to the naked eye. They cost is higher than a VVSI (very, very slightly included) or a VSI (very slightly included).
The Carat Weight
Now we have come to the last factor, which is carat. Once you’ve decided how much you’re willing to spend on the other 3 C’s, you can decide what carat weight matches your quality criteria and budget. Take note that larger carat weight rocks are hard to find so they are very expensive. One trick is to buy under whole carat marks so you can save a few hundred dollars. This trick is called “buy shy” and it means that instead of getting a 2-carat diamond, you go for a 1.8 carat diamond.
A smart buyer always explores his options before buying. You can check out various jewelry stores before making a decision. Just make sure that you choose certified diamonds as this is assurance that you’re getting real, high quality diamonds.