Size and Quality: Why Both are Important for Diamonds
In comparison to engagement ring styles, and working out a budget, deciding on a rock should be simple, right?
With the right guide, we believe so. However, when billions of years go into forming something so beautiful, there are a few things to considerwhile choosing.
Size is generally measured in carat weight, which is one ofthe four Csassociated with diamonds, and it’s easy to assume that it’s the most important factor. However, when it comes to finding a diamond you love, it’s not the only aspect in play. In fact, the carat weight should have a strong relationship with the quality of the stone. For example, a large, lower grade diamond is unlikely to look as stunning in an engagement ring than a smaller stone of exceptional quality.
While size is easily defined as carat weight, the quality of a diamond breaks down into different aspects. Here’s where the other 3Cs comeinto play.
More than any other detail, the cut creates the character ofthe diamond. Symmetry, the illusion of size, how the stone is proportioned, and the all-important shine, all rely on thequality of the cut. While often confused with shape, the two are actually different.For example, being told a diamond is oval shaped tells you nothing aboutthe qualityof the cut, or how it reflects light.
How thediamond interacts with light can be broken down further as well, into three different categories of its own. An excellent cut takesinto accounteach one.
Fire –The fire is the sparks of colour seen when light disperses throughthe diamond. Perhaps best visualised by thinking of Pink Floyd’s albumcover for‘The Dark Side of the Moon‘ ,the diamond acts as a prism,breaking lightinto its different frequencies and producing rainbow flashesfor youto admire.
Brightness –This is defined as the amount of white light reflected by your diamond,making it shine.
Scintillation –Referring to the interplay of the light and dark within your stone, the right balance can make the diamond seem even brighter.
Perfectcolour in a diamond is when it’s actuallyconsidered colourless, according to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).The scalethey created to rank diamonds for their colour is the onemost widelyaccepted and used, and in it there are 23 different grades, running from D to Z.
From D to F,these diamondsare of the highest colour grade and, unless you’re atrained gemologist, any difference between them is unnoticeable. Due tolacking anyvisible tint, this grade range matches perfectly withprecious metalssuch as white gold or platinum forengagement rings. A gold band, however, may show through the diamond, adding colour when there is none.
While stillof excellent colour quality, the next grade range, whencompared tocolourless diamonds, might show a touch of warmth to them.Some peopleprefer this to the coldness of the top range stones, whileothers maynever notice the difference in quality. An excellent cut canalso distractfrom any faint tints present, as the reflected light willdraw attentionaway. Matching these stones to yellow gold bandswill neutraliseany undertones to the diamond as well, and the stonewill lookstunning against the rich colour.
Beyond J, the colour tinting the stones steadilybecomesmore visible and the quality reduces.
Clarity refers to how flawless the diamond is. As with anything natural, it’s rare to find a stone without any faults at all.
Two typesof characteristics might mar a diamond – blemishesand inclusions. Blemishes occur on the surface, while inclusions are onthe insideof the stone. Sometimes, while a diamond is forming,trapped insideit are tiny crystal molecules which break the uniformity ofthe stone’sstructure.
Many of these flaws aremuch toosmall for the naked eye to see, and canin factbe useful asthey arelike a diamond’s fingerprint, whereas a perfectly flawlessstone lacksthese identifying features. However, as the clarityquality reduces, the faults can grow large enough to be seen.
How size and quality work together for an engagement ring diamond
While some aspects of a diamond can hold more importancethan others, none can be truly sacrificed. In the end, what type of stoneyou wantwill depend largely on preference, budget, and ringstyle.
For example, if you are looking for a solitaire engagement ring, you want a decent sized diamond that doesn’t sacrifice on quality. However, with a halo style ring, the carat of the centre stone doesn’t need to beas largeas the surrounding rows will give the illusion of size. Additionally, the tiny diamonds that halo it don’t need to be ofthe bestquality as they will be too small for it to be noticed.
Some peoplemight love colourless diamonds, but you might discover thatyou actuallyprefer a touch of warmth to yours – or, that you’d rather a perfect cut than a slightly larger stone.
At Passion8, we care about crafting exceptional diamonds that you’llfall inlove with. If you need advice for choosing out the perfect onefor you,visit your local jewellersfor assistance.