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How to Check Diamond Quality

February 18, 2023

Diamonds come in a variety of shapes, colours, and sizes, and no two diamonds are exactly alike. To ensure you’re getting your money’s worth, it’s essential to know what to look for when making an investment in something like a pink diamond ring

The most important factor to consider when purchasing a diamond is the four Cs of diamond quality–carat, colour, clarity, and cut. Jewellers around the world use the four Cs to describe and evaluate individual diamonds. 

Carat Weight 

A diamond’s carat weight is associated with its quality and value, as larger diamonds are typically worth more than smaller ones. A calibrated digital scale is used to measure a diamond’s carat weight, but a high carat weight does not automatically point to a more valuable diamond. This is because the carat weight is just one of the many factors that affect the diamond’s value. 

For instance, a two-carat diamond with lesser colour and clarity can be cheaper than a one-carat diamond with higher clarity. When assessing a diamond’s carat weight, it’s also important not to go by face value. Some diamonds may look bigger than others (simply because of the unique shape of the diamond), even if they have the exact same carat weight. 

While the weight can give you a general idea of a diamond’s value, remember to always consider all four Cs together and not just carat weight alone.

Colour Quality 

A diamond’s colour quality is the biggest indicator of its value. A perfect diamond is said to be colourless–the lower the quality of the diamond, the more tinges of yellow or brown are visible in the stone. 

A diamond’s colour quality is assessed using a twenty-three-colour grading scale:

  • Colourless (D to F)
  • Near Colourless (G to J)
  • Faint (K to M)
  • Very Light (N to R)
  • Light (S to Z)

The closer to colourless a diamond is, the greater its value. One way to judge the colour quality of a stone by yourself is by placing it on a white sheet of paper and observing it under strong lighting to identify any colour tinges. Many of these colour distinctions are incredibly subtle and can be nearly invisible to the untrained eye. Nevertheless, they do have a significant impact on the diamond’s value and quality. 

Interestingly, if the colour of the diamond is judged to be fancy or rare, such as a red diamond, pink diamond, or canary yellow diamond, this makes the diamond far more valuable than the average colourless diamond. 

Clarity Rating

The clarity rating of a diamond depends on its surface imperfections–a poorer clarity quality means there are chips, discolourations, or surface aberrations that impair the brilliance of the stone. 

Clarity is considered important because clearer diamonds are incredibly rare in nature. Diamonds with lower clarity grades are also more susceptible to chipping, cracking, or shattering, which is why they are considered less valuable. Keep in mind that diamonds with lower clarity grades can appear flawless to the untrained eye, so it doesn’t necessarily take away from the beauty of these stones. 

Cut Quality 

Last but not the least, the cut quality of your diamond is all about how it looks to the naked eye. A well-cut diamond is designed to interact with light beautifully and dazzle from all angles. While judging the cut quality of shapes is rather subjective, a well-cut diamond will always have more life and sparkle than one with lower cut quality. 

A well-cut diamond also offers a perfect contrast between the light and shadowed areas of the stone, giving it that brilliant, sharp-edged, and reflective appearance. Generally, professionals use a ten-point cut quality scale to grade diamonds, but this varies among jewellers around the globe. 

It’s important not to confuse cut quality with a diamond’s shape. While the cut is often used to refer to the shape of the diamond, they are not the same. The cut quality refers to the precision with which the diamond is cut and how well it reflects light, while the shape relates to varieties such as pear, oval, cushion, heart, radiant, and more. 

Ready to make your next high-quality diamond purchase and wondering if luxury jewellery is worth it? We’ve got you covered–take a look at our latest post.

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