Step-by-Step Guide: How to Choose a Diamond
- First, identify the diamond shape desired by the recipient. If you do not know and cannot find out, consider round or princess cut.
- Set a carat weight minimum based on the recipient’s preferences. If they have their heart set on a one carat diamond, even the most beautiful half carat stone will be a disappointment.
- Start with the highest quality diamond of the shape and carat weight minimum you identified in steps 1 and 2, and begin making concessions in the following order until you arrive at a diamond that fits your budget:
– First, lower the Clarity. Go as low as VS2 before making concessions in other areas.
– Next, lower the Color. Go as low as H before making concessions in other areas.
– Finally, lower the Cut. Go as low as Very Good in round diamonds, and Good in fancy shapes before making concessions in other areas.
– If the diamonds that match your revised criteria are close to your budget, consider shaving off some carat weight in order to close the gap. A carat
weight difference of 10% or less will be very difficult to detect visually.
- If after following the steps above, you are still outside your budget, repeat the process with new thresholds:
– First, further reduce Clarity. Go as low as SI1.
– Next, reduce Color. Go as low as J. If you know the diamond will be set in yellow gold, you could safely drop to K.
– Finally, reduce the Cut. Go as low as Good in round diamonds, and Fair in fancy shapes.
- At this point, if you are still outside your budget, your next step will depend on your individual preferences and needs.
– If the diamond you seek is under one carat, you could consider a drop to SI2 clarity.
– If the diamond is both a brilliant cut and under 1.50 carats, an L-M color may be perfectly acceptable when set in yellow gold.
– If size is the primary consideration, you could consider a Fair cut round or fancy shape.
– If you are still well outside your budget, you may need to consider increasing your budget or reducing your minimum carat weight target