Every diamond is unique, and there are a variety of factors which affect the price of a diamond.
Focus on those factors most important to you, and choose a diamond that satisfies your individual standards for beauty and value. This might be a very different diamond than someone else with a similar budget would choose. When deciding on a diamond you should always consider the four C’s: Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat.
Round Brilliant Diamonds
This shape has set the standard for all other diamond shapes, and accounts for more than 75% of diamonds sold today. Its 58-facet cut, divided among its crown (top), girdle (widest part) and pavilion (base), is calibrated through a precise formula to achieve the maximum in fire and brilliance.
An even, perfectly symmetrical design popular among women with small hands or short fingers. Its elongated shape gives a flattering illusion of length to the hand.
An elongated shape with pointed ends inspired by the fetching smile of the Marquise de Pompadour and commissioned by the Sun King, France’s Louis XIV, who wanted a diamond to match it. It is gorgeous when used as a solitaire or when enhanced by smaller diamonds.
Pear Shaped Diamonds
A hybrid cut, combining the best of the oval and the marquise, it is shaped most like a sparkling teardrop. It also belongs to that category of diamond whose design most complements a hand with small or average-length fingers. It is particularly beautiful for pendants or earrings.
Heart Shaped Diamonds
This ultimate symbol of romance is essentially a pear-shaped diamond with a cleft at the top. The skill of the cutter determines the beauty of the cut. Look for a stone with an even shape and a well-defined outline.
Emerald Cut Diamond
This is a rectangular shape with cut corners. It is known as a step cut because its concentric broad, flat planes resemble stair steps. Since inclusions and inferior colour are more pronounced in this particular cut, take pains to select a stone of superior clarity and colour.
Princess Cut Diamond
This is a square or rectangular cut with numerous sparkling facets. It is a relatively new cut and often finds its way into solitaire engagement rings. Flattering to a hand with long fingers, it is often embellished with triangular stones at its sides. Because of its design, this cut requires more weight to be directed toward the diamond’s depth in order to maximize brilliance. Depth percentages of 70% to 78% are not uncommon.
This is a spectacular wedge of brittle fire. First developed in Amsterdam, the exact design can vary depending on a particular diamond’s natural characteristics and the cutter’s personal preferences. It may be a traditional triangular shape with pointed corners or a more rounded triangular shape with 25 facets on the crown, 19 facets on the pavilion, and a polished girdle. It is definitely for the adventurous.
Radiant Cut Diamonds
This square or rectangular cut combines the elegance of the emerald shape diamond with the brilliance of the round, and its 70 facets maximize the effect of its colour refraction. Because of its design, this cut requires more weight to be directed toward the diamond’s depth.
Cushion Cut Diamond
The cushion cut is an antique cut that most often resembles a cross between the Old Mine Cut (a deep cut with large facets that was common in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries) and a modern oval cut. This shape is also sometimes referred to as the pillow-cut or the candlelight diamond (a reference to cuts designed prior to electric lights, when diamonds sparkled in the light provided by candles).
Asscher Cut Diamond
The “Asscher cut diamond” was developed in 1902 by the Asscher Brothers of Holland. It is a stepped square cut, often called the “square emerald cut” and like an emerald cut, the Asscher has cropped corners.
Until recently, very few stores carried Asscher cut diamonds. But the Asscher cut has rapidly gained popularity.
While most diamonds appear white, many of them display hints of colour barely visible to the naked eye. The closer the diamond approaches colourless, the rarer and more valuable the stone.
A diamonds clarity is determined by the degree to which it is free from naturally occurring inclusions, often called ‘Natures fingerprints’.
The number, type, colour, size and position of the internal marks can affect a diamond’s value. However, many are invisible to the naked eye requiring magnification under a standard 10x loupe before they become apparent. The fewer inclusions, the rarer and more valuable the stone.
Carat refers to the weight and therefore size of a diamond. One carat is divided into 100 points. Therefore, a diamond weighing 50 points is half a carat. Size is the most obvious factor in determining the value of a diamond. But two diamonds of equal size can have very different values, depending on their cut, clarity and colour.