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Colour, Clarity, Carat & Cut: How to pick the right diamond for you

Colour, Clarity, Carat & Cut: How to pick the right diamond for you

7th May 2020

Selecting an engagement ring is a very important decision – this single piece of jewellery may be worn by your partner everyday for the rest of their lives. Choosing a diamond is key to this process – choose well, and the beauty of the whole piece will fall into place.  A diamond is classified by four key categories: it’s colour, cut, clarity and carat. A good knowledge of these criteria will enable you to select the perfect engagement ring.

The Four Cs

The Colour of a diamond is graded on a scale from D to Z. The most sought-after stones are D-graded, and the least valuable are Z-graded. Essentially, a diamond which has ‘less’ colour is considered to be more valuable as it indicates its pureness. This purity enables the stone to reflect light more radiantly, whilst more coloured diamonds (which tend to be yellow in appearance) are duller. This yellowness can also be a result of chemical interference, as a result of earth mining methods or alteration afterwards. All these elements mean that Sacet uses lab-grown diamonds which range between D and H.

The Clarity of a diamond refers to its integral purity. Some of these are almost impossible to detect via the human eye, whilst others can be clearly seen. Essentially, the more flecks blemishes in the stone, the less clarity it possesses. These can be caused by miniscule crystals being trapped during the stone’s forming process, by tiny splits in the stone (called feathers) or other small breaks, such as chips or cavities. When considering the diamond for your stone, you must weigh up the importance of a clear diamond with the budget you have for the ring. Find this balance and you’ll discover the right diamond for you.

The Carat is the weight of the diamond, and the one component that everyone talks about. It has been a term for weighing smaller items of worth for centuries, having come from the word in Ancient Greek for ‘carob seed’. The higher the carat of a diamond, the higher its value. However, the carat of a diamond doesn’t necessarily determine its quality, so be wary about putting too much importance on the carat of your chosen stone. It is important to consider the significant difference between small measurements, for example, a 2-carat diamond will be a lot less expensive than a 2.5-carat diamond.

The Cut of a diamond is the way it has been cut in order to maximise the sparkle it gives off from reflected light. It isn’t to be confused with the shape of a stone, which is more of a stylistic element. The cut of a diamond is a graded factor (from perfect, IF, to poor, I3) that reflects the quality of the diamond. In essence, a well-cut diamond will refract light and appear bright, and a badly-cut diamond will provide little refraction and appear dull. Our advice is to look for a stone that has a good ‘sparkle effect’, reflecting light both internally and externally. This will create a radiance to the stone which appears to be perfectly distributed across the stone.

The engagement ring you give your partner is a symbol of your enduring love and commitment. This is perhaps why selecting the right ring is no easy task. We recommend using the four Cs as a guideline which will steer you towards making the right decision. They are very important to the quality and price of a diamond, but you should also consult your heart as that will also lead you to choosing the perfect ring.

For more information on colour, clarity, carat and cut – take a look at our detailed grade page.