If you are a diamond lover, you probably already know that diamonds are graded based on the 4Cs (clarity, colour, cut and carat weight).
But are the 4Cs the only thing to think about when choosing your perfect diamond?
What about the occasion? It's also important to think about where you would wear your diamond piece of jewellery and why you are looking to create it.
I always say...Diamonds aren't just for engagements!
Here are 3 Easy Questions to ask yourself when choosing the perfect diamond for you:
What piece of jewellery am I looking to create?
What is important to me?
What occasion would I wear my diamond necklace /earrings / tennis bracelet / ring for?
Let's take a closer look at each question.
"What piece of jewellery am I looking to create?"
Diamond necklace / pendant
Diamond studs / earrings
If you are looking to treat yourself to a piece of diamond jewellery but can't decide what it should be, think about your daily routine:
if you work a lot with your hands on a day-to-day basis, I recommend choosing a pendant or stud earrings
if you are looking for a "budget-friendly" way to start your diamond jewellery collection, start with a diamond stacking band
"What is important to me?"
The shape (the cut)
The size (carat weight)
The quality (clarity and colour)
Are you drawn to a particular shape or are you still undecided?
Have you actually tried this diamond shape on at a store or have you only seen it in pictures?
Perhaps there are several shapes that you like, make a note of these.
If you have your heart set on a certain shape, remember that some shapes (e.g. round) are more readily available than others (e.g. emerald cut).
When looking for your perfect diamond, keep an open mind, you might be pleasantly surprised by an option you haven't considered before.
Looking for help choosing the perfect shape?
ovals, pears and elongated cushions to add a vintage feel to your piece, especially if paired with a diamond halo
emerald cut for geometric, Art Deco look
heart shape for a ring / necklace / earrings like no other, to stand out among the crowd
Diamond weight is measured in carats. How important is carat weight to you?
What is more important to you? Is it to say: "I have a 3 carat diamond engagement ring" or what it symbolises?
Perhaps it is the way it looks on your hand, keep this in mind.
Do you have a particular budget you are working with? The budget will have a great effect on the size / carat weight of your diamond.
The larger the diamond the rarer it is, especially if paired with high quality (high clarity and colour) and this will also affect the price.
For example, if a 1 carat round diamond costs CAD $5,000 this does not mean that a 2 carat round diamond will cost CAD $10,000. Stones over 2 carat in size are more rare and valuable than 1 carat stones and are therefore drastically more expensive. The starting price for a good quality 2 carat diamond is CAD $25,000.
This also means that when looking at a selection of 1 carat round diamonds you could be choosing from 5-10 stones, but if you are looking for an oval diamond larger than 2 carats, there might only be 3-5 stones to choose from (depending on other factors like quality and budget).
When searching for engagement rings on Instagram or Pinterest, we often see large diamonds (example above is a 5 carat round diamond ring). Of course they exist and I would love to source one for you but just keep in mind that the starting price for a 5 carat diamond of good quality is CAD $150,000.
We get used to seeing these images and start to believe that this is what everyone has. Quick reminder, this is not the case.
According to a 2021 study performed by The Knot:
"The average engagement ring size is 1.50 carats. Roughly half of all engagement rings fall between 1 and 2 carats, with just 25% of rings sizing above two carats"
For reference purposes, this is what a 1.70 carat round diamond looks like on my hand (finger size 5.5).
Starting price to recreate this ring is CAD $25,000 (actual price will depend on the quality of the diamond).
Try not to focus on the size too much.
But...if you are on a hunt for a "large-looking" stone, try an oval shape instead of a round. For example, 1 carat ovals tend to look bigger than 1 carat rounds.
Adding a halo to your design can also make the centre stone look bigger.
Clarity and colour of your diamond is important, but the combination that is perfect for YOU will depend on you.
Inclusions are often viewed as a negative when it comes to diamonds and are sometimes referred to as imperfections.
It is however important to remember that diamonds really are a miracle of nature and are bound to show some imperfections. After all, they were formed billions of years ago under incredible circumstances. So you have to be a little forgiving when it comes to inclusions, especially when selecting larger stones.
In fact, many customers in search for something unique are opting for “salt and pepper diamonds”. These stones are heavily included and show a combination of heavy, visible white and black inclusions.
If you do not want to see large, obvious inclusions in your diamond, I typically recommend selecting a VS or an SI stone.
You will have a larger selection of diamonds to choose from in these two ranges.
These diamonds will be "eye-clean", which means they will not show visible inclusions to the naked eye (without the use of a jeweller's loupe or a microscope).
You also won't be paying a premium for an even higher clarity like VVS or Flawless.
The larger the diamond, the more likely it is to have inclusions and therefore more likely to show them. The position of the inclusions is also important. Is there one large inclusion in the middle of the stone or is it off to the side?
Some cuts, like Emerald Cut are also more likely to have visible inclusions as they do not have as many facets as round / oval / cushion cuts do to "hide" them.
If you are looking for an Emerald Cut diamond, I highly recommend upgrading to VS or VVS stone to make sure it is "eye clean" with no visible inclusions.
The colour or the lack of it is what counts when grading diamond colour.
The less the colour a diamond shows, the higher its value and more rare it is.
Diamonds are graded on the D-Z scale as developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Fun fact: diamond colour is graded with the stones upside down
I recommend selecting a stone in the D-H colours.
D-E-F stones are preferable and will show no yellow tint.
G-H colours might show a slight yellow tint but are a "great value" option (if size is more important to you and you are looking for a large diamond, choosing a G-H colour diamond will help you stay in your budget).
Diamonds graded lower than H (e.g. I-J-K colour) will show a yellowish tint which many find unattractive. This yellowish tint becomes even more obvious when you have a diamond halo around your centre stone or diamonds on the shoulders.
Side diamonds that are set either in the halo or on the shoulders of the ring are typically of higher colour (H or higher). Therefore if the centre stone is lower than an H, the contrast between the two qualities becomes more obvious.
"What occasion would I wear my diamond necklace / earrings / tennis bracelet / ring for?
Everyday wear (e.g. diamond studs, solitaire pendant, stacking rings, tennis bracelet, engagement ring)
Specific event (e.g. drop earrings for a cocktail party / gala / wedding)
To go with a specific outfit (statement necklace to go with your new dress)
Don't be afraid to invest in yourself and celebrate your achievements, big or small.
You don't need to wait for a big milestone or a fancy gala to treat yourself to a piece of diamond jewellery.
Classic pieces like a solitaire diamond pendants, diamond stud earrings and diamond stacking rings are perfect for any and every occasion, from day to night.
A final thought
Whether you are looking for a one-of-a-kind diamond engagement ring or to treat yourself to a unique necklace, earrings, stacking ring or tennis bracelet, I am here to help you choose the perfect diamond for YOU!
Custom design can be a longer process than popping down to your local jewellery store or clicking the “add to cart” button on your computer. But the personalised, one-on-one experience where you get to choose a diamond or gemstone that speaks to you truly is priceless.
With so many brands promising to create the engagement ring of your dreams, if you are considering “building a ring online", please remember that just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
It only takes 6-8 weeks to create a custom, one-of-a-kind piece of your dreams!
To learn more about my unique custom process, check out these previous posts:
How much does a custom ring cost?
Is a diamond piece of jewellery on your wishlist?
To discuss your options, schedule a complementary, 30 minute connection call with me here
Visit Tsarina Gems Instagram page for more stunning jewellery ideas and styling tips