Diamond Buying Guide
What factors give the diamond its extraordinary beauty? Diamonds are valued according to the 4C's of Diamond Grading namely, Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat weight.
The 4C's of Diamonds:
The cut of a diamond refers to its proportions. It is one of the most important factors to be considered while choosing diamonds.
- Cut is the most important of the 4Cs because it has the greatest influence on a diamond's sparkle.
- Even if a diamond has a perfect clarity and color grade, if it has a poor cut, it may appear dull.
- When a diamond is cut with the proper proportions, light is returned out of the top of the diamond (which gemologists refer to as the table). If it is cut too shallow, light leaks out of the bottom; too deep and it escapes out of the side.
- To maximize your budget, choose the highest diamond cut grade your budget allows. We suggest a cut grade of Very Good or better
Diamonds allow light to be reflected and dispersed as a rainbow of color. The color is graded from sparkling colorless white towards the more fancy colors.
The second most important of the 4Cs is color because it’s what the eye notices next after sparkle.
- A diamond's color actually refers to its lack of color. The less color, the higher the color grade.
- To avoid a pale yellow color, choose a diamond grade H or higher.
- Shel-El Diamonds offers only Colorless (grades D-F) to Near-Colorless (grades G-J) diamonds to assure that any natural color present is typically undetectable to the naked eye.
Clarity refers to how clear, or "clean" the diamond is. Diamonds have imperfections which are present in its rough state.
- Most diamonds have tiny imperfections called inclusions.
- The fewer and less visible the inclusions, the higher the clarity grade.
- Diamond clarity is often the least important of the 4Cs because most inclusions are microscopic; they don’t affect the diamond’s beauty in a visible way.
- To maximize your budget, consider an "Eye-Clean" diamond, graded VS1 or higher, in which inclusions are invisible to the naked eye.
The weight of a diamond is expressed in carats. The word carat originated from the carob tree or Ceratonia siliqua.
It is the most important 'C' to be considered while buying a diamond. It offers general guidelines on understanding the pricing of diamonds.
- Carat is the most misunderstood of the 4Cs. It actually refers to a diamond's weight, not its size.
- Consider cut and carat together; a larger carat diamond with a poor cut grade can appear smaller than a smaller diamond with a higher cut grade.
- To maximize your budget, "Buy Shy," this means selecting a carat weight slightly below the whole and half carat marks. For example, instead of a 2.00-carat diamond, consider buying a 1.90-carat weight. This will save a considerable amount of money and the slight size difference will never be noticed.