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How to Choose a Diamond

February 8, 2012

Since we’re currently running a promotion for our custom-design engagement rings, I thought I would share with you some insights as to how on Earth you go about picking the right diamond for you…!

You know you want to propose at some point…

You know you have a budget in mind…

What you don’t know is how to get good value and a great design for your money…  

This is where Phioro steps in. If you are looking for free advice on diamonds in Dubai, Clare will be happy to help guide you in your selection of a diamond, or source a suitable diamond, and can deliver a design that will complement that choice elegantly and most of all, personally. Phioro specializes in one-of-a-kind, exclusive designs that are inspired by your individual love story.

The process of valuing a diamond is highly complicated and therefore always done and certified by an expert, however I have included the basics you will need to know when to choosing a diamond in the information below.

The 4 Cs

Clarity – This is the quality of the diamond.

Cut – This is the shape of the diamond.

Colour – This can be from perfect white to yellow, to even blue, pink, or brown.

Carat – This is the weight or size of the diamond.

Clarity

For many people, the clarity is one of the most important elements of the diamond, as it determines what kind of quality you have. There are two basic schools of thought:

* I sacrifice the size for a better quality diamond i.e. with less visible flaws.

* Or I sacrifice the quality for a much larger size!

You’ll know which one will impress your girlfriend the most, by considering her personality.

Clarity, in layman’s terms, is determined on how visible the internal flaws of the diamond are. The lowest that Phioro will work with is SI1, anything lower than this will severely affect the quality of the end result. The clarity scale is shown below from lowest to highest quality:

 SI1 – Visible flaws within the diamond, just visible with the naked eye

VS2 – A few tiny flaws in the diamond that are clearly visible when looking through a loop (magnifying glass)

VS1 – Very few tiny flaws in the diamond that are visible when looking through a loop

VVS1 – 2 – Flaws are invisible to the naked eye and through a loop – they would be visible through a much stronger magnifying glass.

 F – Flawless – the title speaks for itself!

Cut

The most popular cut for an engagement ring is the Solitaire, or round, brilliant cut diamond. This is simply because for it’s shape, it gets the most weight and light into the diamond if cut well. However Cushion cut, Princess cut (square shaped diamonds) oval, and even Emerald cut diamonds are becoming very popular with customers experimenting with design more and choosing to express their individuality. Personally, I am really drawn to the pear shaped diamonds.


Round Brilliant Cut Diamond

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.

Square 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. Learn more about the Princess Cut Diamond

Cushion Cut Diamond
An antique style of cut that looks like a cross between an 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. Learn more about the Cushion Cut Diamond

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 color are more pronounced in this particular cut, take pains to select a stone of superior clarity and color. Learn more about the Emerald Cut Diamond

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 color refraction. 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. Learn more about the Radiant Cut Diamond

Oval Diamonds
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. Learn more about Oval Diamonds

Marquise Diamonds
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. Learn more about Pear Shaped Diamonds

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. Learn more about the Heart Shaped Diamond

Trilliant Diamonds
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.

Colour

Colour in diamonds is measured on an alphabetical scale, starting from D – a colourlessy, or completely white diamond, up to K – a fairly yellow hue, the scale goes on but I wouldn’t recommend much darker than that. Colour is a hard one to judge, because the difference in shades is so marginal, a popular colour to go for, which guarantees a beautiful diamond, yet doesn’t command the highest price is around a G shade – diamonds graded G show almost no colour to the naked eye.

A Few Tips When Selecting a Diamond

* ALWAYS ask to see the diamond under a loop

* Compare the colour with better coloured diamonds to see what you prefer.

* If you are opting for a white gold/platinum ring, it is advised to go for a lighter colour so that this is not highlighted by the white metal surrounding it.

Website: www.phioro.com

Email: clare@phioro.com

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/phiorojewellery

Twitter: @Phioro

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