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  • Writer's pictureR.W. Diamond Broker

Understanding The Price of Diamonds

Buying a diamond can be a very challenging undertaking these days. There is an abundance of information available to consumers, but not all of it is accurate. This is probably one of the most important considerations to make when buying a diamond. There is a lot more to diamonds and their prices than just learning about the diamond's cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. Every diamond is unique and the price of diamonds can vary greatly.

What Influences The Price of Diamonds?

Diamonds are cut in a range of shapes, sizes and qualities all of which influence the price. Diamonds that have an excellent or very good cut grade will reflect maximum fire, brilliance and sparkle and the price of these diamonds will be higher than diamonds with a good cut grade.

The Shape of Diamonds

Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds are the most popular diamonds for diamond engagement rings followed by Princess Cut Diamonds. Any diamond that is not Round in shape is known as a Fancy Shape Diamond. Ascher, Cushion, Emerald, Heart, Marquise, Oval, Pear, Princess, Radiant and Trilliant cut diamonds are all fancy shape diamonds.

Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds are the most expensive mainly because when cutting a Round Brilliant Cut diamond there is a greater loss in rough which has to be factored into the price. Another reason why Round Brilliant Cut diamonds are priced higher is because they take longer to polish and cut than other diamond shapes and the demand for Round Brilliant Cut diamonds is greater than all the other diamond shapes.

Clarity Influences Diamond Prices The Most

The clarity grade of a diamond influences the price obtained more than any of the other factors. Diamonds that have high clarity grades of VVS1 or VVS2 have extremely hard to find inclusions even with a jewelers 10x loupe. These diamonds command a much higher price than SI1 or SI2 clarity graded diamonds because they are almost pure and they are much rarer to find. The rarest of diamonds have an Internally Flawless Diamonds -IF or Loupe Clean clarity grade and these diamonds fetch premium prices.

Color Influences Diamond Prices

Color is another important factor that influences the price of a diamond. Diamonds are graded for their color alphabetically starting at D color going down to Z color. Diamonds that are colorless or show the least amount of color obtain the highest prices along with fancy colored diamonds such as pink, red, green and blue diamonds. Diamonds that display the least amount of color are known as exceptional white. Exceptional white diamonds includes D E and F color graded diamonds. G color, H color diamonds are graded as white and I and J color diamonds are known as slightly tinted white diamonds.

Cut Influences Sparkle, Shine & The Price of Diamonds

Did you know that if the diamond is poorly cut, the color and clarity can not make up for it? When a rough diamond is cut and polished it obtains its sparkle and shine. If a diamond is poorly cut, the light that enters the diamond from above will leak out of the sides and bottom of the stone, and the diamond will not have the optimum amount of sparkle or fire, no matter what color or clarity the diamond is.

Excellent Cut Diamonds

Excellent Cut Diamonds have been cut to precise standards to display the beauty of the diamond. Excellent and Ideal Cut Diamonds have perfection in proportion, symmetry and polish and they will always display the maximum brilliance, fire & scintillation.

Excellent Cut Diamonds have properly proportioned facets, excellent symmetry & polish. Since 97.5% of a diamond's brilliance is controlled by the quality of the cut Excellent cut diamonds obtain higher prices. The Diamond Cut Grade is made up of three main controlling factors - Proportion, Symmetry and Polish. The light return of the diamond more commonly known as sparkle or brilliance is also an important factor but it is governed by the proportions and symmetry of the diamond cut.

Very Good Cut Grade

Diamonds that have a Very good cut grade are able to disperse a good amount of brilliance because they reflect most of the light that enters them. Very Good cut diamonds have proportions which often overlap and are comparable to Excellent cut diamonds but just differ slightly in one area or measurement. Very Good cut diamonds are also highly valued.

Diamonds are Sold By Carat Weight

Carat is a unit of measure not size. Two diamonds that have the same carat weight may appear to be different sizes depending on how the diamond is cut. Some diamonds will have extra weight on the bottom part of the diamond, the pavilion, or a thick girdle and therefore will appear smaller visually.

Diamonds are sold by their carat weight. The heavier a diamond weighs once it is cut the higher the price per carat. A diamond cutter always try to retain as much carat weight and as few inclusions when cutting a diamond in order to obtain the best possible price per carat. Sometimes the cut of a diamond might be sacrificed in order to produce a diamond with a higher carat weight. Hundreds of tons of rock and ore must be processed to uncover a single one-carat gem quality diamond.

4C's - Cut, Color, Clarity & Carat

After diamonds have been sorted into their different shapes they are then assessed with what is known as The 4C's- The Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat weight. These individual factors are all combined resulting in the price of the diamond. The price of diamonds is also influenced by international market conditions such as exchange rates, supply and demand, fashion trends as well as inflation.

Diamonds, just like your marriage, are an investment, and have been an investment device for several thousand years. Diamonds are a symbol of love and commitment so buying the perfect diamond for an engagement ring or that special occasion is a crucially important decision.


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