Choosing a diamond is not as difficult as you may think. Just remember the four ‘C’s.
Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat.
The COLOUR can vary between D and tinted. D, E, F are at a premium price and usually have a certificate to prove their colour. However the best colours to go for at a reasonable price and still have a whitish colour are G, H, I and J. Diamonds which are classified K,L can still be bright and just draw a slight colour. M,N + are classified as tinted and will show a definite display of colour.
Fancy diamonds are those which display various colours and are usually certificated.
The CLARITY is very important, more so than colour because it allows the light through the ring, so if poor clarity, it can ruin the brightness of the ring.
The highest grade is Flawless and can only be detected by a diamond grader and is therefore normally certificated.
VVS1, VVS2, VS1 and VS2 diamonds have such small inclusions that they are hard to detect so do not affect the passage of light and appear flawless to the naked eye. SI1 and SI2 have small inclusions but again do not affect the passage of light significantly. P1 (I1) or P2 (I2) clarity means that the inclusions can be seen with the naked eye. However you do have to have good eyesight to see some of the P1 inclusions!
The CUT of the diamond is down to personal choice. There are so many different shapes and ways of cutting the diamond that the only thing to remember is do I like this shape and if it is a very unusual shape it will be more difficult to replace if it is lost or damaged so will be more expensive and will need to be insured separately. Brilliant cut diamonds often refract the light better than many other cuts because they have more facets to refract the light so looking brighter.
The CARAT of the diamond just means its weight and is calculated by measuring the width and depth of the diamond. Two diamonds of the same weight (carat) can look completely different in size because the one spreads wide but has a shallow depth while the other is very deep but does not spread very wide. Both have their merits according to how they are set to allow the maximum amount of light through the stone.
In conclusion go with your heart and your purse. I tend to think the best buy for a diamond is to look for a clarity around the SI 1/2 and colour H/I/J which will be bright and affordable and everyone will admire it.
The eye test is best - if it looks bright and you like it is for you.
Linda Haynes 24th July 2019