August 14, 2017
By Hyla Bauer
HOW TO GET THE MOST DIAMOND FOR YOUR MONEYSHOP DIAMONDS
When it comes to making a decision about buying a diamond, there are a lot of factors to consider. It’s easy to fall in love with a diamond — they are clear and bright, reflect all the colors of the rainbow and they go with anything in your wardrobe from jeans to a gown. However, it is always good to take a close look at the stone you love, flaws and all, just like you would open the hood of a car before you drive it out of the dealership. I checked in with Katherine Ward, Senior Watch and Fine Jewelry Expert based in our New York Luxury Consignment Office, for some advice on getting the most diamond for your money.
Understanding the Four Cs
The first step, Ward says, is to “set your priorities by looking at a lot of stones. See which of the four Cs – cut, clarity, color, and carat weight – sings to you. ‘Most’ can mean different things depending on your priorities.” So take her advice and look around — go to jewelry stores, visit your local jeweler, or come see us at one of our Luxury Consignment Offices.
Each diamond is unique — there are no two that are exactly the same. All diamonds that are intended for jewelry are cut out of a “rough” larger diamond in its natural state. The diamond cutter will examine each diamond carefully, examining its flaws, color and clarity before deciding how to best cut the stone. Many raw diamonds produce multiple cut stones. A rough diamond weighing 241 carats was cut by Harry Winston, and one of the resulting diamonds was the famed pear-shaped 68-carat diamond that Richard Burton gave to Elizabeth Taylor, dubbed the Taylor-Burton diamond.
The cut of a diamond refers to how it was shaped by the diamond cutter. Very popular are the classic circular brilliant cuts. Diamonds are also cut into various shapes including variations of rectangular shapes, pear shapes and even heart shapes.
Clarity refers to how clear the stone is. Diamonds are naturally formed and can contain imperfections called inclusions. The more inclusions, generally the less valuable the stone. Each gem-quality diamond’s clarity can be expressed on a scale that ranges from flawless to more included stones. The fewer flaws, the more expensive the diamond will be. “Not all diamonds are created equal, and no two stones are going to have the same layout of inclusions,” says Ward. “If an inclusion is hidden under a prong, for example, you won’t see it. So you could have a lower clarity diamond, with discreetly positioned inclusions, with the appearance of a higher clarity, more expensive stone.” Food for thought.
When it comes to color, diamonds can be white or clear colored, but there are also very popular and beautiful yellow diamonds, and more rare colors include pink, blue and even green. Color is expressed on a scale as well, with D – F indicating colorless, and G-J indicating near-colorless. When you are considering the color factor of a diamond it’s good to know that “colorless stones have a huge jump in price versus other stones,” says Ward. “Rather than going for a D, E, or F color, many of my clients are pleasantly surprised at the effect of a G color diamond at a much lower price.”