The Cost of Diamonds
When you’re looking to buy a loose diamond for your engagement ring setting, you’ll find that there are thousands of options available. More than the shape of your preferred diamond, there are many other traits that even set two diamonds of the same shape apart. Small alterations of these traits can radically alter the price of the stone -- something you’ll want to keep in mind when you start your search for the perfect diamond. So, with this information in mind, how can you accurately gauge the cost of diamonds when you go shopping for one?
Here at Rumanoff’s Fine Jewelry, we get that question all the time and we can understand how tricky it is. This guide is here to help give you an idea of what costs what in the world of diamonds.
The 4 C’s of Diamond GradingThe most important factor that determines the cost of a diamond is the interplay of the 4 C’s: cut, color, clarity, and carat. When a diamond maxes out all four of these categories, it can command a premium due to the rarity of such stones. Fortunately for women who have a budget in mind, if you have a preferred trait in diamonds, you can minimize the other C’s in favor of that one.
For instance, if you’ve always had your heart set on having a flawless, crystal-clear diamond, you may be willing to settle for a stone that’s a little smaller. If you’ve always wanted a big, glitzy diamond, it may be acceptable for it to have some yellow tones. Remember that the 4 C’s affect a fifth “C” -- cost.
Is Fluorescence Important?“Fluorescence” refers to the way a diamond glows under a black light. While this may seem pretty inconsequential (since we don’t live in an environment where we can see UV light), the inner structures that lead to the fluorescence can alter the diamond’s visible quality.
If a diamond has extremely strong fluorescence under UV light, it will appear milky to the eye. That blurriness inside the diamond impairs the fire and glitter of the stone, causing it to appear dull compared to an equivalent stone with low fluorescence. If you’re looking to save some money, you may prefer looking for a diamond that’s clean to the eye but displays some fluorescence.
Why the Shape of the Diamond MattersWhile shape is an intensely personal choice, it does affect the price of a diamond. What many women don’t know is that their favorite shape may also be the most expensive! Two factors are at play here: First, demand. Certain shapes are more popular, so they can command a higher price. Second, waste. Imagine a piece of dough. You can cut more square- and rectangle-shaped cookies out of that dough than round ones.
The analogy works the same way for gem-quality diamonds cut from rough diamond crystals. When you’re looking for a diamond, remember that emerald-, oval-, and Asscher-cut diamonds are the most affordable per carat; marquise-, pear-, and heart-cut diamonds are the most costly.
About Fancy Colored DiamondsThis may not be a factor for you if you’re choosing a white diamond, but when diamonds have rich, visible color, they’re called “fancy,” and generally cost more than comparable white diamonds.
However, if you’re interested in having some surprising color in your engagement ring, remember that rarity is directly proportional to the cost of diamonds that are fancy. That means that brown (or champagne, or cognac) diamonds, yellow diamonds, and grey diamonds are comparable to white diamonds in price. You should expect to pay a premium, if you can even find, gem-quality blue, purple, green, pink, orange, and violet diamonds.