At Carat & Co. we care about helping you select the right diamond. We hope our beginner's guide will assist you in getting an idea of where to start your search. For further assistance, please contact us for a showroom appointment. All of our diamonds are ethically sourced and come with diamond certification.
1) CHOOSE YOUR SHAPE
2) SELECT A CUT GRADE
3) SELECT A COLOR
A diamond is graded based on the amount of color they possess starting with D (colorless or transparent) to Z (yellow). Colorless diamonds are more rare and valuable.
4) SELECT A CLARITY
A diamond is distinguished by its natural characteristics. These characteristics can be present on the surface (blemishes) or within the stone (inclusions). The clarity grade is given based on the number and types of characteristics is within a diamond on a scale that runs from flawless (FL) to Included (I3). The more flawless the diamond is, the higher the value.
No internal or external blemishes or inclusions.
IF (Internally Flawless)
No internal blemishes or inclusions.
VVS1 - VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included)
Very difficult to see inclusions with 10x magnification.
VS1 - VS2 (Very Slightly Included)
Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification to a skilled grader.
SI1 - SI2 (Slightly Included)
Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification and may be visible with the naked eye.
I1 - I2 - I3 (Included)
Inclusions are visible with the unaided eye.
5) SELECT A CARAT WEIGHT
A diamond's carat weight is not the size and width of the diamond, but rather the unit of measure for the weight of a diamond. Carat weight is most commonly measured divided into points.
1 carat = 0.2 grams = 0.007 ounce = 100 points
Example: 1/4 carat is also commonly shown as .25 carat stone or called 25 points.
6) IS FLUORESCENCE IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Fluorescence is a diamond's characteristic where it can emit color under a UV Light. GIA diamond grading reports describe the intensity of fluorescence as None, Faint, Medium, Strong and Very Strong. It has not been determined if a diamond's fluorescence can cause an effect on a diamond's color and/or shine, although a diamond with a lower color grade such as I to N that has a yellow tint, can appear better when it has a moderate-to-strong blue fluorescence. Typically, a diamond with no fluorescence will a higher value than diamonds with a strong blue fluorescence.
7) SELECT YOUR PROPORTIONS
Table % is determined by dividing the width of the table by the width of the diamond. For example, if the table facet is 3mm wide and the diamond is 5mm wide, the table percentage is 60%. The ideal table % depends on your Diamond Shape. Keep in mind that if the table percentage is too large, light won’t reflect off the diamond’s crown angles and facets. If the table percentage is too low, light will be trapped inside the diamond and you will lose shine. To determine the ideal table size % for your diamond shape, contact us for guidance.
Depth % refers to the height of the diamond from the top of the table to the cutlet. It is calculated by dividing the depth by the width. For example, if a diamond is 3mm in depth and 4.5 mm in width, the depth percentage is 66.7%. A depth % that is too low or too high can create a darker appearance as light will not be reflected and lost.
8) DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET
There is no budget will ever be right or wrong. Determine a budget that you are comfortable with and will be happy with at the end of the day.
9) START YOUR DIAMOND SEARCH
Ready to start your diamond search? You can start your own search with our Diamond Search Tool or reach out to one of our Diamond Specialist for assistance on choosing the perfect diamond for you! We are here for you every step of the way as you begin this part of your journey.