They say “diamonds are a woman’s best friend”. While that may not be completely true for us to generalize, there is one thing that no one can escape – an engagement ring! Most people go ring-shopping completely unprepared and that isn’t the smartest thing to do. You see, it isn’t all that easy to buy a diamond. There are a lot of factors that come into play while looking for a sparkly rock and it can be a little overwhelming to be so clueless when you’re burning a massive hole in your pocket. It’s alright, don’t panic, we got this one covered.
GET FAMILIAR WITH THE 4 C’s
For starters, you need to know about the 4 C’s relating to diamonds – Carat, Cut, Colour and Clarity. Now, the biggest point to keep in mind while buying a diamond is being smart with your expenditure.
How do I do that, you wonder? The beauty of the 4 C’s is that for a unit cost, you can adjust the C’s to your convenience. You can compromise on one C to get more of the other or even reduce the cost of your purchase.
Carat is the size of your diamond. Check out the size chart below, with the sizes of the diamonds in reality.
Be smart when you’re choosing the size of your rock. Most jewelers won’t tell you this but any diamond size below 1 carat will be penny-wise on your part. You may want a 1 carat diamond but if you buy a 0.9 carat (i.e. 90 cents) diamond, the difference in size will not be noticeable to the naked eye and the difference in cost will surely be noticed!
The price of a diamond will take a very unexpected jump the second you move to one carat and if you look at the chart, the difference in appearance is definitely not worth the cost if you’re on a budget. Also when you don’t hold a 1 carat diamond (for comparison) near the 0.9 one, it’ll automatically look like a 1 carat rock!
Just for your knowledge, a 1 Carat ring in India can cost anything from INR 80,000 to even 5,00,000. Wondering how there can be such a huge difference in range? As mentioned above, the cost of your diamond does not only depend upon size but also has 3 other determining factors – cut, colour and clarity. The cost with respect to size only takes a huge jump per carat.
For example, if a 1 carat diamond is costing you 1 lakh, a 2 carat diamond with the same cut, clarity and colour will cost you 4.5 to 5 lakh depending upon the jeweler.
TIP – So be smart and choose a size 10 cents lesser that the carat you have in mind.
The cut is in fact, one of the most important C’s because it has the most influence on the sparkle of the diamond – the better the cut, the more brilliant the shine. It is therefore, very important to choose the best possible cut in your range.
The price varies based on the cut of the diamond. The cut of a diamond is graded in terms of its light performance, which leads to the sparkle. Refer to the chart below to understand the difference in pricing among the various cuts.
Now, going by the most to least expensive, here’s a list of 10 cuts that you can get.
Keep in mind that when it comes to cut, even if your diamond has the best possible clarity and colour, it may appear dull with a bad cut. No one wants that, so be careful to not compromise on the cut too much – get a smaller diamond or one with less clarity but in good cut, if you need to bring down your budget.
TIP– It is easiest to upgrade your diamond later on in life if you opt for a round cut.
The colour of a diamond ranges from the D,E,F category that is colourless to even S-Z which is yellowish. Refer to the chart below to get an idea of the colour of a diamond.
If you want to be penny-wise, you can go for an I-J category diamond, which seems to be most recommended by jewelers as they say it’s very good for the price that you’re paying. If you look very closely, the I-J category diamond looks a little grayish but isn’t noticeable to the naked eye; a way to be smart while buying this diamond is to have it set in gold and not in a platinum finish as the gold makes the rock appear whiter.
Else, G-H category is quite white without the grayish tinge and is also value for your money. You could choose to go for D,E,F but then the price would straightaway become considerably higher.
If you’re interested in coloured diamonds and not just plain white ones, you should know about the common brown and yellow diamonds – since they’re more common than the usual white diamonds, they are priced at a lower rate.
However, blue and pink diamonds are very rare due to which they are priced much higher. Here is an estimate – if a 1 carat colourless diamond in a particular cut costs 1 lakh, a pink diamond in the same cut and size can cost upto 5 lakh (which is the approximate cost of a 2 carat colourless diamond in the same cut); and a blue diamond in the same cut and size can cost anything from 15 to 20 lakh.
TIP– If you’re buying a big diamond (1 carat or more), please make sure not to opt for K,L,M,N category as the bigger the diamond, the more noticeable the colour. So make sure to go for at least the I-J category and nothing lower.
The clarity of a diamond is the transparency of the rock and the clearer the diamond, the higher the cost. Clarity is one factor of a diamond that cannot be altered – either it is flawed or it is not. Here’s a chart to know more about clarity.
Clarity of a diamond may range from Flawless (FL) – Internally Flawless (IF) to Imperfect (I1, I2, I3) where intrusions are visible to the naked eye. The price increases as you go from flawed to flawless
TIP– Jewelers recommend the VVS1-VVS2 category when purchasing larger diamonds (1 carat or above) because a big, flawed diamond will be more noticeable to the naked eye. If however, you’re buying a small diamond, you can compromise a little on the clarity and can opt for VS1-VS2 or even the SI1-SI2 category.
Now that you know all about diamonds, choose wisely!