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Beyond Size: The Factors That Determine Your Diamond’s Perfection

Diamond experts know that an engagement ring is more than the carat weight of the diamond. While many brides are concerned with the size of their diamond, carat weight is not the only factor to consider when choosing your ring. In fact, it may not even be the most important factor.

Your diamond is not only a symbol of your marriage covenant it is also an investment. Some diamond buyers, wanting the largest diamond they can afford, will sacrifice the quality of the diamond without realizing it. However, the quality of the diamond can be more significant than the size. But how do you measure the quality of the diamond?

When looking at a diamond, the most flawless or “colorless,” is the stone of highest value. Diamonds are ranked on a color spectrum ranging from totally colorless to colored (usually yellow tinting). The more colorless the diamond, the closer it is to perfection, and the more brilliantly it shines and reflects the light. The color scale corresponds to an alphabetical system. Totally colorless diamonds are given a grading of D through F, “near colorless” are graded G through J. Any letter beyond J is considered to have faint coloring. The color of the diamond, or lack thereof, is a major determining factor in the price of the diamond. You may easily be able to obtain a very large diamond of low grade for a lower price than a colorless diamond of much smaller size. In diamonds, size is not the sole determining factor of value.

Gemologists also grade for clarity. Higher clarity means closer to flawless—fewer inclusions, blemishes or cloudy spots. Flawless diamonds are rare so the more pristine the diamond, the higher the price. While most inclusions and scratches in the diamond cannot be seen by the human eye, they can affect the diamond’s ability to refract light.

The 1.15 Carat Engagement Ring shown here is composed of a half-carat round center diamond surrounded by twenty-six smaller diamonds, all graded ‘G’ on the diamond color scale, or ‘near colorless.’ Their clarity is S1-S2, which is to say that the diamonds bear slight inclusions which would not likely be visible to the naked eye. When each factor is added together—the size, the color, and the clarity—the end result is an exquisite engagement ring that is not only of finest quality, but also a stellar value.

For more Apples of Gold engagement rings, click here.

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