When you're looking for an engagement ring, an anniversary present, a Valentine's Day memento, or a "just because I love you" gift, diamond jewelry will never disappoint. Diamonds represent love, beauty, light, and passion and are the perfect way to express these feelings to that special someone. You may have the greatest of intentions when it comes to gifting jewelry like this to another, but you may feel your pocketbook won't allow you to give such a high-quality and timeless gift.
Understanding what makes one diamond more expensive than another can help you choose a beautiful, sparkling piece of jewelry that will surprise and delight the receiver but not break your budget at the same time. The price of diamonds is influenced by the four C's — carat, cut, clarity, and color. What many don't realize is that the cut affects a diamond's price more than the other three C's. Let's take a deeper look at why, as well as how a diamond is graded, analyzed, and priced.
What Is the Difference Between a Diamond's Cut and its Shape?
While you may have heard others use the terms "diamond cut" and "diamond shape," these two phrases should not be used as equals. A diamond cut is what influences the diamond's appearance, specifically when it comes to how the gem interacts with light and the visual effects it creates. The grade of a diamond is assigned according to these factors. The higher the grade, the more brilliant, and expensive, the diamond.
A diamond shape refers only to the physical shape of the stone. There are several shapes that can be found at many jewelry stores. At Martin Busch Jewelers, we sell 10 shape varieties of diamonds: round, radiant, princess, pear, oval, marquise, heart, emerald, cushion, and Asscher, a glamorous cut invented by the Royal Asscher Company in 1902.
How Does a Diamond's Cut Affect Its Performance?
Diamonds that are not yet cut and polished are called rough diamonds. They have a cloudy appearance and very little shine or sparkle. Diamonds are cut in order to maximize how light reflects through the stone, which improves their overall beauty, shine, and sparkle. Based on its cut, plus the three factors below, a diamond is given a grade:
- Brightness: How internal and external white light is reflected through the diamond.
- Fire: How the white light is dispersed through the diamond, resulting in a bright spectrum of all colors of the rainbow.
- Scintillation: How much sparkle a diamond has, along with the various patterns it creates as the light reflects through the diamond.
How are Diamonds Assigned a Cut Grade?
Once the diamonds are cut, polished, and analyzed, they are assigned one of four specific cut grades. Along with the factors mentioned above, the grade will also take into account how rare the specific type of diamond is.
Diamonds with an Excellent grade have a precise cut that maximizes their shine, sparkle, and brilliance. When light passes through these diamonds, very little leaks out while most of the light passes through the gem. The top 3% of all diamonds in the world are graded as Excellent.
Diamonds graded Very Good have brilliant stones with a nominal amount of light leakage. For those on a budget who are still looking for excellence, a Very Good graded diamond offers a high-quality gem at a more affordable price. These types of diamonds represent the top 15% of diamonds in the world.
While diamonds that are graded Good do have some light leakage, they still have a lot of sparkle and brilliance. Often, diamond cutters will intentionally cut these diamonds to a Good grade in order to create a specific type of shape or style. The top 25% of diamonds are considered to be at this grade level.
Fair and Poor
Diamonds that are graded Fair and Poor have a larger amount of light leakage than those graded Good or above. They also don't have as much shine or sparkle to them. While they are the least expensive type of graded diamond, they do not make for the most appealing or brilliant jewelry.
How Does a Diamond's Shape Affect the Price?
Now that you know how a diamond's cut affects its price, let's look at how the shape of a diamond influences cost as well.
Round Brilliant Diamond
Due to the nature of the round brilliant diamond, it's the most expensive cut. While it's in high demand, especially when used in engagement ring settings, it also contains many of the facets that influence a highly graded cut of diamond. A round brilliant diamond that's well-cut maximizes the reflection and return of light better, creating a remarkable display of dazzling light.
If you're looking for something that's just as stunning but not quite as expensive, you may want to search out princess-cut diamond jewelry. This type of diamond has the shine and sparkle of a round brilliant but in a unique shape similar to the emerald or Asscher diamond.
Diamonds with exceptional shapes such as the pear are less expensive than their round brilliant counterparts. This is because more of the rough diamond remains in these uniquely styled gems when they are cut into their specific shapes. Not only do their fancy shapes garner the attention they receive, but they also have excellent light performance and brilliant sparkle. Other diamond shapes in this fiscal category are oval, marquise, and heart.
The emerald diamond can save you even more on your budget because of the various step cuts, or facets, in this type of shape. This fancy-shaped diamond also uses more of the original rough stone, like the pear, as well as requires less precise cutting. While these diamonds are less expensive, you can still find elegantly beautifully emerald diamonds based on their color and clarity. If your budget is more rigid, then simply ask to view a smaller carat of emerald diamond. Other diamond shapes that have similar factors as the emerald include the cushion and Asscher.
For assistance on finding diamond jewelry that not only fits your budget but will also amaze and surprise the one who receiving it, contact Martin Busch Jewelers today. We offer a wide variety of engagement and wedding jewelry, vintage jewelry, necklaces, bracelets, rings, custom-designed jewelry, and more.