Often about finding a happy medium between size and quality ie: to get a bigger diamond in a price range you may have to forgo the colour or clarity of a diamond. The points below should maximise your carat size without effecting the diamonds quality or “Brilliance.”
2. Colour - Our Recommendation Colour F to G
Pricing for a diamonds colour is based around how close the diamond is to colourless, basically the absence of colour. Colours D-F are colourless, G-H are near colourless. Colours D and E tend to be rarer, and therefore more expensive. Colour F is at the bottom of the premium colourless range but tends to be better value for money spent whilst G-H are excellent buying for the more budget aware
3. Clarity - Our Reccommendation Clarity SI1/2 or VS2
As a Diamond crystal grows it often contains unique “birthmarks,” either internal (called inclusions) or external (called blemishes). Diamonds clarity refers to the absence of these inclusions or blemishes. A SI1 or SI2 (top end) clarity rating is typically face up “eye clean” ie no inclusions are visible to the naked eye whilst the diamond is viewed face up (they are however visible under 10x magnification). SI1 or SI2 (top end) Clarity rating is good value for money. VS2 tend to be significantly more expensive but are typically completely eye clean.
4. Cut, Polish & Symmetry - Our Recommendation - Very Good – Excellent
A diamond is made up of a number of small mirrors (facets), each must be at a precise angle to reflect (and refract) light. This is what gives a diamond its “fire” and sparkle (brilliance). Poor through to Good in these fields will affect a Diamonds overall Brilliance and light performance.
5. Certification – Our Recommendation– GIA (Gemmological Institute of America)
GIA is considered the pre-eminent authority on Diamond grading in the world. It is an independent organisation set up in the 1960’s to stringently assess and grade diamonds, separate to the major diamond cartels. A GIA graded diamond is your assurance that the Carat size, Colour, Clarity, etc are correct. A GIA graded stone is recognised internationally. There are other international certifications which tend to be much cheaper for the same stone grading (these are usually out by 1 to as much as 4 colour and clarity grading compared to GIA. See http://www.gia.edu for all information concerning GIA certified diamonds.