Debunking the Top Five Loose Diamond Myths
By Ashley Bailey
, Monday, February 07, 2011
By Ashley Bailey
, February 07, 2011
Myth: When looking at a loose diamonds, your eye first notices the color grade of the stone, so that is the most important factor when choosing a loose diamond
Reality: When you see a loose diamond, your eye perceives every facet of the stone’s quality at once—as one cohesive aesthetic judgment. Therefore cut quality is of key importance. If a diamond is cut well, it will be very difficult for you to tell the difference in diamond color between a colorless D or E and a near colorless J diamond—even more so if you set the loose diamond into jewelry. The first two things the eye first notices about a diamond are size and sparkle. Size is the actual physical measurements and the sparkle has to do with the cut performance.
These two stones are alike in almost every feature—except color.
To upgrade from the top stone (a J) to the bottom (a D) you will pay four times the price.
Myth: A higher clarity grade, even if it is a difference invisible to the naked eye, will make your loose diamond a better investment in the long run.
Reality: Most diamond buyers are not looking at their loose diamond purchase as a pure investment; most diamonds are purchased for sentimental purposes on special occasions. A very high clarity grade is not necessarily something you will appreciate when you wear the diamond. Whether you are buying a loose diamond or one set into jewelry, diamonds several grades down on the scale can represent the best long term value.
Myth: Carat weight is the single most important factor in any loose diamond purchase—bigger is always better!
Reality: First of all, carat weight refers to the weight of a diamond (1 carat is .2 of a gram), not size—the size of the diamond as your eye sees it is affected by the proportions of the cut and how deep the table-to-pavilion ratio is. More importantly, the perceived size of your diamond will be greatly affected by its light performance—the more light caught and reflected out of your loose diamond, the bigger it will look and the more eye-catching it will appear. Not only that, but sacrificing all other factors for a giant rock isn’t going to get you the stunning look you want—a very large stone with poor light performance, visible inclusions and subpar proportions will just look dull and uninteresting.
There are many factors influencing the perceived size of your diamond, including halo settings like this one
Myth: All cut grades with names like Excellent, Ideal, Super-Ideal and Hearts and Arrows all refer to the same proportions in the cut of the loose diamond.
Reality: Although all those cut grades are nice, the truth is that super ideal diamonds feature the ultimate in cut craftsmanship and light performance. They are the best of the best. Of course, you can't go too far wrong with either an Ideal or Excellent cut, but for applications where the diamond is the focal point, like an engagement ring, you just can’t top the superior light performance of the Super-Ideal. Hearts and Arrowstakes the proportional perfection of the Ideal to the next level, with facets so symmetrically arranged in three dimension that the diamond is perfectly tuned. The A CUT ABOVE® diamond is the premier brand of Super Ideal Hearts and Arrows diamonds and is available exclusively at Whiteflash.
When photographed through a special colored lens, the near-perfect hearts on this A Cut Above® show up clearly.
Myth: It’s really important that your loose diamond be certified so that you can be sure you are getting the features you are paying for, but all the diamond laboratories are standardized and it doesn’t matter which diamond certificate you have.
Reality: Well, the first part of that is true—never buy an uncertified loose diamond, even if you see it yourself, because you simply never know what you’re getting. But not all laboratories are created equal. The two most reliable are the GIA—Gemological Institute of America—and the AGS—American Gem Society. Both of these companies specialize in diamond grading to the most exacting standards; the AGS in particular is known for having the very highest standards when it comes to cut grading.