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It is no secret that diamonds are a substantial, and valuable, purchase. You might put just as much thought into buying a diamond as you would a car or piece of art – especially if that diamond is destined to take centre stage in an engagement ring or wedding band. So, cost will of course be a very important part of your decision. You want value, quality and beauty – and to know that your money has been well spent. By understanding the makeup of a diamond and how cost is affected by various concerns, you will see that you can find a diamond that fits both your budget and your taste.

There are many things to consider when it comes to buying a diamond – some essential, and some that can be adjusted according to your requirements. What is key is to identify which considerations you value the most, and how the available specifications can be manipulated to accommodate a level of compromise that you are happy with. There’s no need to be confused or daunted by the wide variety of diamonds and combinations of qualitative factors available. Once you know the basics, and have the help you need from a trusted jeweller, it will be easy – and fun! Remember that you are buying an investment item that will bring pleasure and gratification to your loved ones for many, many years.

Keep in mind, too, that while grading certifications can and should be used to judge the quality of a diamond, each stone is unique. One specimen within the same band as another may be slightly better quality as it comes in a little closer to the classification cut-off point. Or, it might win out in one category, but be trumped in another. Grading labels come on a sliding scale, so you must see the diamond in person to truly judge its worth. Moreover, fluctuations in price occur due to a diamond’s origin and the health of the market, so stones with almost identical specifications may be valued differently simply for these reasons. View a variety of stones and make up your own mind about what appeals.




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The weight of a diamond impacts on its price exponentially, so the larger and heavier the diamond is, the more value it will be given. One single large stone will be much more expensive than two stones that add up to the same weight, as bigger diamonds are rarer and therefore more highly prized than their smaller counterparts. Likewise, a diamond solitaire ring will prove more costly compared to a collection of stones in a setting that holds the same carat weight.

A sizeable stone can trap and emit light with greater and more impressive effect, so they can command a price that is four times higher than a similar quality diamond that is half the size. The total value of a diamond is determined by a multitude of factors, but if you want to examine the price of comparable diamonds, you can work out the price per carat. Divide the price of the stone by its carat weight, and compare the end result.



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Cut-off Points: Undersized & Oversized Diamonds

Diamond carat weights are usually categorised by rounded decimal numbers that increase in defined amounts, such as 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1.00. When a stone falls just below or just above one of these cut-off points, it can offer fantastic value for money. Underweight diamonds will weigh almost as much as a similar diamond in the next band up (for example, 0.97), but will be priced considerably lower. On the other hand, an oversized diamond is a great find as it will have a carat weight slightly above the accepted cut-off, but cost the same as those that are on the lower end of the scale. However, it is quite rare to come across either of these phenomena, as cutters tend to engineer stones so that they are in line with industry standards, or sometimes cut poorly when trying to achieve a higher weight.

The reason that diamond cutters occasionally do this is that they are paid by the weight of the stone. If they have a diamond that is close to one of the higher carat weights, they might decide to forego beauty by retaining weight in chunky girdles and unnecessary depth. Just 0.01 of a carat more can increase the value of a stone by a huge amount – sometimes thousands of pounds more than another whose features are almost identical otherwise. Unfortunately, doing this not only decreases the cut rating, but diminishes the splendour and sparkle that attracts people to diamonds in the first place. What’s more, an expertly cut stone will look larger anyway. But, if you instead find a diamond with a 0.98 or 0.99 carat weight and a high cut grade, you will know that this diamond has been cut for beauty. A stone like this will be brilliant value, as not only is it fantastic quality, but it is essentially a one carat diamond that is priced in the band below.

All in all, the budget you set aside for a diamond purchase is up to you. But, if you really want to make the most of what you have, pay special attention to the carat weight and quality of the cut, and adjust other determining factors to bring your ideal combination into view. A considered approach and the willingness to view a range of options will be key to finding the diamond that ticks all of your own, personal boxes.