The color of a diamond can range from light yellow to totally colorless – and its beauty and value increase the more colorless it is.
The numbers 0.0 to 10.0 are used to identify the amount of color present in each diamond, with 0.0 awarded only to rare, totally colorless diamonds. 0.5 and 1.0 grades are also colorless, but slightly less. A diamond with a color grade between 1.5 and 3.0 means the diamond is nearly colorless.
A well cut diamond is brilliant because it reflects and refracts light better than one not cut as well.
When cut to ideal proportions, a diamond will reflect more light out of the top, resulting in greater fire and brilliance. A poorly cut diamond with unbalanced proportions will allow light to escape out the bottom and sides, resulting in a dull appearance. That’s why a better cut increases price.
Natural diamonds are formed by tremendous heat and pressure. As you can imagine, that kind of pressure can cause imperfections internally and externally. These characteristics seldom affect a diamond’s beauty, but they do affect price.
Clarity is rated by the number, size, nature and position of these characteristics. No diamond is perfect, but the closer it comes, the higher its value.
Carat weight refers to a diamond’s size and weight. Larger diamonds are scarce, and therefore more valuable – so size does matter.
However, two diamonds with the same cut and weight can be priced quite differently. A half-carat diamond with a high grade color and clarity may cost more than a three-quarter carat diamond that is not as colorless or clear.
It’s simply a matter of deciding what matters most to you, then finding the most beautiful combination that fits your budget.