Select The Perfect Diamond
The traditional choice for an engagement ring is a diamond. Diamonds are forever and diamonds are timeless. They are the most popular sort of centre stone as well as being the most enduring.
Choosing a shape is typically the best place to start when selecting a diamond. If you are uncertain about which shape to choose, it can be handy to understand the reasons why round diamonds are the most popular, accounting for around 75% of all diamond sales. It’s because they are the supreme sparklers – with their brilliant, fiery radiance, round diamonds dazzle with an exhilarating white heat.
All non-round diamonds are classified as ‘fancy shapes’. Cushion cut diamonds can be square or rectangular in shape with curved corners and soft, vintage facet patterns. This antique style has emerged as a popular choice again in recent times. Princess cut diamonds have a square shape with sharp angles producing excellent light performance. Princess cut diamonds are prized for their modern, clean lines and stunning sparkle. Emerald and Asscher cut diamonds are an elegant option - step-cut with more transparency than round diamonds though not producing as much fiery sparkle. The very distinctive, elongated shapes of Marquise, Oval and Pear shaped diamonds are fantastic for making fingers appear long and svelte. While Heart shape diamonds beautifully express love and romance. In the current market, you will save as much as 40% if selecting a diamond other than a round. This is purely due to the law of supply and demand. Diamond Exchange offers 10 different round and fancy diamond shapes.
Cut is the pre-eminent determining factor in the evaluation of a diamond’s quality. This characteristic has the most influence on the gemstone’s sparkle, brilliance and beauty. A diamond with inferior cut and craftsmanship will lack lustre and life. Round brilliant cut diamonds are straight-forward to assess, as they have formal grades allocated by independent laboratories. Cut is more subjective with the fancy (non-round) diamond shapes however, where the grades are more arbitrarily assigned. Diamond Exchange recommends choosing a cut grade of Excellent or Super Ideal for round diamonds, and for fancy shapes we recomend cut grades of Very Good, Excellent or Super Ideal. Selecting a stone with a superior cut grade will optimise the brilliance of a diamond relative to its carat weight.
Another very important characteristic to consider is a diamond’s colour. Different individuals observe colour in varying ways, though typically more people are most enchanted by a diamond which is white or colourless. For this beautiful colour, Diamond Exchange recommends a grading within the range of D (absolutely colourless) to G (near colourless and great value).
Clarity is a characteristic which affects a diamond’s overall appearance to a lesser extent. Therefore it is often the last consideration for many people. Sometimes, diamonds which are graded SI2 will have noticeable inclusions, but at Diamond Exchange, we will inform you if a diamond you are considering has any inclusions visible to the naked eye. To avoid these obvious inclusions and still maintain excellent value, we recommend a clarity grading of either VS1, VS2 or SI1.
Carat is the specific unit of measurement used to weigh diamonds and gemstones. The term 'carat' is often misunderstood as an expression of size. It refers to a diamond's weight however, the weight is proportionate to its size because diamonds are cut to specific dimensions and angles.