Diamonds 101: choosing a Diamond for your Engagement Ring in Melbourne
Looking to purchase a diamond can sometimes feel like visiting a foreign country. Everything can seem unfamiliar and there is a whole new language you hear in which you don’t understand. It can seem overwhelming at first to know where to begin and what exactly is a good quality diamond fit for your Engagement Ring. Our clients can often find themselves navigating a complicated world of diamond terminologies and certificates - not exactly sure what they are looking at and which is right for them. To make an informed decision you don’t need to become an expert, but a little basic understanding of these precious stones will make you feel more at ease when you are selecting your diamond for your Engagement Ring in Melbourne.
We often get asked the same thing during our consultations, so we have put together some of our most commonly asked questions and answers to get you started on the basics about diamonds. To make sure you select a beautiful diamond for your custom design Engagement Ring! Keep reading below to find out more.
1. What are the 4 Cs?
The 4 C's refer to the cut, colour, clarity and carat weight of a diamond. These four elements are fundamental in describing the quality of a diamond and play a crucial role in determining its value. The cut relates to how well a diamond reflects light, the colour explains the absence of colour within the stone, clarity measures any internal flaws or inclusions and carat weight describes the weight of a diamond. Each certified diamond will be graded using the 4 C's, measured against the scale developed by GIA.
2. How do I know if a Diamond is good quality?
Gemological laboratories assess both natural and lab-grown diamonds to produce a grading certificate that evaluates their quality. This measures the characteristics of each individual diamond and allows buyers to discern if it suits their preferences. A high-quality diamond will have desirable cut, colour and clarity, which can be revealed within the diamond certificate. Diamonds are quite nuanced. Our diamond specialists can provide explanations surrounding all of these diamond details to guide you towards a high quality diamond. We always recommend viewing diamonds in-person to truly discover how they interact with light. This is the true test to reveal their light performance and brilliant sparkle.
3. What’s the difference between Natural and Lab-grown diamonds?
Natural Diamonds are formed deep within the earth over billions of years, whereas Lab-grown diamonds are formed in modern facilities using advanced techniques that mimic these conditions in weeks or months. They are identical in appearance and they both share the same physical properties and chemical makeup (carbon). Both Natural and Lab-grown diamonds are also graded under the same gemological laboratories meaning they display the same variances in the 4C’s. Aside from their origins, the only other difference between the two is their prices. Lab-grown diamonds are considerably cheaper compared to their natural counterparts. Lab-grown diamonds are generally 50-70% cheaper than natural diamonds.
4. What’s the best Diamond Shape?
There is no straight forward answer. The best diamond shape is subjective as it depends entirely on personal preference! We can say that the most popular is Round Brilliant Cut diamonds - in which about 70% of all diamond roughs are cut into this shape. However there are many to choose from. Some more popular shapes include Cushion, Radiant, Oval and Emerald cuts. Each offers their own unique qualities and proportions. Some of our clients prefer more elongated shapes and are drawn to Oval, Pear and Marquise whilst others select more balanced shapes such as Round, Princess and Cushion cuts. Another consideration when selecting Diamond Shapes is the faceting pattern (Brilliant cut or Step-cut). It really comes down to which you are most drawn to visually and which fit your criteria with the 4Cs. Some diamond shapes and cuts are more forgiving when it comes to colour and clarity than others, and some lend themselves to certain styles better than others.
5. How do I know the diamonds are conflict-free?
At Janai we only source conflict-free diamonds. Since the year 2000, the global diamond industry imposed a zero-tolerance policy towards conflict diamonds or what may be known as blood diamonds. This abolished diamonds produced under poor working conditions and those which funded war and conflicts. The United Nations, governments and government agencies worked closely together to create The Kimberly Process Certificate. This initiative was hugely successful to ban illegally traded diamonds and those which fund conflict in war-torn areas.
6. Is a Bigger Carat Weight a Better Diamond?
The simple answer is no, a bigger carat weight diamond is only heavier diamond (carat size is actually a measurement of weight not size). Whilst diamonds with higher carat weights will inevitably be more expensive as they are rarer to discover, the stone itself may not always be as visually appealing. A slightly smaller carat weight diamond can outshine a larger one that exhibits lower quality characteristics, as size itself does not equal a bright diamond. It is essential to balance the other 4C’s and to also consider cut, colour and clarity when choosing a stone.
7. Are Diamonds an investment?
Generally speaking Diamond Engagement Rings are sentimental pieces. The average couple is buying the diamond for their Engagement Ring as a symbol of their love and commitment, not with the intent of making money. Those searching for a stone purely as a monetary investment should research thoroughly and consult an expert. Diamonds with particularly rare and collectable characteristics can drastically appreciate in value. For the average consumer, the investment can instead be viewed as cost per wear (a diamond will last a lifetime and be passed along to later generations) rather than an asset that will appreciate in value to be sold at a later time.
8. How do I know if a diamond is real or fake?
There are many ways to discover whether a diamond is real or fake. The most reliable is to have the diamond tested by a reputable gemological laboratory such as GIA, IGI or GCAL. The vast majority of diamonds in all jewellery retailers would have already undergone this forensic testing. The simplest way to check for this is via the laser inscription. For any newer diamonds, this will instantly identify the stone as real or fake. The laser inscription will correspond to their certificate from a reputable Gemological Laboratory and show the 4C’s assessment and describe all of the diamond's unique qualities. If the diamond is old/antique we recommend sending the stone to one of these labs to be authenticated. Some other tests to verify whether a diamond is real or fake include checking thermal conductivity, conducting a fog test, transparency test and scratch test.
Our team is always happy to assist with your diamond questions when you first begin your exciting Engagement Ring journey!
Choosing the right diamond can seem overwhelming. We understand it can be quite a pressure-filled decision to choose the stone for the most precious ring of your lifetime. But there is no need to worry, our team of experts will talk you through exactly what you are buying to make sure you end up with a diamond with your ideal traits within your desired budget.
During your appointment at Janai you can see these differences with your own eyes by comparing loose diamonds side by side to each other and having our diamond experts explain their individual attributes. We know from certificates only and online videos it can be virtually impossible to see the differences between diamonds and make it quite difficult to choose. We hope by decoding some of the more commonly asked questions and it will help guide you towards your ideal diamond. And allow you to be one step closer towards your dream Engagement Ring in Melbourne.
To create your own custom design and discover more about loose diamonds, fill out the form below to request your appointment with us today.