Let’s be honest, when it comes to diamonds, size does matter. The only downside to this strategy is the exorbitant price tag associated with truly perfect diamonds. Luckily, there are tricks and nuanced specifications to look for when shopping that can help wrangle a bigger stone without visibly sacrificing quality. To advise on this endlessly fascinating topic, we asked jeweler-to-the-stars Claude Morady for his tips when it comes to shopping for an engagement ring. Here, expert hacks for landing a big rock for less.
Hacks For Buying An Impressive Engagement Ring
Expect To Pay Top Dollar For A Perfect Diamond
"A perfectly cut D color Flawless 1.00 carat diamond would be sold in the range of $30,000 to $45,000. For a slightly flawed beautiful diamond the prices vary from $7,000 to $12,000 a carat."
Look For Stones With Flaws Not Visible To The Naked Eye
"The G.I.A. (Gemological Institute of America) ratings of Flawless to SI2 inclusions cannot be seen with the eye so settle for a diamond with SI2 inclusions to save money."
Clarity is rated using these terms: IF (Internally Flawless), VVS1 (Very Very Slightly Included), VS1 (Very Slightly Included) and Imperfect.
More Facets Doesn't Necessarily Mean More Expensive
"Round brilliant cuts are the most desirable and hence the most expensive of all shapes. The number of facets are not related to the price of the diamond. For example, a radiant cut diamond (which means it has 72 facets), will be less expensive than a round brilliant cut diamond (which means it has 58 facets), assuming they are like for like on all other measures of quality."
For a complete guide to the myriad of cuts available, click here.
Don't Get Hung Up On A Perfectly White Diamond
"Although D color is a perfect rating according to the G.I.A., a round brilliant J color will still look white to the naked eye. Often an old European cut diamond of K color will also look white."
Clarity is rated on a scale from D to Z. D-F are considered colorless, G-J are near colorless, K-M are slightly tinted, N-R is very light yellow and S-Z is light yellow to yellow.
There Are Ways To Make A Diamond Look Bigger
"Marquise, pear shapes and oval cuts look bigger than round diamonds of the same size. Aless bulky the setting and smaller or non-existent side stones will make the center diamond look larger. Also, adding a halo of small diamonds will make the center diamond look bigger."