Purchasing a diamond is a very big decision and can be one fraught with concerns and questions, like “How do I know I’m being told the truth?” Just like you, we know there are myths out there about diamond buying, mostly meant to disarm you when it comes to the bottom line on the sales receipt. Here, we’ll debunk the most common myths, so you can go into your sparkle-shopping experience with more confidence.
Myth: A diamond’s size and weight are the same thing.
Truth: The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. The size of a diamond is measured by the height and width. Size is what you see, but weight is what you pay for.
Diamonds with a deeper cut weigh more and may have less surface area; much of the value is below the table or top of the diamond. A shallower, smaller carat weight diamond, with the same diameter as a larger diamond, can have much more brilliance, fire and sparkle, yet weigh less — and cost less.
Myth: An Ideal Diamond Cut is the best.
Truth: As part of his doctoral thesis in 1919, Marcel Tolkowsky created a diamond cutting formula he thought would maximize brilliance and fire. It consisted of 58 facets symmetrically cut at specific angles. He called this round cut diamond the American Standard. Over the years, many variations were developed. In 1966, the American Gem Society took Tolkowsky’s formula, added its own alterations, and called it Ideal. It was the first grading standard for the cut of a diamond, which the society included in its Diamond Grading Standards Manual. Considered a flawed system by even 20th Century standards, this formula of varying parameters is still in use today by some jewelers. The outdated system has been replaced with a new American Gem Society standard, incorporating an evaluation of light performance, including brilliance, fire and sparkle. The emphasis is placed on how the facets of a diamond relate to one another when reflecting light. At Sparkle Cut Diamonds, we focus on improving the light performance of diamonds, particularly the amount of sparkle people can see.
Myth: The presence of fluorescence means a diamond is cloudy.
Truth: This blue light emits from about one-third of all diamonds when viewed under UV light. A 1996 GIA study discovered even with the presence of strong blue fluorescence, brighter diamonds were the recurring result. So, while fluorescence can cause a cloudy or hazy appearance, transparency is what’s really important. When it comes to fluorescence, hazy diamonds look hazier, clearer diamonds look clearer.
Myth: Transparency and clarity are interchangeable.
Truth: Clarity in a diamond is the absence of imperfections, but lack of clarity doesn’t automatically interfere with sparkle. Transparency, on the other hand, refers to how light passes through the diamond, which dramatically affects sparkle. Clarity impacts cost, but transparency is only noted in an industry grading report when it’s extremely poor. Transparency can have a much greater impact on the diamond than its clarity. Two diamonds could have the same exact clarity rating, but if one is more transparent, the result will be superior sparkle.
At Sparkle Cut Diamonds we look at both transparency and clarity, because we scientifically measure and only sell diamonds in the highest range of Sparkle. It’s why we have a money-back Sparkle Pledge.
Myth: A diamond worth buying should be at least a G in color.
Truth: Diamond color ratings aren’t colors at all, but alphabetical grades which represent a range of color. Diamond experts subjectively evaluate diamonds for color by using a loupe and looking at a diamond repeatedly from different angles. Consumers look at the color of a diamond by holding out their hand and moving the diamond around. For diamonds with exceptional color, like D-F grades, the color is nearly white. For diamonds with color grades in the G-L range, the color when viewed with the naked eye will look nearly identical to the D-F grades. However, the price of a G color 1 carat diamond is usually $3,000 to $5,000 higher than a K color diamond. For diamonds with color grades below L, consumers can notice yellowing of the diamond with the naked eye. Interestingly, color rating has nothing to do with how much sparkle a diamond can have!
Myth: The 4C’s are the only thing that matter when buying a diamond.
Truth: While the 4C’s are the industry standard, they only matter if you’re inspecting a diamond with a jeweler’s loupe, or if you’re willing to pay a lot more for your diamond. Instead, the 3S’s — Size, Shape and Sparkle — are the traits that are visible to the naked eye. They’re the things you’ll notice every time you look at your ring. Don’t pay for what you can’t see. Focus on what you can see. More sparkle + less cost = a lifetime of enjoyment.