All diamond rings look bright and sparkling when worn on a woman's hand. Women love to wear diamonds. So don't be too concerned if your budget allows only a lower quality diamond. Let's face it: for the same price, some women would prefer a larger diamond of lower quality over a smaller diamond of higher quality.
However, the quality becomes clear when different diamonds are viewed under a microscope.
How to choose the best diamond value:
While choosing a diamond is a matter of opinion, we have our preferences. For the price, larger is better as long as the diamond does not fall below your expectations for brilliance and beauty, which are determined by the Cut, Symmetry, Polish, Clarity and Color ratings.
The images below show a range of diamond qualities viewed under a microscope.
This is an F color VS1 clarity diamond with an
"Excellent" Cut and Symmetry. It has no flaws visible to the naked eye. It will display a shower of fire, scintillation and brightness when moved under a source of light. Nearly all of the light entering the diamond is reflected back to the viewer's eye through the table and crown of this diamond.
This is a G color I1 clarity diamond with a
"Very Good" Cut and "Excellent" Symmetry. It has a flaw (near the top) that would be visible to the naked eye. However, a diamond like this can be a very good value for the price and the G Color is virtually indistinguishable from the highest color (D) after the diamond is mounted.
This is a G color I2 clarity diamond with a "Good" Cut. It has several flaws and it looks a little dark overall, but there is plenty of light reflecting through the table, and it will show flashes of fire and scintillation when it is moved under a light source.
This is a J color I3 clarity diamond with a "Fair" Cut. It looks opaque because there is very little light reflecting through the table. This is a result of both a shallow Cut and several cloudy flaws inside the stone. Stones like this can look fairly dull.
Guidelines for Making your Diamond Selection:
For those on a budget, we would recommend a diamond with a Good Cut and Symmetry rating, a Clarity rating of I1, and a Color rating of I-J. The Cut and Symmetry rating have the greatest effect on the brilliance of a diamond. While a Clarity rating of I1 means that the diamond has a flaw visible to the naked eye, it may not detract from the overall beauty, especially if the flaw is near the outer edge of the stone and could perhaps be hidden under a prong. The Color rating does not affect the brilliance of a diamond, so we've chosen to compromise a little more on this attribute in order to lower the cost.
For those seeking an exceptional diamond, we would recommend an Excellent Cut and Symmetry rating, a Clarity rating of VS1 or better, and a Color rating of G or better. The Excellent Cut and Symmetry will return an extraordinary shower of fire, scintillation and brilliance to the viewer's eye. A Clarity rating of SI or better is "eye clean", meaning that no flaws are visible with the naked eye. A Color rating of G or better is nearly impossible to distinguish from the more costly D Color after the diamond is mounted.