Diamond rings are priceless in terms of sentimental value--but affairs of the heart aside, the key to a diamond's commercial value is its rarity. A smaller stone can be worth more than a larger one provided it has more rarity factors--greater clarity and brilliance and fewer inclusions or internal flaws. Here's how to find the brilliant best.
- Determine what you want or can afford to spend.
- Become fluent in the four C's of the international language of diamonds: carat weight, color, clarity and cut.
- Diamond weights, not sizes, are measured in metric carats. A single carat weighs about as much as a small paper clip. Carats are divided into fractions or decimal points.
- Letters represent diamond colors with D (colorless, very rare and most desirable) to Z (light yellow or brown and less desirable). Grades vary, so ask your jeweler. It's also a matter of taste. Winter-white diamonds look best with platinum, warmer shades with golds.
- 6 Clarity grades measure birthmarks--internal flaws are called inclusions, external ones blemishes. Grades include FL for flawless, VS1 for very slightly included, and I3 for included.
- Seek out a cut that maximizes brilliance, fire and sparkle. The Jubilant Crown, Caro74 and Lucére Diamond are great examples.