If you were asked to describe how diamond jewellery looks, one of the first things that would probably pop into your mind is ‘shiny’. If you were asked to further describe how ‘shiny’ a diamond is, you will probably not have anything further to say apart from ‘it is just shiny’. And to the typical layman, that is not wrong. You are unlikely to have spent a considerable amount of time analysing the shine of different quality diamonds under different light conditions with your naked eye, and therefore a diamond, whether good or bad, would usually just come off as shiny.
So, do you need to see a diamond jewellery in person to know it is good? Our answer is a resounding no. In fact, you might even end up leaving a shop with a diamond of inferior quality just because it looks “shiny” without having clearly understood the specifications of your diamond. There are a few factors when it comes to the visual quality of a diamond, and these makeup part of the famous 4Cs.
Out of the 3Cs which affect a diamond’s visual quality, this is perhaps the most obvious. Diamonds of a lower colour range like grades JKL start to present themselves quite clearly as yellow-ish rather than colourless, and this difference is quite noticeable to the naked eye. However, when we start looking at the next colour tier up, GHI, the yellow hue might not be immediately apparent; you might need to look more closely and intently, taking some time to allow your brain to recollect how a colourless diamond should look like and taking into account the light conditions you are viewing the diamond in before you inconclusively say “I think this is a GHI coloured diamond”.
And even when we move to the DEF colourless range, one would be hard pressed to discern a D coloured diamond from an F coloured diamond, let alone an E coloured diamond from the other two. Not to mention, these differences in colour become even less apparent when the diamond is set into a ring, where the colour of the gold imparts some colour character to the diamond itself.
So viewing a diamond’s colour in person is not entirely necessary as the colour grade on the certificate will already reveal how colourless or yellow the diamond will look to the naked eye, and even then, you will unlikely be able to accurately guess what colour grade the diamond is. Almost all the diamonds selected for our clients at The Better Diamond fall within the DEF colour range, so you can expect to see a colourless diamond on your bespoke jewellery.
The clarity grade is indicative of the degree of inclusions or physical imperfections present in the diamond. The clarity can affect the overall shine of the diamond if it is poor enough, and can even manifest as visible black marks inside the diamond. However, for all intents and purposes, the typical jewellery grade diamond has a good enough clarity for it to not affect its visual quality. A clarity grade as low as VS1 or VS2 can still appear as eye clean and have little effect on the diamond’s sparkle. We often help our clients find diamonds that fit within their budget, yet without compromising on the quality of it. If we have to select a VS clarity diamond for our clients, we ensure that the inclusions are mostly outside the table of the diamond, which is the largest visible surface area, so as to minimise any visible inclusions or loss in sparkle.
When viewing a diamond in person for its clarity, a F (flawless) grade diamond will be almost indiscernible from a VS (very slightly included) grade diamond. Even when viewing under a magnifying loupe, the inclusions of a VS grade diamond will be extremely difficult, if not impossible to spot. Hence relying on viewing a diamond in person will seldom achieve any meaningful outcome in selecting your ideal diamond.
Last but certainly not least, the cut of the diamond is crucial in how a diamond shines and sparkles. In this instance, cut is not referring to the shape of the diamond, but rather how the particular diamond is cut, resulting in a grading of its proportions. With IGI certification, the cut grade follows the following hierarchy - Ideal > Excellent > Very Good > Good > Fair. To the average layman, it is safe to say that an Ideal and Excellent cut diamond would be visually indistinguishable from one another. A Very Good cut diamond could also just as easily be mistaken for an Ideal or Excellent cut diamond, making the need for an in-person viewing of a diamond not meaningful. It often takes a trained eye to identify aspects of a diamond's cut which makes a diamond good or bad which involves referring back to the certificate's numbers to verify what we're seeing.
The cut of a diamond is often the part of selecting a diamond that we are most particular about, and our clients learn to trust us to pick out a diamond that is better than what they might end up picking if they were left to their own devices.
Polish, symmetry & fluorescence also play a part in the visual quality of a diamond. But I think you are starting to spot the trend of how these explanations go. At the end of the day, you might end up with a sub par quality diamond if you depend on your visual assessment of a diamond, instead of a thorough analysis of your diamond’s certified specification. These 3 factors are often not an issue with your diamonds as all our selected diamonds are with excellent polish & symmetry, as well as having no fluorescence, unless it is a coloured diamond, which in that case would then have fluorescence present.
So what is a better way to view a diamond if not in person? All our certified diamonds come with an extremely magnified 360˚ video which reveals their darkest secrets. You are able to see almost every inclusion present in the diamond, and where they are positioned. You are also able to gather some information about the light character based on the symmetry and contrast of the diamond’s arrows if we are analysing a round diamond.
There are a few instances that you might need to see a diamond in person, but it is not to know whether it is good. Instead, it is to know whether it is right for you. This could be in the form of size, shape and colour.
Sometimes, our clients are unsure what diamond size would suit them. We can let you try on a few different sizes to see what suits you best. Or if you would like to try it out yourself at home, we often recommend drawing and cutting out diamonds drawn on paper to imitate the various diamond sizes. This too can be the same for different diamond shapes.
By colour, we do not mean the colour grades for white diamonds, but instead, the colour of coloured diamonds, for example, blue diamonds. These coloured diamonds come in a range of varying intensities, e.g. light, fancy intense, fancy vivid etc. They can even come as a mix of colours, for example Fancy Deep Orangy Pink. Some clients are particular about the exact shade of a coloured diamond, and these might be better viewed in person.
Ultimately, you would have to trust the specialist you have chosen to work together with on the selection of your precious diamond as they would have experience in selecting the perfect diamond within your requirements. You can trust the consultants at The Better Diamond to literally find you the better diamond, and all the while from the comfort of your own home.