Diamonds have been used in rings since the middle ages, and the first reference to a diamond engagement ring or wedding ring was in 1477. Because of the supernatural powers accredited to diamonds, they became more popular, and Italians said that a diamond maintained harmony between husband and wife.
Diamonds also have a reputation for supernatural powers, such as protecting from enemies, and negating magnets, which goes back thousands of years. Diamonds also play an important role in Hinduism and Buddhism, in fact the oldest dated book, the Diamond Sutra from 868, also mentions diamonds.
Despite having a reputation as very expensive, diamonds are affordable and can be a worthwhile investment. Whether choosing a diamond solitaire ring, diamond earrings or loose certified diamonds, there are several things to be considered to ensure that you purchase the right diamonds for your needs.
Here are 8 tips to help you choose the perfect diamond.
1. Diamonds are sold by weight, so the weight is also the size of the diamond. A carat is divided up into 100 points. A diamond weighing 50 points is half a carat. As well as the weight, cut, colour and clarity are all very important when choosing a solitaire ring, diamond earrings or other diamond jewellery.
The term carat is used to measure the weight of a diamond, and is the equivalent of 0.2g. The term carat came to English from French and means the fruit of the carob. Carob seeds were traditionally used as a measure of weight because the seeds are all very similar in size. Other countries had their own carat, which was approximately the same size as a carob seed, and it wasn’t until 1914 that the carat was standardised to 0.2g in the United Kingdom
2. The cut of the diamond is the only aspect that can be changed by a human. The weight, colour and clarity are all down to nature. A well cut diamond will have many facets which reflect the light. When a diamond is cut, the light reflects from one side to another, to make it sparkle. A diamond that is cut too deep or too shallow will lose light and so won’t sparkle as much.
3. A diamond seen in a jewellers shop, in earrings or on a solitaire ring, is often transparent, or slightly yellow. The whiter the diamond, the more valuable it is. Diamonds with a strong blue or pink colour to them are called fancies, and are very rare. However, diamonds are available in almost any colour.
4. The clarity of a diamond is determined by the number of inclusions which are caused by multiple growth stages in formation. The value of the diamond depends on the number and severity of these inclusions. The clarity scale ranges from diamonds with no inclusions visible to the naked eye, or with magnification, to diamonds with inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye.
5. Diamonds can be cut differently for different applications. A diamond earring might have a different cut to a solitaire ring. The most popular cuts are brilliant, emerald, pear shape, marquise, princess, oval and heart shape. Brilliant cut diamonds are shaped so that they reflect the light upwards and make the diamond appear white when viewed from the top. Sometimes brilliant cut diamonds appear darker at the centre, which can indicate that the cut is too deep or too shallow and the light isn’t reflecting upwards.