Diamonds: The Best Sparkle You Can Get for your Budget


You know the famous four C’s: carat, cut, color, and clarity.  But which “C” matters most, and what’s the fifth?

We went straight to the Gemological Institute of America, the GIA. They created the world standard for grading diamonds

If you’re considering popping the question, here’s what you should consider before you make such a large personal purchase.

Do not compromise on cut
This is the most important “C,” says John King, Chief Quality Officer, GIA. “It’s the diamond’s ability to sparkle and reflect light.”  Round brilliant is the most popular cut, followed by the princess cut, then pear, cushion and marquis.

When it comes to color, “G” is good
The scale goes from “D” to “Z” but it’s best to stay between “D” and “J,” says King. “The further you go in the alphabet, the more yellow the stone.”

(And FYI: yellow stones and yellow diamonds are two different things.)

Clarity refers to the unique inclusions or blemishes in the diamond
Don’t get a stone with too many blemishes because some can be seen with the naked eye.

Don’t put a premium on carat size
The 4th “C” is carat size.  Many Americans put a premium on this, thinking the bigger, the better.  If that’s how you feel, the “C” to compromise on is clarity. “Anything just under a landmark weight is much more affordable,” says King. For example, a 1.8 carat ring is much more affordable than a 2.0, and it’s only two tenths of a carat in difference.

Know what you can get for your money
*If your budget is under $1000, you can get: a half carat, H color, SI three.

*If your budget is $5000, you can get: a one carat H color SI one.

*If your budget is $10,000, you can get: a 2 carat H color SI two.

So…what’s the 5th “C”?
It’s certification! Reputable jewelers will provide you with certificate for stones over half a carat.  “If it doesn’t have a grading report from an independent organization, then you really shouldn’t get the diamond,” says King.

Whether you’re shopping in store or  online for that special sparkler, be a Savvy Spender: search for consumer complaints, speak to previous clients, and once you get the ring, be sure to have it appraised.

For more shopping tips, click here.

We want to hear from you! Which “C’ is more important to you? Connect with me on Twitter @veragibbons and use the hashtag, #FinFit.

Special Thanks To Nekta New York for making this video possible.

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