The diamond. A symbol of strength, eternity and everlasting love. It’s one of the hardest substances on Earth, having endured billions of years of tremendous stress. Diamonds have adorned ancient and modern-day kings and queens, Oprah Winfrey, and are best-known as the centerpiece of modern-day engagement rings. Gifting someone with a diamond is not only a gift that can be treasured for generations – but also an investment in happiness and commitment – whether to your significant other, a family member or a dear friend. So why does the idea of buying a diamond seem to be so stressful? You’ve studied and memorized the 4Cs of diamond quality and even saved and studied every engagement ring photo on your partner’s Pinterest wall. But you’re still unsure of where to start once you’re working with your local jeweler. No worries! You aren’t the first, and won’t be the last. That’s why we’ve created these 4 easy and simple tips to help you select a diamond…so that you’ll be 100% confident and satisfied with your selection. Just like the rarity of a diamond itself, we at Hurst want your promise to be just as special and beautiful.
1. Love looks not with the eyes...
…but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.” (A Midsummer Night's Dream). Our good friend, William Shakespeare, couldn’t have put it any better. To dub it down in terms of a diamond, it doesn’t matter what it looks like, you love a stone for its personality and what's inside. More often than not, diamond shoppers get so hung up on clarity, which they equate with cloudiness. This is wrong. Clarity has nothing to do with cloudiness, but rather, the amount of inclusions – inside the diamond - and imperfections – the outside of a diamond. Think of diamonds like people, some have freckles. Others have birthmarks, which makes us all unique and different in our own beautiful way.
2. We spend too much time overanalyzing, overthinking and obsessing over a diamond's grading that we forget to...
…look at the diamond and appreciate it with our own eyes. Gaze upon it. Watch it sparkle and gleam. As these three-leading lady’s razzle dazzle, which one appears more brilliant to you? The lady you pick, may be different than the one someone else picks. Remember: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Despite all three of their differences in shape, the two diamonds on the right are nearly identical in relation to their color and clarity grading (E color/VS2 clarity cushion cut versus E color/VS1 clarity radiant cut), while the round-brilliant diamond on the left has a slightly lower grading (H color/SI2 clarity with slight blue fluorescence). This fluorescence can actually help the stone appear a bit whiter, possibly even to an “F color,” although its true color grading is H. But, their sparkle and brilliance is still quite similar due to many factors regarding their history, including how they formed, and our next point: how they were cut and polished.
3. A cut above the rest.
When the roughly 3,000-carat Cullinan diamond was found in 1905, it was cut into 105 diamonds, including the Cullinan I (530.2 carats) and the Cullinan II (317.4 carats). You better believe that whoever was cutting this beast was top-notch! Obviously, they were, because you can now see the Cullinan I in Queen Elizabeth the II’s sovereign’s scepter, and the Cullinan II in her imperial state crown.
The cut of a diamond doesn’t necessarily directly relate to its shape, but rather its proportions, symmetry and polish. The cut of a diamond is by far the most important determiner of how it will visually perform (some even put on a soft-shoe number with a hat and cane). When you look at a diamond, look for these three effects:
For a practice round, take a look at our exclusive DoubleCrown Diamond. Can you spot all three of these effects?
4. "The best color in the world is the one that looks good on you." -Coco Chanel
Diamonds receive their color grading in a white, colorless environment. But, in the real world, color is everywhere. You can use it to your advantage. For example, if you love a diamond that is deeper on the color scale, or need to keep within a particular price range, you can use these tips and still pull off that WOW factor!
Getting hung up on comparing the color of diamonds side-by-side can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. Virtually impossible. Therefore, keep it simple. Trust your jeweler, and let your heart lead! You want your diamond to be as authentic as the relationship between you and the person to whom you’re giving the memorable gift.
And there you have it! Straight-forward, honest and to the point. That’s exactly how we've rolled at Hurst since 1908.
Until next time, bling on!