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How are diamonds priced?

There are many factors that are considered when determining how much a diamond is worth. An evaluation of a diamond usually starts with the 4 C’s; Carat, Cut, Clarity, and Color. A diamond expert will need to examine your diamond to calculate and grade each of these areas to determine its value.

Carat
The size of the stone is one of the most important factors in determining the value of a diamond. Larger is typically more valuable, and just a small difference in the carat of a diamond can greatly increase or decrease its worth. For example, a 1.00 carat diamond would be worth considerably more than a 0.99 carat diamond even though the weight difference is not significant. The same goes for a 0.50 carat diamond as compared to a 0.49 carat, or a 4.99 carat compared to a 5.0. “Magic Sizes” such as 0.50 cts, 1.0 cts., 2.0 cts., and 5.0 cts. become sizes that when reached, greatly increase the price per carat of a diamond. Diamond buyers use precise measurements of the length, width, and depth of a diamond to determine its carat weight. Diamond scales can also be used on loose stones to calculate a diamond’s weight.

Cut
The cut of a diamond refers to its shape. Round diamonds are the most valuable of the cuts. Fancy cuts trend up and down with current fashion, and are worth considerably less on today’s market. Cuts can come and go in popularity, but the classic cut of a round stone retains more value than the others.

A cut grade also refers to the symmetry and proportions of a stone. Certain factors such as a diamond’s proportions, weight to size ratio, eye appeal, depth, and liveliness of the stone can add or subtract to the cut grade and therefore the value of a diamond.

Clarity
Clarity of a diamond refers to the amount of imperfections contained within the stone. A diamond with minimal to no noted imperfections would be of more value than a diamond that has a variety of clarity issues. When selling your diamond, your stone will be examined under magnification for the amount and type of imperfections it has. A stone that has flaws notable to the naked eye, will receive the lowest of clarity grades. Stones also may have damage such as chips or abrasions that can only be fixed by recutting the diamond to a lower carat weight. This will also greatly decrease the value of the stone.

Color
In white diamonds, the less color the better. Bright white, colorless diamonds are the most valuable and receive a higher color grade. Color is graded on a D to Z scale, with D being the best color grade reserved for colorless diamonds. Diamonds that are yellow or champagne in color, will not be worth nearly as much as those that are bright white. The exception to this is natural fancy colored diamonds such a blue, red, and green. These can demand a higher price if determined by a lab such a GIA to be natural and not lab created or color enhanced.

Other Factors Considered When Pricing a Diamond

Fluorescence
Fluorescence refers to how your diamond appears under UV light. When a buyer observes your diamond, they will shine a blacklight on the stone to see if it emits a blue glow. If it does, then the diamond is considered to have some degree of fluorescence depending on how strong the glow is.
In diamonds of D-H color, the presence of fluorescence can greatly decrease the value of the stone. In diamonds graded with an I or lower for color, some fluorescence may actually enhance the color of a diamond, but may still decrease its value.

Paperwork
A diamond that is accompanied by a certification from a lab, in particular GIA, will typically be able to be bought at a higher price. Diamond reports from reputable labs such as GIA & AGS will provide more details for the buyer to take into consideration and will also authenticate if the diamond is natural or lab created. In more recent times, many diamonds certified by two houses are also laser inscribed. Unfortunately, certification from some labs is not reliable and can not be considered a factual representation of the diamond’s grade.

Designer
Diamonds that are determined to be from well known designers such a Tiffany & Co. and Cartier may be bought at a premium price in a piece of jewelry if they can be authenticated as such and if they have paperwork/certification available.

Many factors go into the evaluation and pricing of a diamond. When you bring your diamond into CT Gold and Silver, our trained buyers can assist you in grading your stone and determining the best price that can be paid given the market value that day. We have certified GIA diamond graders on staff, so you can be confident that you will be getting an accurate and reliable assessment of your diamond. Please visit one of our locations at your convenience for a no cost evaluation and estimate.

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