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What carat weight should I choose?

Each of the 4Cs has its effect on the price and value of a diamond, so when deciding on which carat size to choose, you may want to consider her expectations, style of setting, her finger size and her own personal style. Is she wholeheartedly set on the largest diamond, highest clarity, or highest color? If you know that she is expecting a full one-carat diamond, VVS clarity, or D color, it will help you determine which of the Four Cs she values most. You can try to ask a close friend or relative for advice or you can always call us for guidance.

Which color should I choose?

Color differences from one grade to the next are very subtle and most people find it very difficult (or even impossible) to tell the difference. The price difference between color grades, however, can be significant. For those who truly want to know they bought the finest color, search for "colorless" diamonds in the D-F range. However, diamonds with a G-I color grade can offer an excellent value and still achieve a colorless appearance. For those who want to stay within budget or maximize the size of their stone, then J or K color diamonds are the most affordable and can look "near colorless" at face value. You may also want to consider a diamond with medium or strong fluorescence. Since these diamonds are priced slightly lower, it can allow you to afford a higher color grade.

Which clarity should I choose?

While a diamond does not have to be flawless to be attractive or exhibit brilliance, it is important to select one that does not have any inclusions that will affect the overall beauty and durability of the diamond. For those of you who want to be sure they buy a diamond that has no visible inclusions, to the naked eye, choose a diamond with a clarity grade of VS2 or higher. If you want to stay on budget or maximize the size or color of your stone, choose a SI quality diamond - many of which are "eye-clean" and provide great value. You can always call us and speak with a consultant who will examine the diamond you are considering to ensure that there are no visible inclusions. For the most value, it is always a good idea to try and balance the clarity grade with the color. For example, diamonds with G-I color range and SI clarity can provide extraordinary value.

Which cut grade should I choose?

Unlike the rest of the 4Cs we have just reviewed, when it comes to the Cut grade, things are not so straight forward. We often find our customers wondering if they should only stick to Ideal Cut diamonds - perhaps they should also consider a Very Good cut - or, maybe even a Good cut. We have found that the best way for customers to make a decision on a cut grade is to first understand how we categorize diamonds on DreamStone.com.

Ideal Cuts are mainly referred to as our collection of round diamonds. The round diamonds must have the most preferred ranges in the depth and table percentages as well as the polish and symmetry needed to have Very Good, Excellent or Ideal grades to qualify in our Ideal category. We carry several thousand of Ideal-Cut round diamonds for you to choose from, so finding one will not be a problem. On the other hand, when it comes to fancy shapes, (such as princess, emerald, cushion, etc.) there are very few stones that can qualify as Ideal-Cut. This is because it is difficult for a cutter to achieve a Very Good, Excellent, or Ideal polish and symmetry in any given fancy shape. Therefore, you should include all the cut grades when searching for any shape other than a round.

Very Good Cuts, also known as "Premium Cuts," share the same preferred proportions as the Ideal-Cut diamond, but may only have a Polish and Symmetry grade of Good. These diamonds reflect nearly all the light that enters and exhibit a stunning array of brilliance. Very Good cut diamonds also offer excellent value and a broader selection for you to choose from, especially if you're looking for a fancy shape. Most customers include Ideal and Very Good in any diamond search.

Good Cuts offer the most value for your dollar with only a slight deviation from the preferred depth, table and percentages. For example, in these diamonds the cutter wanted to maximize the carat weight of the stone and had to cut the diamond slightly wider or a bit deeper than diamonds in other categories to achieve this goal. Keep in mind that this is only a minor compromise and that our good cut diamonds do not stray too far from the preferred ranges. Good cut diamonds offer exceptional value and feature abundant fire and brilliance. A good cut diamond would make a beautiful center stone for any engagement ring, so you should feel confident if you are considering one.
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