The Perfect Diamond
Balancing Diamond Qualities for Value
When shopping for a diamond, some people have a definite idea of what they want; some people have no idea where to start. But everyone comes into this process with the same priority: getting the best value for their money while choosing the perfect diamond that will provide a lifetime of memories. Whether you have thousands of dollars to spend, or just a few hundred, we are committed to respecting your budget and working with you to find the perfect diamond that makes you proud of your purchase and makes your occasion extra special.
Please read the information on the 4C’s page to learn the qualities of diamonds that determine value. Remember that the more rare the stone, the higher its value and corresponding cost will be.
Is it important to you to have a certified stone? A diamond certificate is a document issued by a gemological laboratory describing a loose diamond. The certificate issues a “grade” indicating the physical properties of the diamond at the time of evaluation. It is an identification of the diamond, detailing the dimensions of the cut, describing all technical characteristics and mapping any inclusions in the stone. Certificates verify the authenticity of a diamond and can be important in the appraisal (valuation) process.
Unfortunately for the consumer, many agencies issue diamond certificates. These agencies have developed their own grading scales that over-estimate the qualities of the stone and serve to bias the purchase price in favor of the in-house jeweler.
How do you avoid this trap? By using an INDEPENDENT gem laboratory. At Barker Diamond we prefer, above all, certificates issued by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Societies Laboratories (AGSL). These two laboratories are known for having the most strict, consistent and unbiased systems for grading diamonds. Diamonds that are accompanied by grading reports (certificates) from these laboratories are the most highly valued in the industry, as their quality is considered guaranteed.
GIA is renowned for its impartial service as the world’s foremost authority in gemology. The Institute’s history of ground-breaking scientific research, education and gemological laboratory services has earned GIA its position as the most respected grading and identification authority in the world. GIA has combined the principles of research, education and service to help gem and jewelry professionals around the world use science and product knowledge to sustain the public’s trust.
AGSL is a not-for-profit trade association whose mission is “a dedication to proven ethics, gemological knowledge, and consumer protection.” Member firms must meet strict criteria and be committed to truth in advertising and pricing and accurately representing all products and services to their customers.
However, a diamond does not have to be certified to be beautiful. We also have available a wide selection of exquisite uncertified diamonds that will often be entirely suitable and save you money.
A good place to start is to decide on the shape of the stone. This is totally a matter of personal preference and will determine the major design element of your ring, necklace or earrings.
Cut and Color
At Barker Diamond, we prefer to focus on the qualities of the diamond that you can see with the naked eye. By far, the determining factor in recognizing a great diamond is the cut. Many elements determine a perfect cut, including the depth and table proportions, polish and symmetry. A great cut is immediately apparent – the diamond is alive with sparkle and brilliance.
The color of a diamond is also obvious and should be evaluated carefully. While diamonds in the D-E-F range are the most rare and valuable, often if the cut is fantastic, a stone of a higher color, especially in the G-H-I range, can offer a better value without sacrificing beauty.
Nearly all diamonds have small inclusions, or imperfections, that make them unique. Most aren’t noticeable to the naked eye, so if your budget won’t allow you to buy a perfect stone, sacrifice clarity rather than color or cut.
Because inclusions take many sizes, shapes, forms, and positions (and must be revealed in the grading or certification process) many are insignificant to the diamond’s overall beauty and eye appeal. By personally examining each diamond with a jewelers loupe (10x magnification), you can see for yourself each of the inclusions and decide whether or not they detract from the diamond’s beauty. Unless money is no object, why pay for something you can’t see?
Your budget will be the deciding factor on how big a diamond you can choose. However, know that, in our opinion, the size of the diamond is its least beautiful quality! You will learn when you visit Barker Diamond that natural radiance and beauty exist in diamonds of all sizes when our requirements for cut, color and clarity are revealed.
So many of our customers have told us, “We have looked all over, but you have by far the most beautiful diamonds we have seen anywhere.”