The internet is full advice when it comes to diamond shopping but I find most of just scratches the surface of what people actually want to know. In that vein, everyone's favorite topic is how to get the biggest diamond for your buck - because well size matters! I asked five of my favorite experts how they would guide someone on how to find the biggest diamond for their money. Their answers were all very interesting and I would highly recommend reading every word below before your search embark on your search for the perfect diamond.
It's about finding the right balance of the Four C’s to get the best bang for your buck. If you’re looking at a Brilliant Cut, I generally suggest going down in clarity, because often you can find a beautiful SI1 or even SI2 where the imperfections are not eye-visible or where they are ideally located so that they’re hidden by the facet lines or can be placed under a prong. In a Step Cut, I would generally suggest dropping in color, because the way the stones are faceted, they will not reflect the depth of color in the same way a Brilliant Cut would. But it is really about finding a nice balance of Color/Clarity without compromising on the Cut of the stone because the Cut is what dictates the sparkle of a diamond. Stephanie Gottlieb, Stephanie Gottlieb Fine Jewelry
A budget-saving factor to consider is fluorescence. The presence or absence of fluorescence in a diamond is the degree to which it reflects a glow usually a blueish color under ultraviolet light. In daylight, fluorescence actually makes a diamond appear whiter than its color grade. In years past, diamonds that fluoresced were called blue-white diamonds and were highly prized. Today there is a lot of confusion as to the desirability of fluorescence because a very small number of stones with strong fluorescence can look hazy in daylight. This misperception that all fluorescence is bad has resulted in a backlog in the market of perfectly wonderful diamonds and offers a smart price saving, again allowing for a larger stone than you might expect. Russell Fogarty, Beladora
If you want to get the biggest diamond for your money, I always recommend compromising on the clarity before the color. Always shop for your diamonds in person and if you are on tighter budget look for an SI clarity diamond. The SI clarity range is by far the broadest. In many instances, you can get an SI clarity diamond that is completely eye-clean, making the stone an amazing value. As long as the imperfections are not eye-visible you are good to go. Olivia Landau, The Clear Cut
By finding “eye clean” SI1/SI2 stones and “white facing” I/J colored stones, you can save significantly and allocate that money towards carat weight. The shape also impacts how big a diamond looks. Ovals and Pears are very elongated and trick the eye into appearing larger than other shapes of the same carat weight. They also tend to be cut more shallow, spreading the weight so the top view has bigger proportions. Nicole Wegman, Ring Concierge
The most important thing to me is the look of the stone. What I mean is that usually, people get stuck into what they read online and are focused on the GIA certificate credentials, but if you only consider that you are compromising on the actual look of the stone. There are two things I am always recommending my customers: first, don't be afraid to buy a stone with fluorescence. medium blue or faint blue usually makes the stone look brighter and if it's not a hazy/milky stone, it's totally worth it in order to get a bigger size for their money. The second thing is to look for a diamond (when buying a non-round one) that has a shallow depth. That will make it look bigger than it's carat weight. Sam, Icerock Diamonds