It’s important to understand what makes diamonds so expensive. And it’s even more important to know what reduces the value of a diamond. Let’s find out which characteristics lower the price and how to avoid overpaying for low-quality stones.
Visible Internal Flaws
Diamond clarity grades are based on how visible the inclusions are when looked at with a loupe or with the naked eye.
One of the main characteristics that reduce the value of a diamond is the number and visibility of inclusions (internal flaws) such as black spots, crystals, feathers etc.
These internal flaws detract from the value of stones if they are easily seen from a normal viewing distance or are located close to the centre of the diamond when viewed from the table (top).
It’s also important to mention that the closer a flaw to the surface of the stone, the more likely the inclusion is to weaken the internal structure of the gem.
Chips and Scratches
If a diamond’s surface has been chipped or scratched, the value of the stone will go down. And depending on how big and numerous these flaws are, the price can go down significantly.
For example, if you accidentally scratch or chip your diamond, the stone is likely to crack or even break in the same place if hit again. This risk makes your stone cost cheaper.
There is no way to repair a chipped or scratched diamond without recutting. This process involves removing the chipped part. You come up with a smaller diamond that has a lower carat weight and costs less as a result.
The most desirable diamonds are the ones that have colourless or near colourless grades. And there is no surprise that visible yellowish tints lower the stones colour grade.
Since diamonds with yellow tints are not that highly sought-after, they cost less than colourless stones do. Moreover, the stronger the yellow tint, the greater the drop in price.
However, the yellow tint in a diamond can be masked when the stone is set in yellow or rose gold. In this case, the tint will blend with the colour of the metal and becomes less visible, making the stone look whiter.
Disproportional or Poor Cut
The cut quality determines how light entering the stone will reflect back to the observer.
For instance, if a diamond has a too shallow or too deep cut, most of the light entering the stone will leak out without being reflected. This will result in low brilliance and sparkle.
The closer a diamond’s cut to the ideal proportions, the more brilliance and sparkle it has, and the more valuable it will be.
As a general rule, stones with Poor and Fair cut grades tend to be cheaper than those with Good, Very Good or Excellent grades, all else being equal.
Cover image credit: Darco Diamonds