Perhaps the reason most Canadian brides choose to have a diamond is because it is an enduring stone with fire and brilliance, which most couples hope is a reflection of their future. But shopping for the right diamond can be daunting.
Clarity is determined by the degree to which a diamond is free from natural inclusions or imperfections. Most diamonds have some inclusions that are visable only through a jewller’s loupe. Some women would rather have a larger stone with imperfections than a smaller stone with few inclusions. Other want the almost-perfect stone.
The best colour is no colour at all, allowing the stone to play with light. Diamonds are rated for colour on a scale beginning with D,E and F (perfectly colourless) to Z (poorest colour rating). Starting at the J rating, the stone has ascending degrees of yellow to it.
Carat measures the weight of the diamond, not its size. One carat has 100 points. The larger the carat, the greater the value per carat, because large diamonds are rare.
The cut is paramount because this is what brings a diamond to life. Only a well-cut diamond delivers the unmatched sparkle because the facets play with light. The shape of the diamond has no bearing on its brilliance. It is the cut and the individual facets, regardless of shape, that deliver the diamond’s brillance.
Shape is about style and personal preference. There are round, oval, radiant, emerald, princess, marquis, pear or heart shaped diamonds.
The most enduring style is the simple mounted diamond flanked by smaller stones. More contemporary styles include a wide band with a series of small stones set in the band. There are a variety of ways to set stones.
Pave: Used for multiple stones which are embedded in the mounting.
Cluster: Multiple stones mounted in a group, sometimes shaped like a flower or a leaf with a larger centre stone.
Tension: This uses pressure to hold the stone or stones between two open ends for a floating effect.
Prong: Thin metal claws hold the stone in place. Six prongs are recommended for security.
Bezel: A thin strip of metal encircles the stone around the middle.
Channel: Two continuous strips along the sides hold multiple stones in place, which are flush within the mounting.