Where have you been?
When it comes to diamonds, size obviously matters.
But what most people don’t realize is how size affects every single aspect of a diamond. Some good, some bad.
So let’s start off with the good first…
1) It’s BIG!
You can’t deny that the sight of a large diamond is breathtaking. I mean, a really huge diamond can drop your jaw.
The dream carat weight is 1.00 (the average size is .38), but when you get into 1.50, 2.00, and 3.00, you really see people’s eyes light up.
Everyone wants one.
Big diamonds rock!
2) More sparkle, more brilliance
Of course, with larger diamonds comes a larger viewing area. This also creates more brilliance and sparkle. Bigger flashes of both white light and colored light. It’s the life of a diamond, and the bigger the stone, the bigger the impact.
These diamonds will knock your socks off.
3) Inscriptions are easier to read
Big diamonds are usually laser inscribed (most diamonds over 1.00 carat are), and with bigger diamonds, come bigger girdles, and easier to see inscriptions. Just grab a microscope or a 10x jeweler’s loupe and you’ll be able to read them with ease (which is also the best way to prevent diamond switching).
So, these are the best reasons to go large, other than bragging rights.
But there are a lot of downsides too. More than most people realize.
Let’s take a look at them:
1) The price
Big diamonds demand a big price (they are much rare in larger sizes). Price can double, triple, or even quadruple the cost easily. And when you get into massive diamonds like 4.00 carats and 5.00 carats, it’s practically the price of a sports car, house, or boat…
Take a peek:
2) Color is more apparent
That’s right. When diamonds get bigger, so does the color. It intensifies… like doubling a tinted piece of glass. The color gets easier to see and appears more darker.
Compare the two diamonds below of different carat weights, see how the bigger diamond has more visible color?
Crazy, isn’t it?
So with a bigger diamond, you probably will want a better color, as well.
3) Clarity is more obvious
When the diamond gets large, so do the inclusions. The flaws in a smaller diamond may be harder to see (which is awesome), but these same flaws in a larger diamond tend to stand out and get noticed.
Compare the two diamonds below:
And if you compared even a smaller diamond, like .25 or .33, you probably wouldn’t see any flaws at all. Size matters!
With big stones, you’ll probably want to stick in the SI1 clarity range or higher. Otherwise, you may be seeing imperfections for the rest of your life.
4) Cut stands out more
Bigger stones also show off a poor cut better (really worse). The diamond will appear darker, it will have less sparkle, everything tends to magnify. Compare the cut below, same cut, different sizes:
Bigger stones can not only look darker, show off weird attributes like nail heads and fish-eyes (dark areas inside the stone due to a bad make), but you’ll also see the facets better. See if they are misaligned, see if the culet is larger, see if the girdle is huge or uneven. Cut, proportions and faceting become much more apparent and glaring.
So with bigger diamonds, you should pay attention to cut. Many larger diamonds will be cut deep (lumpy), where most of the weight is in the base of the stone or the crown (this also can make the diamond look smaller than it really is).
I generally advise purchasing a diamond with an “excellent” or “very good” cut grades, so you avoid most poor cut features. Better cut diamonds not only face up better, but add a lot of bling.
5) 36% GLOW
Many, many big diamonds can also glow in the dark. It’s called fluorescence and is more visible in larger stones. It can make a great diamond often appear foggy or hazy inside.
When you buy a diamond, always check the fluorescence grade on the diamond report. I advise “none“.
But fluorescence does affect price greatly (sometimes by 25%), so comparing the same quality and size of stone could get confusing until you look at the grade.
36% of diamonds have fluorescence (which is a natural phenomenon in diamonds)…
(Diamond counts came from instock inventory at James Allen at the time of this post.)
Fluorescence is something you should see to understand. Some fluorescent diamonds look weird, others don’t. You won’t know until you view them.
The bottom line:
With size comes great responsibility… Just kidding, it’s price.
Compare the diamonds below to see how price can jump from 1.00 to 2.00 and 3.00…
Same quality (cut, color, clarity)… but look at the price jump–WOW!
So are you in the market for a larger stone?
You could be, if the price is right.