One of the most confusing topics when it comes to buying a diamond for an engagement ring is judging how much diamond symmetry actually matters. There is already a ton of information to wade through with the 4 C’s alone (cut, clarity, color, carat). Adding extra factors like polish, symmetry, and fluorescence can be frustrating for buyers who are completely new to the diamond world.
To give you a better idea of how important diamond symmetry is we’ll start by defining symmetry as it relates to the way the GIA grades diamonds.
So how important is diamond symmetry?
If you had asked us in the 1800’s or 1900’s we would have told you that it was extremely important. Before the emergence of the modern-cut diamond in the 1920’s, mine-cut (1800’s) and euro-cut (1900’s) were cut and polished by candlelight. It took a tremendous amount of skill from diamond cutters to produce a diamond with excellent symmetry. The increased level of difficulty made for a higher premium on symmetry.
As with everything else now, technology has advanced considerably for producing and grading a diamond’s symmetry. Candlelight has been replaced by high-tech software that very accurately analyzes a diamonds symmetry. Diamond cutters still do their work by hand, but have a far more accurate guide to achieve excellent symmetry.
As time has gone on, small differences in diamond symmetry have become less important when choosing a diamond.
Evaluating diamond symmetry is really a matter of context now. For example – the diamonds below carry an excellent (left) and very good (right) symmetry grade. To the naked eye or even slight magnification, there is very little difference between these two diamonds:
Now, here are two diamonds that carry a diamond symmetry polish grade of excellent (left) and fair/poor (right). The difference is extremely noticeable:
What is the price difference between polish and symmetry grades?
This is obviously what most diamond shoppers are concerned about. Unfortunately the answer is that it’s complicated. There are so many factors that go into the price evaluation that it’s impossible to create a standard price scale for diamond symmetry alone. The process for evaluating symmetry is so complex that it took the Gemological Institute of America 15 years and the study of 38 million diamonds to even create their polish, symmetry and cut guidelines!
Here is the bottom line – symmetry and polish are certainly factors when choosing a diamond, but not always the most important. We tell our customers that they should focus more on the diamonds’ cut rather than just symmetry or polish.
Remember, every diamond is unique and the many factors that give a diamond it’s fire and brilliance should be taken into consideration.
This is why we have developed our one-on-one appointment system and Jonathan’s Fine Jewelers! We walk our customers through the entire diamond shopping process, explain the differences between as many diamonds as you’d like to see, and help our customers make an informed decision that they feel great about.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment to talk about the best diamond for you, visit out contact page. To stay up to date with the latest at Jonathan’s Fine Jewelers and for more diamond education tips and posts, like our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, or take a look at our personal Instagram accounts below!