Let’s clear the air on Ideal Cut Diamonds.
One of our biggest goals at Jonathan’s Fine Jewelers is to help our customers make the best diamond choice possible. Not to brag, but our clients are smarter than the average diamond shoppers. They know they don’t want to pay insane prices for low quality stones at a mall jewelry store, so they find their way to us. Whether they are shopping for ideal cut diamonds or antique rings, it’s always a better financial decision to come to a jewelry wholesaler like us.
Here’s the problem: even with the hours of online research and combing through hundreds of diamonds at online retailers, there is still a lot of confusion about ideal cut diamonds among first time shoppers. The truth is that there is too much information on diamonds for a customer to get a full education in a few weeks. The certified Gemologists at Jonathan’s go to school for years to learn this stuff!
We’re about to share some serious diamond buying hacks with you. Get ready.
What exactly is an ideal cut diamond?
An Ideal Cut diamond is a nickname for a stone with an “Excellent” cut grade evaluation administered by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). This Excellent or Ideal Cut distinction only applies to round brilliant cut diamonds.
There is a good chance that you have probably heard of these versions of the excellent cut diamond: “Hearts and Arrows” and “Hearts on Fire” diamonds. These are names created by popular jewelry companies as a clever marketing strategy to set their ideal/excellent cut diamonds apart from the crowd!
What should I look for in an Ideal Cut/Excellent Diamond?
This is where things can start to get complicated. As you can see in the diagram below from the GIA, cut evaluation can be a nightmare to wade through on your own. A great trick to finding an ideal cut diamond is to follow these general criterias:
- A depth that ranges from 60-62%.
- A table that ranges from 55-58%
Now, are these hard guidelines? No. However, these numbers are a great place to start. If you find a diamond that has a depth and table of 60%, you’ll be fine. If you have a diamond with a table of 54%, you’ll be OK too. Remember – these are just ranges to work with!
If you aren’t interested in looking at specific depth and table percentages, we have an easier way to find an ideal cut diamond: Trust the GIA’s grading system. We can’t stress that enough. Jonathan’s deals in GIA diamonds because we know it’s the most accurate and least biased grading entity in existence. If they say it’s an Ideal/Excellent cut diamond, you should take their word for it.
How can I get the most bang for my buck on an ideal cut diamond?
What we are about to tell you goes against everything you’ve ever heard about buying diamonds (especially if it’s from your girlfriend).
Don’t buy an Ideal cut diamond based on carat weight alone.
We get this exact phrase all the time in our showroom: “She said she wants at least a 1 carat stone“. Here’s the problem: most people confuse carat weight and girdle diameter. Women generally want a diamond that looks bigger, so they will give guys a strict guideline on carat size, but don’t realize that diamond’s diameter can make a huge (and cost saving) difference.
Here’s an example using two ideal cut diamonds that we found on a popular online retailer’s site:
.96 carats/I color/VS2 clarity/Excellent Cut (Ideal Cut)
Depth = 60.4%
Girdle Diameter = 6.4 millimeters
Price = $4,578*
1 carat/I color/Vs2 clarity/Excellent Cut (Ideal Cut)
Girdle Diameter = 6.4 millimeters
Price = $5,023*
In the above example with two very similar diamonds that would look exactly the same size to the human eye, there is a 9% price increase from Diamond 1 to Diamond 2 because of the difference in carat weight! Notice that the table depth is in the recommended range that we mentioned earlier for ideal cut diamonds (around 60-62%). The key is that the girdle diameter is exactly the same at 6.4 millimeters.
So what does this all mean for finding an ideal cut diamond?
Don’t always feel like you need to buy a diamond based on carat weight alone. If you are working within a budget you need to understand that ideal cut diamonds will be sold at a premium because they look incredible. However, you can help your budget by choosing a slightly smaller stone that looks exactly the same as a more expensive diamond.
You’re probably wondering why we would tell you how to spend less money on a diamond. It sounds crazy, right? The secret to our business is that we want to create customers for life. If we treat customers right and guide them in the best direction for them, they more often than not come back for their future jewelry needs. It’s really that simple sometimes.
*Please note – these diamond prices listed above are not Jonathan’s prices! We work with our customers by appointment only and quote diamond prices in a one-on-one setting. Give us a call – (713) 977-9885 or visit our contact page to schedule an appointment today! You can keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter, and also check us out on Instagram below: