How to Determine Diamond Value in Today's Marketplace

It's no secret that a diamond is a major investment. This isn't just another present for your soon-to-be spouse. It's the piece of jewelry that symbolizes your eternal commitment. However, in addition to its hefty symbolism, what gives a diamond value in today's market? Why do these particular stones fall at the pricier end of things?

Diamonds used to be rare. Until the past century or so, rings were typically made with sapphires or rubies. Diamonds have now claimed their spot as classic engagement ring material, but they're still an expensive gem to purchase. Here are a few things that affect the price of a diamond and give it a higher or lower value:

Cut

How a diamond is cut is going to significantly affect its cost. Cut doesn't refer to the shape, like princess or pear, but rather to how well it was crafted. The higher the cut, the more sparkly the diamond. If you try to skimp on cut, you're going to wind up with a diamond that doesn't reflect light as well as it could and therefore looks dull. A diamond with a higher cut is going to cost more than a diamond with a lower cut because it takes more time and technical skill to create. Even a smaller diamond with a higher cut may be pricier than a larger diamond with a mediocre cut.

Certification

Has your diamond been certified? Certificates are supplied by the diamond provider as a promise you're actually getting what you paid for. You should always seek certification for your diamond, especially if it costs more than $1,000. The Gemological Institute of America and American Gem Society provide the two most common certificates.

Diamond Color

Another important trait is the color of your diamond. Diamonds can range from being colorless to light yellow, in 22 different grades, and since colorless diamonds are very rare, they tend to be the most expensive and highest-quality diamonds. The grades are alphabetical from D to Z, so the higher a color (like G), the more expensive it will be over a lower color (like W).

Overall, the best way to decide you've gotten the most bang for your buck and highest diamond value is by shopping around. Ask diamond providers for specific details about the cut and clarity of your diamond and compare it to others on the market. Diamonds are a large investment that requires research, but once you've made your decision, you'll be thankful for the time you put into it. A beautiful, valuable diamond will last a lifetime—just like your marriage.