Buying a diamond takes a little bit of research and planning if you’re looking to walk away with a quality stone that is accurately priced. Simply being a diamond doesn’t give a stone grand quality, and simply being expensive doesn’t make the clarity higher. For those looking to purchase a diamond, this guide will help you make the right choice depending on your priorities. Check out this step-by-step guide to choosing a diamond.

Decide how many carats you want

When buying a diamond, one of the first decisions you should make is how many carats you’re looking for. In diamond purchasing, there are four C’s to pay attention to, the first of which is “carat.” A carat measures the weight of a diamond—one carat equals 200 milligrams!

Choose a clarity level

Clarity is measured by the number of easily seen flaws or unique marks in a diamond. The more noticeable or higher number of visible flaws, the lower the diamond grade. While there is a large difference between a diamond with flawless clarity and diamonds with extremely low clarity grades, most of the time the difference between middle clarity diamonds is difficult to tell to the untrained eye, so if you’re on a limited budget, most people choose to go big on the carats and lower on the clarity. However, a jeweler might recommend that you go for higher clarity for higher carats, since it is easier for the untrained eye to notice a lack in clarity with larger carat diamonds.

Decide on a color

Diamonds come in a variety of colors. Deciding what color diamond you prefer will initially help you to narrow your search for the perfect diamond. Diamonds range from colorless to yellow. Colorless diamonds are the rarest and are more expensive, while yellow diamonds are less expensive.

Discover different cuts

The cut of the diamond is one of the most fun parts about diamond shopping. Diamonds are cut in a certain manner to create a shinier appearance that is measured in brightness. A brighter diamond typically costs more than one with a less bright appearance. This typically depends on personal preference, as each cut looks different on each diamond.s