diamond-education


How To Buy Diamonds 

                                                                    Choosing Your Diamond

For first-time buyers, shopping for diamond engagement rings or other diamond jewelry can get over-whelming. Before you begin, learn the basics with the 4Cs: color, clarity, cut and carat weight.


Carat, abbreviated "ct." is a measure of weight used for diamonds. One carat is equal to 1/5 of a gram (200 milligrams). Stones are measured to the nearest hundredth of a carat. A hundredth of a carat is also called a point. Thus a .10 carat stone can be called either 10 points, or 1/10 of a carat. Small stones like .05, and .10ct are most often referred to by point designations.
The carat, as a unit of weight, is derived from the carob seed which was used by early gem traders to weigh diamonds. Since a carat is a unit of measure and not size, two diamonds of the same carat weight may appear to be different sizes depending on how the diamond is cut.

Diamond Cut Education 

CUT

Diamonds can have cut grades of Ideal, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor. The cut, or proportions and angles of a diamond determine how it reflects light. A diamond's reflective properties are referred to as "fire" or "brilliance." Too shallow a cut will let light escape through the sides of the diamond before it has a chance to reflect, making it appear watery or dull, while too deep a cut will allow light to be lost through the bottom of the diamond, making it appear dark, especially in the center.
The cut of a Diamond is a key to its magical brilliant glow. The Diamond is cut to maximize its natural sparkle. A Diamond may have a perfect color and clarity but a poor cut dramatically worsens the Diamond’s brilliant appearance. A Diamond may be cut in many different shapes: round, princess, baguette etc, but any shape it may be turned into must be of perfect proportions.
The Diamond shines and sparkles the most when it is ideally cut, allowing the light to travel through the Diamond and exit in a heirloom radiance of a colorful rainbow. If a Diamond is improperly cut, the light is lost and the Diamond appears dark and dull and doesn’t sparkle.





Diamond Clarity Education

The Clarity Grading Scale developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), outlined below is the most widely accepted grading system in the world.

Grade

Description


F

Flawless. The diamond shows no inclusions or blemishes of any sort under 10X magnification when observed by an experienced grader.


IF

Internally Flawless. The diamond has no inclusions when examined by an experienced grader using 10X magnification, but will have some minor blemishes.


VVS1, VVS2

Very, Very slightly included. The diamond contains very small inclusions that are difficult even for experienced graders to see under 10X magnification.


VS1, VS2

Very slightly included. The diamond contains small inclusions such as small crystals, clouds or feathers when observed with effort under 10X magnification.

SI1, SI2

Slightly included. The diamond contains inclusions (clouds, included crystals, knots cavities and feathers) that are noticeable under 10x magnification.


SI3

Slightly included. The diamond contains inclusions (possible large feathers or large crystals) That are obvious under 10x magnification but not to the visible eye.


I1, I2, I3

Included. The diamond contains inclusions (possible large feathers or large crystals) That are obvious under 10x magnification and visible to the naked eye.

 

Now you will ask "Which clarity grade should I choose"?
 

Fl and IF are very rare diamonds and very expensive for the average person's pocket.

 

VVS and VS are very good clarity diamonds but are still quite expensive.

 

More affordable and very good choices are SI1, SI2, and called also "eye-clean" because they have no inclusions visible to the naked eye.

 
Every diamond is unique and possesses its own individual natural characteristics referred to as inclusions and described as "nature's fingerprints". These inclusions, such as minerals or fractures, appear while diamonds are formed in the earth. They may look like tiny crystals, clouds or feathers. The number, size, color, nature and position of the inclusions determine the clarity of the diamond.

Diamond Color Education

Color refers to the presence or absence of color in white diamonds. Acting as a prism, a diamond can divide light into a spectrum of colors and reflect this light as colorful flashes called fire. Just as when looking through colored glass, color in a diamond will act as a filter, and will diminish the spectrum of color emitted. The less color in a diamond, the more colorful the fire and the better the color grade. Diamonds are assigned color grades by comparing them to diamonds with color grades which have been certified by the GIA as master color comparison diamonds. The GIA grades color alphabetically from D (totally colorless) to Z (yellow). See chart below:
Color differences are very subtle and it is very difficult to see the difference between say, an E and an F. Therefore, colors are graded under controlled lighting conditions and are compared to a master set for accuracy. When determining the color of a diamond, it is crucial to see the diamond unmounted.

 
  So How should I choose?
 

Color ultimately comes down to personal taste.

 

Diamonds graded D through F are naturally the rarest and most expensive but you can purchase very attractive diamonds that are graded slightly less than colorless.

 

Diamonds graded J through M might have a very very faint hint of yellow but this color can often be minimized by selecting the right jewelry in which to mount the diamond.

 

If you prefer a warmer glow, a lower grade of color could also be the right choice for you.