No matter how many times you might hear that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, this only rings true if you know what you are looking for and how to buy the best quality diamonds for your money. If you have no idea what you are looking at when shopping online or in a store, it is far too easy to end up with subpar jewelry and wasting your money. Most people have at least heard of the 4 C’s of diamonds and think they have at least some idea of what they are, but these four very important standards by which diamonds are rated are far more important than many people realize.
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The 4 C’s are carat, cut, color, and clarity, each of which is equally important to the appearance and value of a diamond. The Importance of the 4 C’s Whether you are buying your first diamond or have already made several purchases, making this type of purchase is not something you do on a regular basis. However, once you understand more about the universal diamond grading system and how it works, it will make it much easier for you to make the right choice every time you set out to buy diamonds or diamond jewelry.
The following information has been developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the world’s leading authority on grading diamonds and many other precious gems. Carat Weight The term carat is used to describe the physical weight of the diamond. According to the standards established by the GIA, one carat is equal to 0.2 grams. Diamond measurements are based on a total of 100 points. Thus if you are buying a half carat diamond, you are buying one that is rated at 0.50 carats. However, one thing to keep in mind is that just because you are looking at a range of diamonds that are all rated at 1.00 carats, this does not mean they are all going to look the same. Their final appearance is based not just on their overall weight, but on the qualities of the other 4 C’s that each displays. Diamond Color A bunch of diamonds in different shapes, sizes, and colors.
The word color might seem to denote a particular color of diamond such as a brown (Chocolate) diamond and so on. But in all reality the phrase color is actually used to denote how much color each individual diamond contains. The scale runs from colorless (essentially crystal clear) to yellow. In most cases you will find the differences in color to be relatively subtle in nature. The official range starts at “D” which is virtually colorless and as such represents the most valuable diamonds to “Z”, which are the most yellow in color. The increase is slow and subtle, but the closer to “Z” a diamond is rated the less valuable it is likely to be. While the whiter a stone is the more valuable it will be, at the same time there are a number of rare stones that contain other colors pigments such as pink, brown, blue, and red. These are known as “Fancies” and tend to be among the more expensive stones.
If a yellow diamond surpasses the “Z” rating it is also considered to be a “Fancy” for evaluation purposes. Diamond Clarity The term clarity denotes how internally clear a diamond happens to be. Unless you are buying synthetic diamonds, they are all the result of millions of years of hard work by Mother Nature. Because of this the vast majority of natural diamonds come with their own individual characteristics referred to inclusions. These inclusions are unique to each diamond, many sellers and buyers have their diamonds “plotted” which is a form of appraisal that maps the inclusions and creates a fingerprint that insures your diamond cannot be swapped out by an unethical jeweler or repair shop.
In certain cases these inclusions are removed during the cutting process or can be hidden by the jewelry maker with the use of certain types of mounting. Inclusions are considered to be “natural birthmarks” created by tiny mineral crystals that have become trapped inside the diamond as it being formed. In There are several different recognized grades of clarity: FL: Absolutely flawless. IF: Internally flawless as determined by an expert grader under a minimum of 10X magnification. WS1-WS2: Those with very, very slight inclusions that are hard to find under 10X by an expert grader. VS1-VS2: Those with very slight inclusions easily seen under 10X magnification. S1-S2: Those with slight inclusions that can be seen by a skilled grader at 10X magnification. I1, I2, and I3: Those with imperfect inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye without the need for magnification. Warning: Some jeweler will drill into the diamond to remove an inclusion and then fill the hole back in using liquid glass. Referred to as “fracture filled diamonds”, these stones are not as valuable.
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However any reputable jeweler will be able to see that a diamond has been subjected to this type of treatment. Finally There Is Cut The term cut refers to the overall proportions of a diamond and how each section of the diamond has been cut in order to obtain the stones optimum beauty. This is the only part of any natural diamond that is actually man-made. While cut typically refers the actual final shape of the diamond, (i.e. pear-shape, emerald-cut, princess- cut), when a grader is rating the value of a particular gem, emphasis is placed more on how well-balanced its proportions are. Consider this, three people may all weight exactly 150 pounds, but at the same time they are all likely to be differently proportioned.
One might be short and large around the waist, one might be tall and thin, the other might be somewhere in-between. At the same time three different diamonds might be graded with the same color, clarity, and carat weight, but they may all be cut differently. Beauty Is In the Eye of the Beholder Bear in mind that while the 4 C’s of diamonds are an essential method or rating diamonds, it is not the only thing you should be looking at. The simple reality is that the true beauty of any diamond lies in the eye of the beholder.
Consider how it will look once it is set in its final mounting and how it will look on the person for whom it is intended. Beware of the lighting in jewelry stores as they are chosen to highlight the jewelry being sold, take a moment to look at the diamonds you are considering in natural light to see how they will look once the intended person wears them on a daily basis.What to know about engagement rings ? please read more here…