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Diamonds …..

 

are the hardest of all substances on this earth. They are incredibly resistant to heat and scratching and can only be polished or scratched by another diamond, but an extremely hard blow to the girdle can cause a chip. By having your diamond placed in a protective setting your diamond can stay intact for a lifetime. Their sparkle, if cared for well, will remain undiminished for hundreds and hundreds of years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Rule of the 4 C’s to always keep in mind when purchasing a diamond:

 


Cut:

 

The cut of a diamond, or the roundness, depth, width, and uniformity of the facets, determine a diamond’s brilliance. The width and depth have the greatest effect on how light travels through and exits a diamond in the form of brilliance. In a diamond that has been cut too shallow light is lost through the sides causing the diamond to lose its brilliance. In a diamond that is cut too deep light will escape through the bottom causing the diamond to appear dark and dull. The proportions of a diamond, specifically the depth compared to the diameter, and the diameter of the table compared to the diameter of the diamond, determine how light will reflect and refract within a diamond. While nature establishes the color, clarity, and carat weight of a diamond a skilled artisan is necessary to unveil a diamond’s inner beauty. When a diamond is cut well, light reflects from one mirror like facet to another and radiates through the top of the diamond.


Clarity:

 

The greater a diamond’s clarity, the greater its brilliance, sparkle, and value. Diamonds that have perfect clarity are the most sought after and therefore are the most expensive. Most diamonds have inclusions, which are scratches, trace minerals, or any other tiny flaw that takes away from the natural beauty of a diamond. These so called birthmarks resemble tiny clouds, crystals, and/or feathers. Diamonds that are classified as flawless show no inclusions, these are rare and sought after because of their beauty. Diamonds with extremely tiny inclusions follow flawless diamonds in quality, because the larger and the more visible the inclusions the lower the quality and rarity forcing the value of that diamond to go down. The number, type, color, position, and size of surface and internal inclusions affect the value of the diamond. The reason for this being that large inclusions can disrupt the path of light as it travels through the stone, taking away from its sparkle and value. Rating are marked as FL for flawless, IF for internally flawless, VVS1 and VVS2 for very very slightly included, SI1 and SI2 slightly included.


Color:

 

Diamonds are graded by color. Acting as a prism a diamond can divide light into a spectrum of colors and reflect this light as colorful flashes called fire. A true colorless stone is very rare and sought after for their quality. The less color in a diamond, the more colorful the fire, the better the color grade. Grading goes by the letters in the alphabet, D being the greatest color quality and Z being the lowest color quality.


Carat:

 

The size and weight of a diamond is always classified by carats and points. One hundred points make up one carat. A diamond that weighs less than one hundred points is sometimes identified in point size, for example a .55 carat diamond can also be titled as a 55 point diamond. When diamonds are mined, larger stones are found a lot less frequently then smaller stones making larger diamonds more valuable. Usually, the pricing of diamonds goes up with the carat size.

 

Diamond Terms that you should know:

Girdle: The narrow band around the widest part of a diamond.

Diameter: The width of the diamond measured through the girdle.

Table: The largest facet of a gemstone.

Crown: The top portion of a diamond extending from the girdle to the table.

Culet: The bottom point of the diamond

 

Diamond Settings:

 

The setting for your stone is like a picture frame: it holds and protects the stone, and enhances its beauty. Most fine jewelers offer several different setting styles. As you search for the perfect piece of jewelry, it helps to know that different settings will complement your stone and your lifestyle. For example, a high prong setting on an engagement ring raises a diamond and makes it stand out beautifully. But if you lead an active lifestyle, a lower prong setting or a bezel setting, which holds the stone closer to your finger, may be more practical.

 

A Note About Fluorescence

...
Related to, but not affecting diamond color, fluorescence is a unique effect that causes a diamond to produce a slight blue glow when exposed to intense, direct ultraviolet light. Some people seek diamonds that produce this unique effect, while others definitely avoid it - it's purely a matter of taste.

 

What Color Grade Is Best?

·  For the purist, look for a colorless diamond with a grade of D-F and a fluorescence rating of faint, inert, none, or negligible.  

· For an excellent value in a diamond with no noticeable color to the unaided eye, look for a near-colorless grade of G-I, and a fluorescence grade of medium or strong blue.  

 

Or, if you'd rather not compromise on color but would like to stay on budget, choose a diamond with a good cut, SI1–SI2 clarity, and consider going with a strong fluorescence. It will still be beautiful to the unaided eye and you may prefer the unique effect of a strong fluorescence.

 

The table below compares the prices of diamonds with the same clarity grade (VS1) and carat weight, but varying color grades.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clarity Enhanced Diamonds


Diamond clarity can be enhanced with treatments, but not all enhancement techniques are permanent. The two most popular treatments are:


Laser Treatments**


A laser is used to remove some types of inclusions. An experienced jeweler can usually see the trail left by the laser.
**
Laser treatments are permanent.



Fracture Filling**


Tiny cracks in a diamond are filled with a colorless substance.

** Fracture filling is NOT considered permanent.



THE 3rd “C”  ……  The Color of a Diamond:


 


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. The more color a diamond has, the less light passes through the stone to make it sparkle. A colorless diamond allows more light to pass through it to create the maximum amount of brilliance. Colorless diamonds, however, are extremely rare.   Most diamonds have subtle shade differences, ranging from nearly colorless to light yellow. Most appear colorless to the unaided eye. The diamond industry uses a letter system to grade the color of diamonds, from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). A diamond with less color is more valuable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND THE 4th “C”  ……  Carat Weight of the Diamond

 

As discussed previously above,  the weight of a diamond is measured in carats. Total carat weight (T.W.) is the total weight of all the stones in a piece of jewelry. For example, a ring with one 1/2 carat stone and two 1/4 carat stones would have a T.W. of 1 carat.

Larger diamonds, or those with more carats, are sometimes considered to be more valuable, but occur less frequently in nature. However, diamonds of the same carat weight may vary widely in value. A diamond with poor color and clarity might be much less valuable than a smaller diamond with a better color and clarity.


Once you've determined what cut, color, and clarity grade you're looking for in a diamond, it's easy to determine the carat weight of diamond that will fit within your budget.

 
When diamonds are mined, large gems are discovered much less frequently than small ones, which makes large diamonds much more valuable. In fact, diamond prices
rise exponentially  with carat weight. So, a 2-carat diamond of a given quality is always worth more than two 1-carat diamonds of the same quality. Note that a 2-carat diamond does not appear to be twice the size of a 1-carat diamond when viewed from the top.

 
To choose the best carat weight of diamond, consider her style, the size of her finger, the size of your setting, and your budget.

 If you have a set budget, explore all your options and you'll find that there is a wide range of diamond carat weights and qualities   available in your price range.

 
 If your recipient is very active or not used to wearing jewelry, she may find herself bumping or nicking her new ring. Consider a smaller size diamond or a setting that protects a larger diamond from getting knocked against doors and counters.

 
 Also keep in mind that the smaller the finger, the larger the diamond will appear. A 1½-carat diamond solitaire looks much larger on a size 4 finger than a size 8.

 
 If you have already chosen a setting, to make sure you choose a diamond to fit, look for the diamond size specifications of your ring in the product catalog or ask your Jewelry By Net diamond and jewelry consultant what size diamond you should look for.

 
 Finally, if a large carat weight is important to you, yet you're working within a budget, consider a diamond with a good cut, SI1–SI2 clarity, and an I or J color grade.


A  final note about Diamond Carat Weight


A gem carat equals 200 milligrams, and there are 142 carats to every ounce. A carat is composed of one hundred points. …..

Jewelers evaluate a diamond’s carat weight by using an exceptionally sensitive metric scale that measures weight in points. So, a 1/4 carat diamond is also called a 25 point diamond. Because large diamonds are extremely rare -- and diamonds over one carat in size are becoming increasingly so -- every tiny increase in weight can result in a big increase in market value. Generally speaking, the larger the diamond, the higher the price. Even a large diamond that has so-so color and clarity will cost more than a smaller but finer diamond, simply because the larger ones are scarce.

But the best way to determine what size is best is by getting an idea of what she is expecting. If you plan carefully, you can get some answers without even raising her suspicions.

Care of Diamonds


Even though diamonds last forever, they must be cleaned periodically to ensure their brilliance. A solution of one part ammonia and six parts water can be used to clean diamond jewelry. It is also a good idea to have your diamonds checked once a year by a professional to ensure the setting is secure
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THE 2nd “C”  ……  The Clarity of a Diamond:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The natural imperfections in diamonds are called inclusions - minerals or crystals trapped inside the stone during its formation. The characteristics of the inclusions determine the clarity of the diamond. Diamonds that have no inclusions will reflect more light and are very rare. Nearly all diamonds contain these inclusions, or tiny "birthmarks," which make each stone unique. Most are unseen to the unaided eye; jewelers need magnifiers to identify them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE 1st “C”  ……  The Cut of the Diamond:

 

 

Cut refers to the precise proportions and dimensions of a finished diamond. How a diamond is cut affects the stone's "brilliance," or how much it sparkles. A stone that has been cut properly allows light to enter and refract through the stone, which creates brilliance. A stone that is too shallow or too deep will look dull and lifeless. The most popular shapes are shown in the chart below.

The cut of a diamond - its roundness, its depth and width, the uniformity of the facets - all determine a diamond's brilliance. Many gemologists consider cut the most important diamond characteristic because even if a diamond has perfect color and clarity, a diamond with a poor cut will have dulled brilliance.

 

Cut Determines Brilliance   (Please note: Cut should not be confused with shape)


The diamond's proportions, specifically the depth compared to the diameter, and the diameter of the table compared to the diameter of the diamond, determine how well light will reflect and refract within the diamond.


The width and depth have the greatest effect on how light travels within the diamond, and how it exits in the form of brilliance.

             Too Shallow: Light is lost out the sides causing the diamond to lose brilliance.


                
Too Deep: Light escapes out the bottom causing the diamond to appear dark and dull.

Text Box: The Jewelry Doctor
Iris Rocker, AJP, (GIA)

 

Diamond Carat

A Diamonds weight is expressed in carats. In order to get the exact carat weight the diamond must be loose. One carat is divided into 100 points so that a diamond of 100 points is described as one carat in size and is listed as 1.00 carat.

 

Diamond Color

Color choices for a diamond are limitless, but colorless diamonds are the most valuable. Colorless diamonds have a high value because of rarity and they are the most brilliant of the stone choices. A little color can diminish a stone's brilliance. 
 

 

Diamond Cut

Diamond cut is related to the proportion of the diamond. Cut more than any other quality gives the diamond its sparkle. A diamond gets its brilliance from polishing the facets which allows the maximum amount of light to be reflected.
 

 

Diamond Clarity

A diamond with the fewest inclusions is very rare and highly valued. The small inclusions are what makes each diamond unique. Clarity is determined by the number, size, and location of the inclusions with most being invisible to the naked eye.
 

 

Round Shape Diamonds

A round diamond is the most popular shape for a diamond and accounts for the majority of diamonds sold today.

 

Oval Shape Diamonds

An oval diamond has is an elongated version of the round shape which gives an illusion of length to the hand.
 

 

Marquis Shape Diamonds

A marquise diamond has an elongated shape with pointed ends.
 

 

Princess Shape Diamonds

A princess diamond is either square or rectangular in shape and brilliantly cut.

 

Asscher Shape Diamonds

The Asscher shape diamond was developed in 1902 by the Asscher brothers of Holland. It is a steped square cut with cropped corners.
 

 

Emerald Shape Diamonds

An emerald cut diamond is a rectangular shape with cut corners, broad flat planes, and a step cut.

Diamond Colors

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

V

W

X

Y

Z

Colorless

Near

colorless

Faint

yellow

Very light

yellow

Light

yellow

The diamond industry uses a letter system to grade the color of diamonds from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow).

Diamond Clarity (level of inclusions)

IF

VVS1

VVS2

VS1

VS2

SI

S2

I1

I2

I3

Flawless

Very, very

slight

inclusions

Very

slight

inclusions

Slight

inclusions

Visible

inclusions

 

Prong


Four or 6 evenly spaced prongs of precious metal encircle the stone and hold it securely in place.

 

Channel


A number of small gems are set in a groove that is carved into the metal.

 

Bezel


The stone is placed in a lip of precious metal that is hammered around the edge of the stone.

 

Pavé


From the French word meaning "to pave," many tiny diamonds or cubic zirconia are imbedded close together to "pave" the surface of the jewelry so it shimmers.

 

Invisible


Stones are grooved in the ring and set close together without visible prongs.

 

Bar


Bars of precious metal hold the stones in a channel-set fashion.

 

Chevron


V-shaped prongs hold the points of a marquise or princess-cut stone.

Price Comparison:   1—1.09 Carat  VS1 Round Diamond

COLORLESS

NEAR-COLORLESS

 

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

Ideal

$8,300

$7,500

$7,000

$6,600

$6,200

$5,000

$4,100

Very Good

$7,500

$7,000

$6,600

$6,100

$5,500

$4,500

$3,900

Good

$6,900

$6,400

$6,200

$5,700

$4,800

$4,400

$3,800

Fair

$6,500

$6,200

$5,800

$5,200

$4,600

$4,200

$3,700