Gemstones – Diamonds
If the thought of purchasing a diamond is causing you some panic, then this information may help. If you’re worried you may not know enough about the 4 C’s, Diamond Shapes, or Diamond Certifications, then this section is for you!
As a standard practice, diamond characteristics are graded and categorized within the jewelry industry. The “Four Cs,” when combined and used to determine the final cost of a diamond, are considered the most important characteristics. They are:
- - Cut is probably the most important, and the most difficult, of the Four Cs to understand. The brilliance, sparkle and “look” (how large it appears to be) of a diamond depends heavily on its cut.
Clarity – Almost every diamond will have flaws, typically referred to as inclusions, that occur naturally during the formation process. Whether or not they are visible to the naked eye, or under 10x magnification, the type of inclusions they are (fracture, cloud, feather, etc.), the number or amount, and size of these inclusions, bundled together determine the clarity of a diamond.
Color – Most jewelers today use the GIA color scale when referring to the “color” of a diamond. This scale begins with “D”, which is considered “Colorless,” or extremely white, and ends with “Z” which is considered a “Fancy Color.” For many years, colorless diamonds were considered the most desirable. but recently there has been an explosion in the Yellow and Brown Diamond market, and sales of these stones have increased dramatically.
Carat weight – A “Carat” is the unit of weight by which a diamond is weighed. There are 100 points in 1 Carat, therefore a 1/4 carat diamond weighs .25 points, a 1/3 carat diamond weighs .33 points, a 1/2 carat diamond weighs .50 points, a 3/4 carat diamond weighs .75 points, and a 1.00 carat diamond weighs 100 points. Because large diamonds are more rare than small diamonds, larger diamonds carry larger price tags.
Diamond certificates – A diamond certificate, sometimes called ”cert” or a grading report, is an extensive evaluation of your diamond, which has been performed by a qualified professional. Each stone, like each person, is unique, and bears its own recognizable, individual characteristics, which is listed on the certificate. Certifcations can be “GIA,” “AGS,” “EGL,” or “IGI,” or may be written from another, smaller certification house.
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