All about diamonds
Know your sparkly stones and get savvy about quality, cost, and settings before you hit the stores.
At A Glance
Cut: Proportions of a gemstone
Color: The absence or presence of gray or yellow
Clarity: The absence or presence of inclusions
Carat Weight: The weight of a gemstone
Are you aware of the Four Cs the characteristics that determine the value and quality of diamonds? While a diamond engagement ring has always symbolized lifelong commitment, love and a romantic rite of passage, today’s couples are also concerned with fashion, their own personal style, quality, value and price. A tall orderbut one that can be filled brilliantly when armed with the right knowledge.
These are the four characteristics that determine a diamond’s quality and value and as a result, its price. No two diamonds are alike, although they may look identical to the naked eye. The 4Cs are the key to understanding why two diamonds of equal size may not be of equal value. The following information on the 4Cs will help you become an informed and knowledgeable consumer.
A good cut is what gives a diamond it’s brilliance, sparkle and fire and increases its beauty. A well cut stone normally has 58 facets. A cut is different from shape. The most popular shapes of a diamond are round also known as “brilliant”, marquise, pear, oval `and emerald. Shape is purely a matter of personal taste.
When looking at the diamond, move away from the halogen spot lights (the ones you will probably find over your head) which are meant to increase the sparkle of the diamond. Look at it under normal lighting conditions to see how it catches the light. Compare it to higher and lower graded diamonds of the same size to see how the sparkle compares
Diamonds come in all colors but clear white is the most popular. The best color is no color. Rare stones of exceptional strong color are known as Fancies. In general, the less the amount of color means the higher the value of the diamond because less color allows more light to pass through the diamond which creates more sparkle and brilliance.
The unit weight of a diamond is a carat. The larger the stone, the rarer and more valuable it is. A carat is divided into 100 “points”, so that a diamond of 25 “points” is described as a quarter of a carat or 0.25 carats.
Clarity refers to diamond’s purity. Sometimes black spots known as Nature’s fingerprints are found in diamonds. The fewer such spots, the more valuable the stone because the flow of light is less obstructed.