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Loose Diamonds    Diamond Shapes    Diamond Brands    Upgrade Program    The 4C’s

The 4C’s:

CUT

Carat Weight

 

Carat is the unit in which diamond is weighed. One carat equals to 0.2 grams or 200 milligrams. Carat weight is the prime factor that determines the weight of a diamond. Bigger diamonds are undoubtedly costlier. Carat makes expressing diamond weight easier as compared to milligrams. Instead of giving three labels to diamonds weighing 20 milligrams, 211 milligrams and 220 milligrams, carat offers a category for fitting the diamonds in a one category, placing these diamonds in one-carat range.

 

One should not forget that high carat weight does not necessarily mean a bigger looking
diamond. Even diamonds of the same weight can differ on basis of other factors, especially
cut that influences perceived size. If you are looking for diamonds with great cut and brilliance,
look for lesser carat weight for bringing the price down. A little difference in carat can also change the rate of the diamond.

 

Large diamonds are rare to find and much in demand as compared to small diamonds even of the same quality. The price of a one-carat solitaire diamond ring is more than the ring that has many small diamonds with total of one-carat weight fitted in it. Diamond comparison is not effective until you compare the diamonds of similar features and qualities. While comparing the value of different diamonds, divide cost of every diamond in accordance with the carat weight and then calculate its price per carat.

 

You may have witnessed your jeweler discussing points while talking about diamond sizes. This is not in context with the number of facets a diamond has but to the weight of diamond. One carat is equivalent to 100 points so every point is 1/100th of carat. Carat weight also influences a diamond’s price. Because of rarity of larger stones, they are priced higher. Carat weight is an important consideration while buying the diamonds for yourself.

 

 

Color

 

While the diamond jeweler talks about the diamond color, he is referring to absence and presence of the color in diamond. Color of a diamond is a result of diamond’s composition and it does not change with time. Colorless diamonds allow light to travel through them as compared to the colored diamonds. These diamonds also emit better fire and spark. The process, through which a diamond is formed, is the deciding factor for its color. Whiter the diamond is higher value it has.

 

For grading the whiteness of diamonds, jewelers refer GIA’s color scale that starts the rating with D for the colorless diamonds and comes down Z as the traces of light yellow or brown color are found in the diamonds. If you are wondering which color grade to go for, then diamonds that are graded from D to F are amongst the most desirable and valuable stones. These diamonds are a delight for the diamond lovers. Nevertheless, if you have a low budget, you can also find good diamonds with lower grades. These diamonds are not exactly colorless but show no color to untrained eye.

 

Consider the setting of the diamond before choosing the grade of diamond. If the setting for your diamond is platinum or white gold, go for high color grades and you want to get it fitted in yellow gold, slightly low grade diamonds can also look great. While you will find faint yellow hint in the diamonds that are graded from J to M, the color can be camouflaged by choosing the right setting for the stone. Many people prefer the warm glow given by low color diamonds.

 

Fluorescence is found in the diamonds while they are exposed to ultraviolet light with long wave. Under most of the lighting conditions, this effect cannot be seen by eyes. Some people prefer diamonds without this effect while others look for it. It is all about the aesthetics.

Clarity

 

Diamond clarity means finding out characteristics of a diamonds including the blemishes and inclusions. If you consider the pressure that is created on diamonds and that they are not produced in sterile laboratory, you will be not be surprised to know that most of these diamonds are not free of flaws.

 

Usually there are two kinds of flaws found in diamonds – blemishes and inclusions. Inclusions are internal flaws that are found in diamonds including cracks, air bubbles, and minerals that are non-diamond. Most of the blemishes occur at the time of cutting process. The diamonds that have lesser blemishes and inclusions are considered valuable as compared to the ones that have less clarity.

 

On basis of clarity, grades are given to diamonds under loupe magnification. These grades vary from the ones that do not have blemishes and inclusion at all- flawless and the Included 3 category where diamonds have heavy inclusions, blemishes that can be seen by untrained eye too. There are different grades given to diamond like IF, F, VVS1-VVS2, SI1-SI2 and I1-I2-I3. Diamond’s clarity grade is proof of the identity of a diamond.

 

GIA certificates consist of diamond inclusion’s plot, as there is no similarity between two diamonds. The plot of the GIA certificate ensures the worth of diamond you are planning to buy. It lets you have an assurance that the diamond you are receiving is the one you have paid for. If you are in a fix about what clarity grade you should go for, flawless is the best and rarest clarity grade but you can find other diamonds that are stunning even though they have flaws.

 

Until the time you do not reach grade I, clarity of diamond will have impact on its value but on the diamond’s appearance. Diamonds that are VS and VVS grades are great in terms of appearance and value. You can also invest in cheaper options that include SI2 and SI1 where inclusions cannot be seen by naked eyes.

 

Cut

 

People often get confused diamond shape with diamond cut. Shape of the diamond is the outward appearance. When the diamond jewelers use the word cut, they are referring to reflective qualities of the diamond not their shape. Quality of diamond cut is a crucial part of 4Cs of diamonds. A great cut provides brilliance to the diamond. Finish and angles of all the diamonds lets you determine the diamond’s ability to handle light that results in its brilliance.

 

When a diamond has a good cut, light travels through it easily, adding to its spark. The light that is passed through the diamond because of cut is alone responsible for making the diamonds shine and increase their desirability. If a diamond is not cut properly, light enter through table but after reaching the facets, it leaks out from bottom or side, cutting down its brilliance.

 

Many gemologists believe that best of diamond cuts are made after following formula calculated for maximizing the brilliance. The formula are in the proportions of the diamond, especially in the context of how depth compares to diameter. If you are buying diamonds without AGS certificates, invest some time finding certified diamonds and gain some knowledge for identifying better cuts. Cuts also influence the outward appearance of the diamonds.

 

Variance in proportions of poor cut and ideal cut is difficult to find out by casual observer. As cut is important, you can make use of different grading methods for determining the cut of a specific diamond. Selection of grade cut is based on a person’s preference. For making the best of selections, one needs to be acquainted with different grades.

 

Ideal diamond cut has maximum brilliance and the small table size of these diamonds work in the best possible way to create fire or dispersion. With ideal cut diamonds, you can be sure of having the finest thing in return of the money invested. This category is just for round shaped diamonds. Premium cuts are also equivalent to ideal cuts in round diamonds but the price is slightly lower. Very Good diamond cuts reflect maximum light entered in them, providing fair amount of
brilliance to the diamonds.

 

Good Cut diamonds reflect most of the light that passes through them. The proportion of these diamonds is outside the preferred range. Diamonds that fall under this category lets you save money without compromising on beauty and quality of the diamond. Fair and Poor quality diamonds reflect very little proportion of light that is entered to them. These diamonds are cut in order to increase carat weight above all the other considerations.

 

 

The Anatomy of a Diamond’s Cut

 

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

Table:           The largest polished facet located on the top of the diamond.

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

Girdle:          The edge of the diamond where the crown and pavilion meet.

Pavilion:       The bottom part of a diamond that extends from the girdle down to the culet.

Culet:            The small or pointed facet at the very bottom of a diamond.

Depth:          The height of the diamond as measured from the table to the culet.

Choosing the Right Diamond

 

If you are shopping for a diamond, there are certain things that you should consider to make
it easier for you. You can easily find out the worth of diamonds and buy them without
exceeding your budget now. All you have to do is follow a correct approach to find
sparkling diamonds conveniently.

 

Step 1: Set a Budget

 

Many diamond shoppers go shopping before setting a budget and end up having an unsatisfied shopping experience. If money is not a problem, then setting a budget may not be that relevant
but if it is, you should shop for diamonds smartly so that you get preferred stone without exceeding the budget.

 

Diamonds are priced based on their carat weight and color grades too. Many shoppers find it difficult to identify the difference between different color grades. If you invest in the lowest color grade that looks appealing, cheap prices on every carat will allow you to buy a bigger diamond in the same budget. Highest color grade include E, D and F that are categorized as colorless. The following color grades are G, H, J and I; are nearly colorless and can be bought at cheaper prices.

Smaller diamonds are cheaper to purchase as compared to single diamonds even with same carat weight. Buying three diamonds of around 0.50 will cost fraction of what you will have to pay for one diamond weighing 1.50 carats.

 

Every diamond has inclusions but the importance lies in checking them through your naked eyes.
If the diamonds that are you are investing look clean to eyes, there is no point-paying extra for high clarity grades as they only add to the expense. Shape of your diamond can affect millimeter size of it. Buy the shape that you love but can also consider buying marquise, ovals, and pear that look bigger than the others shapes with the same carat weight.

 

Diamonds that are of same carat weight and shape can also differ. Cut influences the millimeter size too. Comparatively shallow diamonds are bigger in width and length. Go for such cuts that
suit your budget. Type of settings for these diamonds also creates an impact on perceived size
and their price. White gold settings for these diamonds can cost around one third of the platinum ones. Diamonds that have a pave around or the ones with bezel settings appear bigger.

 

Step 2: Choose a Shape

 

While buying diamonds, choosing the right shape is crucial for determining its overall appearance in jewelry. Diamonds are available in a lot of variations and cuts in the market. Its shape is not just outward appearance but it also refers to how the stone is fashioned, how many facets it has. Knowledge about all the shapes can help you buy the right shape for yourself.

 

Round brilliant diamonds are one of the most popular ones and account for more than 75%
of the diamonds that are purchased these days. Cost of these diamonds is high and is apt for engagement rings but they are found in pendants and earrings too. The brilliance and fire of these diamonds add to their popularity. Oval diamonds offer symmetrical designs yielding large surface areas and make it look bigger. These diamonds are preferred by the women who have short fingers and small hands as they give elongated look.

 

Princess cut diamonds are smallest of the diamonds and have inverted pyramid shape. In this shape, weight of carat is in the bottom side. It is one of the hot favorites as solitaires. Their shape
is new as compared to all others. Marquise diamonds look larger than they are; this shape is elongated with the points on every end and is sometimes changed to French tip where the points are almost excised. It is also one of the great options for solitaire.

 

You can look for Emerald cut diamonds that appear rectangular with the corner cuts. This type of diamonds is also known as step cut due its shape that resembles a staircase. Open and large facets of this diamonds give it an imperative look with higher color and greater clarity. You can also buy pear shaped diamonds that look like a teardrop. Most of these diamonds are found in earrings and pendants. Brilliant cut heart shape diamonds are a perfect romantic choice but the shape can vary based on jewelry store you are buying it. This shape is greatly influenced by the configurations and whimsy of gem cutters.

 

Trillion cut diamonds are that with a triangular shape with equal sides. Use this shape for making
a beautiful pair of earnings. Baguette cut diamonds another type of step cut diamonds that are frequently employed as the side stones. Because of limited number of facets, color and quality come to play, as imperfections are greatly visible in this simple shape. Radiant diamonds
resembles the shape of emerald but has around 70 facets, making it more dazzling and
brilliant that emerald shape.

Asscher cut diamonds are rectangular with the high crown step facets and are known for the ability to throw light. Cushion cut diamonds are other forms of diamonds that are referred to as pillow diamonds. This shape is elegant with a touch of old world. Trapezoid, Kite, and Half-Moon
shaped diamonds are as that popular and are used as corner stones.

 

 

Step 3:  The 4 C’s

 

While buying a diamond, one should always check the 4Cs that so that he/she makes the best choice. 4Cs used for valuation of diamonds and refer to Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat weight.

Cut plays an important role in deciding a diamond's brilliance. Brilliant round diamonds have around 58 facets, 33 of them are on top of the diamond body. There are 24 crown or star
facets at bottom, which are known as pavilion facets. Many times the line connecting pavilion
and crown is faceted too but are not a part of round brilliance cut.

 

All the facets of a diamond should be in the geometrical relations with each other. You can be
sure about the quality of diamond if you do not find any bow tie and fish eye in it. Due to fish eye, diamond looks larger and spread out but with lower brilliance. With bow ties, there is a black region formed on the diamond, making it undesirable.

 

Color is also an important determinant for finding the diamond's worth. Colorless diamonds are
of the highest value where traces of color depreciate its value. Most of the diamonds seem colorless to naked eye but majority of these diamonds have tint of brown and yellow when
they are under illumination and Tripod. Nature diamonds are found in blue, red, deep yellow
and green shades. These are also known as fancy colorful diamonds basing on alphabetical scale
start from colorless D to yellow M.

 

Clarity of the diamonds is dependent on a number of factors including location, number, type,
and size of inclusions. Inclusion is imperfection or the mineral traces in stone, visible only under magnification of the loupe of jeweler. Fewer inclusions in a diamond, better brilliance, and clarity
it has. Fewer inclusions also mean higher prices.

 

Carat is another determinant for finding out diamond's value. Weight of the diamonds is measured in carats. Every carat is further divided in the 100 points. A carat weight is not of any use without considering clarity, color, and cut of the diamonds. Large diamonds are not that worthy if they lack purity, better grade color, and brilliance. Since larger diamonds are rare to find as compared to the smaller ones, value of the diamond increases exponentially with the carat weight.

 

You will not find similarity between any two diamonds. You must find out their value on basis of 4Cs i.e. Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat while doing diamond shopping.

 

Step 4: Other Characteristics to Consider

 

Fluorescence is another characteristic of the diamond that should be considered before buying.
It refers to the blue light, which is emitted by some of the diamonds under black UV lights. Some
of the diamonds emit blue glow while some of them emit moderate glow and some don't glow
at all. Fluorescence is a complicated characteristic as it can either decrease or increase the worth
of diamond. For the colorless diamonds from the scale of D, E, Fluorescence is not that beneficial
but for the stones that have yellowish tinge as J, strong or medium Fluorescence help in making
it appear white. Consider all the above stated factors and have a happy diamond
shopping experience.