April 21, 2015, Senior Editior
Guest Post By: Naomi Shaw
Are you looking for a new diamond or about to tie the knot anytime soon? Then let us guide you through the essentials of diamond jewelry
shopping, for it can be a tricky process, particularly if you are not familiar with the many intricacies of diamond appraisal. To avoid spending too much on the wrong stone, keep the following easy guidelines in mind as you begin your search:
To begin with one should know about the four basic standards by which every diamond is appraised. Commonly known as the 4 C’s of a diamond or also referred to as its fundamental characteristics. Although other factors do come into play during evaluation, but the 4 C’s (clarity, color, carat, and cut) are the most significant.
Among the 4 C’s, clarity is (debatably) the most important. Diamond’s clarity is ascertained by the nature, number, position, dimension, and color of its inner attributes called “inclusions” and surface features called “blemishes”. These imperfections may manifest as black dots, glassiness, or cloudiness, and can significantly devalue a stone when visible to the naked eye. With the assistance of GIA International Diamond Grading System, diamonds are allotted a clarity grade that ranges from flawless (FL) to heavily included (I3).
The best color for a diamond is no color at all or what one cannot see. They are valued by their nearness towards transparency or colorlessness – the lesser the color, higher goes their value (an exception to this case is the fancy-color diamonds, such as pinks, blues, and even some yellow ones that are highly prized and lie outside this color range). GIA’s (Gemological Institute of America’s) color-grading scale for diamonds is marked as industry standard guide. Color is graded on a scale of D-Z, where the letter “D” which signifies the whitest of diamonds or the most transparent ones and continues with escalating presence of color ranging from (light yellow to brown) to grade “Z” being the least desirable. A “D” diamond will appear completely colorless, and will carry a much higher price tag than its lower-scale counterparts. If you are shopping within a budget, don’t be hesitant about stones in the G-J range. These diamonds will generally appear close to colorless to the naked eye, particularly when set against yellow gold.
The carat is determined by the size of an individual diamond, and plays an important part in diamond selection. Thus diamonds are sold by carat (which is written as ct.) and the word “carat” derives its name from the carob seeds that people used in olden times to counterweight their balance scales. Currently one carat is equivalent to 0.2 grams or 0.007 ounces (of about the weight of a paper clip). One more way of expressing the weight is by means of points. One carat is equivalent to 100 points hence a 0.25 carat diamond can well be referred to as a 25 point diamond. Large, high-quality diamonds are rare and tend to have a high price tag attached to them. So before beginning your diamond search, take a few moments to ponder on whether size or quality is more important to you.
A diamond’s cut determines how well it sparkles in the light. A first-class cutting is what brings blaze to the ice. Cuts of a diamond refer to its proportion, evenness, and polish. A well cut diamond will attains high level of brilliance, sparkle, and durability. Even if a diamond is graded well in other areas, a poor cut can give a dull and muted outcome. A diamonds beauty greatly depends on cut than any other factor. In simple words, if a diamond does not catch your eye or it doesn’t flash in light it can be labeled as not well cut. Rated from poor to excellent, cut can make a huge difference to the appeal of any given diamond.
Other Factors to Keep in Mind
As you shop for the perfect diamond, you’ll be able to choose between colored “fancy” diamonds and traditional clear ones. While some colored diamonds are considered less desirable than their clear counterparts, others are much more rare and appealing. Pink diamonds, for example, are high in both price and demand. If you are purchasing an uncertified diamond, be wary of colored stones, as many are created using artificial processes rather than mined naturally. Before buying your diamond, ask about its fluorescence. Under ultraviolet light, some diamonds may either appear oily or manifest a yellow tint.
Choosing the Best Stone for Your Hand Shape
Once you have decided on what color, clarity, carat, and cut you are looking for, you’ll have to pick on a diamond shape. While traditional round diamonds are the most adored and are always a safe bet, certain diamonds look better on different hand shapes. If you have short hand with a squarish palm, for example, a marquise diamond will help to elongate your fingers. If you have an oval palm with narrow fingers, a princess-cut diamond will look absolutely stunning on your finger.
Since diamonds are an affluent deal, you need to know a few basic points as well as select a jeweler who you can rely on. These simple considerations ensure that you are making a good diamond jewelry purchase, be it a wedding ring or your much treasured diamond engagement ring
you need to choose wisely, as it is one investment that you would cherish for years to come.