Buying a diamond, what you should look for to avoid disappointment later. As the song goes ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ but only of you buy wisely.
A large number of us love them, especially in our engagement rings and wedding bands, but do you know what to look for when purchasing that most special piece of jewelry?
Before buying a diamond become familiar with the four C’s, Carat, Color, Clarity and Cut. Diamonds of equal weight can have very different monetary values dependent on these four things.
The larger the diamond, the more rare it is, which is why the price of a stone tends to increase dramatically the larger the diamond becomes. However, bigger is not always better, sometimes a smaller but ‘colorless’ well cut stone can command a higher price due to its higher quality.
Though almost all diamonds have a some degree of a yellowish or brownish tint, a true colorless diamond is the most valuable. Often the difference in color can only be noticed by comparing diamonds side by side. Diamond color is graded according to the amount of yellow in the stone. Laboratories such as the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) have Master sets of stones used specifically for diamond grading.
Nowadays, you can choose varying shades of color, but pink, blue and chocolate have been a particular trend in modern jewelry in recent years. Although fancy-color diamonds in prized naturally strong colored hues are the most rare and most costly.
Diamonds are graded according to their clarity. Clarity refers to a diamonds internal inclusions or blemishes. In most grades these cannot be seen with the naked eye, however, they can still dramatically affect the price of the stone. According to De Beers, less than 1% of diamonds mined, are free of inclusions.
The cut refers to the number and arrangement of facets. For example the ‘brilliant’ cut is usually the more traditional round solitare stone, and features a combination of triangle and kite-shaped facets.
Whilst the ‘Emerald’ or ‘Baguette’ are both step cut and have rectangular facets arranged parallel to the girdle. You can also get ‘Mixed Cuts’ which combine both the brilliant and step cut, however a badly cut stone will look dull and not show fire or reflect the light well.
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