Buying a diamond is a very personal experience. Diamonds can be bought to signify love, significant accomplishments, milestones in your life or that of a gift's recipient. Unlike when you buy clothing, electronics, or cars, the features of a diamond may not seem quite so obvious to you. We would like to change that. The more you know about your diamond jewelry, the more confident you will feel when making your diamond jewelry choices. Take a moment to learn more about the 4Cs and find out how they play an important role in making your diamond jewelry unique.
The shape of the diamond is often confused with the cut. Choose the shape that you like based on your style and you cannot go wrong.
A diamond's cut is what determines its brilliance or sparkle. More specifically, cut refers to the angle that each fact is cut to and how well all of the facets work together to reflect the light back to a viewers eye as sparkle, as opposed to the light leaking. Before a diamond is cut, the location of inclusions, the natural coloration, and the original shape of the rough stone are studied extensively. The stone facets are then mapped out and cut in a way that maximizes size, shape, clarity and, when done well, sparkle.
Diamonds are graded based on the amount of body color they display in the table down position, against a white background. The scale runs from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow).
A diamond is distinguished by its natural characteristics, just as a person would be noted for her blue eyes or his brown hair. Notated as a diamond's clarity, these characteristics can be present on the surface (blemishes) or within the stone (inclusions). The clarity is judged by the nature and location of these characteristics and is designated using a scale that runs from FL, defined as flawless, to I3, defined as inclusions visible with the naked eye. A diamond's clarity grade is determined while a grader views the diamond under 10X magnification. You'll therefore hear a clarity characteristic referred to as "eye visible" or a diamond being "eye clean", this is of particular importance because the diamond you choose will be most frequently viewed by your "naked eye", without magnification. Pay close attention to the nature and location of a diamond's clarity characteristics when looking a diamond graded SI1 and below, because when a diamond's price seems low, this is the reason.
Flawless: No internal or external clarity characteristics.
Internally Flawless: No internal clarity characteristics.
VVS1, VVS2 Diamonds
Very, Very Slightly included: Very difficult to see inclusions with 10x magnification.
VS1, VS2 Diamonds
Very Slightly Included: Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification to a skilled grader.
SI1, SI2 Diamonds
Slightly Included: Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification and may be visible with the unaided eye.
I1, I2, I3 Diamonds
Included: Inclusions are visible with the unaided eye.
The unit of measure used for the weight of a diamond is the carat. As a matter of reference, a carat is equivalent to .2 grams or .007 of an ounce. Carat weight can also be divided further by using points. There are 100 points in one carat. So a 1/4 (.25) carat diamond can also be expressed as 25 points and mean exactly the same thing. When comparing diamonds, please note that carat weight does not directly corolate to total diameter; meaning, just because one is twice the carat weight of the other does not mean that it will appear to be twice the size.
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