Buying a diamond is a very personal event and often a significant purchase. Diamonds can be bought as a gift to show love, celebrate a milestone events, or for an important accomplishments. Unlike buying clothing, electronics, or cars, the features of a diamond may not seem as evident to you. We would like to assist you through the process. The more familiar you are with diamond jewelry, the more confident you will feel when making your diamond jewelry choices. Below you can learn more about the 4Cs and find out how they play a 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.
The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance (the total light reflected from a diamond), fire (the dispersion of light into the colors of the spectrum), and scintillation (the pattern of light and dark areas and the flashes of light, or sparkle, when a diamond is moved). Four other components of cut are weight ratio, durability, polish, and symmetry. These are related to a diamond's design and craftsmanship. Before a diamond is cut, the location of inclusions and flaws, the natural coloration, and the original shape of the rough stone are studied in great detail. The stone facets are then mapped out and cut in a way that maximizes size, shape, and clarity. For optimal light performance, you will want a diamond that is cut neither too shallow nor too deep. GIA will grade many stones for their quality of cutting. These grades are Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair & Poor.
Diamonds are graded based on the amount of color they do or do not possess. The GIA scale, which is globally recognized, runs from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). An absolutely colorless diamond is rare and therefore very valuable.
A diamond is distinguished by its natural characteristics, just as people are noted for their blue eyes or brown hair. These characteristics can be present on the surface (blemishes) or within the stone (inclusions). The clarity is judged by the number and types of these characteristics and is designated using a scale that runs from FL (flawless), to I3 (inclusions easily seen with the naked eye). A flawless diamond is truly rare.
FL Diamonds - Flawless: No internal or external flaws.
IF Diamonds - Internally Flawless: No internal flaws, but will have some type of surface imperfection such as a polishing mark.
VVS1, VVS2 Diamonds - Very, Very Slightly included: Very difficult to see inclusions with 10x magnification.
VS1, VS2 Diamonds - Very Slightly Included: difficult to see under 10x magnification.
SI1, SI2 Diamonds - Slightly Included: Inclusions are easily noticeable under 10x magnification.
I1, I2, I3 Diamonds - Included: Inclusions are visible with the unaided eye.
Diamonds were originally weighed on balance scaled and used carob seeds for the counterweights, as these seeds tended to have very uniform size and weight. The unit of measure used for the weight of a diamond is the carat (derived from carob). Today it is more precisely measured, and is equal to 0.2 grams. Carat weight can also be divided further by using points. There are 100 points in one carat. So a 1/2 (.50) carat stone can also be expressed as 50 points and mean exactly the same thing.