A diamond is the hardest substance known to
man and can only be scratched by another diamond. Because it is so hard it
is slightly brittle and can chip if struck hard. There are extreme methods
of treating diamonds such as lasers and gamma ray bombardment that are used to change their
properties. Other than these extreme methods
your diamond will never change so it is important to know what you are buying.
A diamonds value is determined by its rarity
and the craftsmanship used to fashion the finished diamond. The rarity is
graded by Clarity and Color, and Carat. The craftsmanship is graded by
Carat refers to the weight of a diamond. One carat is
equal to .2 grams. Diamond weight can be referred to by fractions ( 1/2
ct.) or by percent (.50 ct.). When a diamond is referred to by
percentage, you will hear a .50 ct. diamond called a fifty point
diamond. Because diamonds come in all sizes and are very valuable
using the percentage method to refer to a diamond is more accurate. A .48
ct. diamond and a .52 ct. diamond are both considered a 1/2 ct. It is
important to understand that all diamonds that weigh 1 ct. are not the same
diameter. Because carat is only a measure of weight.
A diamonds value increases disproportionately
from the size of the diamond. There are many more rough diamonds found
that a 1/2 ct. diamond could be cut from than a 1 ct. diamond. Diamond
cutters always cut the largest and finest diamond they can from a piece of rough
diamond. Therefore a diamond that weighs 1 ct. cost more that twice the
price of a 1/2 ct. diamond. The price for large diamonds over 3 ct. sky
rocket in price.
Clarity refers the the presence of inclusions
or imperfections in a diamond. Diamonds are formed deep beneath the
surface of the earth over millions of years. Because they are part of
nature they are never perfect. Diamonds will have irregularities in their
crystal structure. These irregularities will vary greatly in quantity,
size, shape, and color. Jewelers grade diamonds under a 10 power
microscope. The more, larger, and noticeable the inclusions in a diamond
are the less the diamond will be worth. Some diamonds will be flawless
under 10 power. Some diamonds will be so flawed that you will not be able
to see through them. The jewelry industry and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) have
come up with a grading system to quantify the extent a diamond is included.
Color refers the actual body color of a
diamond and not the colors that are reflected by the diamond. GIA has
developed the following system for quantifying the amount of color contained in
D,E,F are colorless - G,H,I,J are near colorless - K to
W are light colored - X,Y,Z are fancy colored
Cut refers to the craftsmanship used to
fashion a rough diamond into a finished jewel. Diamonds are fashioned into
many different shapes.
A rough diamond as it is found in the ground.
Diamonds after a craftsman (Diamond cutter) shapes them
The brilliance a diamond shows is a property
of the cut. When cutting a diamond it is extremely important that the
cutter fashions the diamond to exacting proportions. The inside of the
diamond than acts as a series of mirrors that reflects all the light that enters
the top of the diamond back out the top. A diamond that is cut
near perfectly can cover up small inclusions and slight color. A diamond that is
flawless and colorless but cut poorly will look unattractive.
diamond is the Best for Me?
We have always said "buy the biggest and prettiest diamond you can
afford". It is that simple.
You may not care if a diamond has a little
inclusion that can be seen by young strong eyes or that the color is not
perfect. You may want a larger diamond. On the other hand you may
want a smaller diamond that is more perfect. There is no right answer for