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Diamonds

How to Buy a Diamond

Wondering were to begin when looking for your engagement ring? We want to help you make the best choice when selecting a diamond ring. There are four factors that determine the value of a diamond, collectively known as the “Four Cs”: Carat, Clarity, Color, Cut.

Carat
Clarity
Color
Cut

Carat

Carat weight measures a diamond's weight and size.  The term is derived from the carob seeds that were used to balance scales in ancient times.  Today's metric carat is equal to 200 milligrams, or one-filth of a gram, and there are approximately 142 carats to an ounce.  Carats are further divided into points.  There are 100 points in a carat.  A half-carat diamond may be referred to as a 50-point stone. Because large diamonds are rare, they generally have a greater value per carat.

Clarity

A diamond's clarity is affected by any external and internal characteristics created by nature when the diamond was formed or as a result of the cutting process.  Characteristics created by nature when the diamond was formed or as a result of the cutting process.  Characteristics such as internal spots or lines are called inclusions. Although these marks make each stone unique, the fewer the inclusions, the more valuable the stone.  Inclusions can sometimes interfere with the passage of light through the stone.  Inclusions can sometimes interfere with the passage of light through the stone, diminishing the sparkle and value of the diamond.  According to the quality analysis system of the Gemological Institute of America, clarity is graded on scale ranging from Flawless (FI) to Imperfect (I).  Only a tiny percentage of diamonds ever achieve a grade of Flawless.

Color

Diamonds come in every color of the spectrum, but the most popular are colorless.  Truly colorless, pure white diamonds are extremely rare and therefore the most costly. Laboratories, like Gemological Institute of America (GIA), grade stones according to how far they deviate from the purest white.  Colorles stones are graded D, E, or F.  All three grades are considered colorless but with slightly decreasing transparency.  Color grading continues down through the alphabet, with each letter designating a slight darker or warmer tint.  The best way to see the true color of a diamond is by looking at it against a white surface.

Although the great majority of diamonds come in shades of white, yellow, and brown, the gems also come in a spectrum of majestic colors, from red and canary yellow, to blue, green and purple.  These colorful, knows as fancies, are valued for their depth of color.  Therefore, fancy color diamonds are graded in order of increasing intensity from Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, Fancy Dark and Fancy Deep.

Cut

Each diamond is cut to very exacting standards.  The most common cut, the round brilliant, has 58 facets, or small, flat, polished planes designed to yield the maximum amount of light to be reflected back to the viewer. This reflection, known as brilliance, is an extremely important factor in evaluating the quality of a diamond's cut.  A poorly cut diamond will actually lose light and appear dull.  The widest circumference of a diamond is known as the girdle.  Above the girdle of a brilliant-cut diamond are 32 facets plus the table, the largest and topmost facet.

Carat

Carat

Carat weight measures a diamond's weight and size.  The term is derived from the carob seeds that were used to balance scales in ancient times.  Today's metric carat is equal to 200 milligrams, or one-filth of a gram, and there are approximately 142 carats to an ounce.  Carats are further divided into points.  There are 100 points in a carat.  A half-carat diamond may be referred to as a 50-point stone. Because large diamonds are rare, they generally have a greater value per carat.

Clarity

Clarity

A diamond's clarity is affected by any external and internal characteristics created by nature when the diamond was formed or as a result of the cutting process.  Characteristics created by nature when the diamond was formed or as a result of the cutting process.  Characteristics such as internal spots or lines are called inclusions. Although these marks make each stone unique, the fewer the inclusions, the more valuable the stone.  Inclusions can sometimes interfere with the passage of light through the stone.  Inclusions can sometimes interfere with the passage of light through the stone, diminishing the sparkle and value of the diamond.  According to the quality analysis system of the Gemological Institute of America, clarity is graded on scale ranging from Flawless (FI) to Imperfect (I).  Only a tiny percentage of diamonds ever achieve a grade of Flawless.

Color

Color

Diamonds come in every color of the spectrum, but the most popular are colorless.  Truly colorless, pure white diamonds are extremely rare and therefore the most costly. Laboratories, like Gemological Institute of America (GIA), grade stones according to how far they deviate from the purest white.  Colorles stones are graded D, E, or F.  All three grades are considered colorless but with slightly decreasing transparency.  Color grading continues down through the alphabet, with each letter designating a slight darker or warmer tint.  The best way to see the true color of a diamond is by looking at it against a white surface.

Although the great majority of diamonds come in shades of white, yellow, and brown, the gems also come in a spectrum of majestic colors, from red and canary yellow, to blue, green and purple.  These colorful, knows as fancies, are valued for their depth of color.  Therefore, fancy color diamonds are graded in order of increasing intensity from Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, Fancy Dark and Fancy Deep.

Cut

Cut

Each diamond is cut to very exacting standards.  The most common cut, the round brilliant, has 58 facets, or small, flat, polished planes designed to yield the maximum amount of light to be reflected back to the viewer. This reflection, known as brilliance, is an extremely important factor in evaluating the quality of a diamond's cut.  A poorly cut diamond will actually lose light and appear dull.  The widest circumference of a diamond is known as the girdle.  Above the girdle of a brilliant-cut diamond are 32 facets plus the table, the largest and topmost facet.

Carat
Clarity
Color
Cut

Carat

Carat weight measures a diamond's weight and size.  The term is derived from the carob seeds that were used to balance scales in ancient times.  Today's metric carat is equal to 200 milligrams, or one-filth of a gram, and there are approximately 142 carats to an ounce.  Carats are further divided into points.  There are 100 points in a carat.  A half-carat diamond may be referred to as a 50-point stone. Because large diamonds are rare, they generally have a greater value per carat.

Clarity

A diamond's clarity is affected by any external and internal characteristics created by nature when the diamond was formed or as a result of the cutting process.  Characteristics created by nature when the diamond was formed or as a result of the cutting process.  Characteristics such as internal spots or lines are called inclusions. Although these marks make each stone unique, the fewer the inclusions, the more valuable the stone.  Inclusions can sometimes interfere with the passage of light through the stone.  Inclusions can sometimes interfere with the passage of light through the stone, diminishing the sparkle and value of the diamond.  According to the quality analysis system of the Gemological Institute of America, clarity is graded on scale ranging from Flawless (FI) to Imperfect (I).  Only a tiny percentage of diamonds ever achieve a grade of Flawless.

Color

Diamonds come in every color of the spectrum, but the most popular are colorless.  Truly colorless, pure white diamonds are extremely rare and therefore the most costly. Laboratories, like Gemological Institute of America (GIA), grade stones according to how far they deviate from the purest white.  Colorles stones are graded D, E, or F.  All three grades are considered colorless but with slightly decreasing transparency.  Color grading continues down through the alphabet, with each letter designating a slight darker or warmer tint.  The best way to see the true color of a diamond is by looking at it against a white surface.

Although the great majority of diamonds come in shades of white, yellow, and brown, the gems also come in a spectrum of majestic colors, from red and canary yellow, to blue, green and purple.  These colorful, knows as fancies, are valued for their depth of color.  Therefore, fancy color diamonds are graded in order of increasing intensity from Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, Fancy Dark and Fancy Deep.

Cut

Each diamond is cut to very exacting standards.  The most common cut, the round brilliant, has 58 facets, or small, flat, polished planes designed to yield the maximum amount of light to be reflected back to the viewer. This reflection, known as brilliance, is an extremely important factor in evaluating the quality of a diamond's cut.  A poorly cut diamond will actually lose light and appear dull.  The widest circumference of a diamond is known as the girdle.  Above the girdle of a brilliant-cut diamond are 32 facets plus the table, the largest and topmost facet.