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Diamond buying guide

 

 

Diamond Buying Guide

 

This buying guide provides a quick overview of the quality factors to keep in mind when shopping for a diamond. For most people, buying a diamond is a new experience, but that doesn't mean it should be overwhelming. Understanding a diamond's quality characteristics is straightforward and simple.

 

 

Cut:

First, don't confuse diamond "cut" with "shape." Shape refers to the general outward appearance of the diamond, (such as round, emerald, or pear). When a diamond jeweler (or a diamond certificate) says "cut," that's a reference to the diamond's reflective qualities, not the shape (or at least it should be, we have found that even some "jewelers" don't appear to know the difference between "cut" and "shape").

The diamond's cut determines its fire and brilliance. Cut grade is established by defining the relationship between a diamond's light performance, dimensions, and finish. Even with exceptional color and clarity, if a diamond is poorly cut, it will look dull. Choose a good, very good, brilliant or ideal cut grade.

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Color:

Diamonds are graded based on the presence or absence of color. Diamonds with less color have a better grade and will display more colorful fire. A diamond with a color grade of D, E, or F is regarded as colorless. Color grades of G, H, I, and J are considered near-colorless, and can offer excellent values. And diamonds graded G through I show virtually no color that is visible to the untrained eye.

And while a very, very faint hint of yellow will be apparent in diamonds graded J through M, this color can often be minimized by carefully selecting the right jewelry in which to mount your diamond. Keep in mind that, while most people strive to buy the most colorless diamond they can afford, there are many people who actually prefer the warmer glow of lower-color diamonds.

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Diamond Clarity

When we speak of a diamond's clarity, we are referring to the presence of identifying characteristics on (blemishes) and within (inclusions) the stone.

If you think about the incredible amount of pressure it takes to create a diamond and the fact that natural diamonds are not grown in a sterile laboratory, it's no surprise that most diamonds have flaws.

Diamonds are graded for clarity under 10x loupe magnification. Grades range from Flawless (diamonds which are completely free of blemishes and inclusions), to Included 3 (diamonds which possess large, heavy blemishes and inclusions that are visible to the naked eye). For clarity grades F through SI, inclusions (internal flaws) are NOT visible to the naked eye.

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Carat Weight

A carat is a unit of measurement, it's the unit used to weigh a diamond. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams. The word "carat" is taken from the carob seeds that people once used in ancient times to balance scales. So uniform in shape and weight are these little seeds that even today's sophisticated instruments cannot detect more than three one-thousandths of a difference between them.

 

[NOTE: Don't confuse "carat weight" with "karat," the method of determining the purity of gold.]

 

The process that forms a diamond happens only in very rare circumstances, and typically the natural materials required are found only in small amounts. That means that larger diamonds are uncovered less often than smaller ones. Thus, large diamonds are rare and have a greater value per carat. For that reason, the price of a diamond rises exponentially to its size.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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