Diamonds may be forever, but do you know how to buy them without getting ripped off?
Here, we try and offer some hints and tips for the uninitiated buying a diamond for the first time.
Basically, there are four golden ‘C’s that you need to be asking of your diamond, these are: the cut, the clarity, the color and the carat weight.
The term cut does not refer to the shape of the diamond. The shape is the actual shape of the diamond, which could be any shape, round, square or anything else in between. The cut is what actually makes your diamond sparkle.
You could have a very high grade of diamond indeed, but a poor cut will mean it appears dull.
This is one of the reasons that jewelers and gemologists advise that you buy the highest quality cut of diamond that you can afford to.
As mentioned, in laymen’s terms, the cut of a diamond is reflected in its sparkle, or, how the light is reflected within it.
A well cut diamond will sparkle and emit light from the top. If the cut is too shallow, the light appears to almost leak out of the bottom. When the cut is too deep, the light comes out of the sides.
When we talk about clarity, we are referring to the overall purity of the diamond. When diamonds are formed, there are sometimes small blemishes or crystals within the diamond, which contain other substances. Ultimately, the more precious the diamond, the higher the purity it will be of.
There is an eleven point scale for measuring the clarity of a diamond.
These are only classified as being so, by a trained and certified grader with a magnifying glass of x 10 magnification. This is devoid of any blemishes or inclusions.
This has no inclusions and only very small blemishes within it.\
VERY VERY SLIGHTLY INCLUDED (TWO GRADES)
These are very slightly included, but it is only visible under 10 x magnification, to a skilled grader.
VERY SLIGHTLY INCLUDED (TWO GRADES)
Slight inclusions, possible for a trained grader to spot, but only under strong magnification and not very easily.
SLIGHTLY INCLUDED (TWO GRADES)
Noticeable inclusions, but only under strong magnification to a trained eye.
INCLUDED (THREE GRADES)
The lower end of the spectrum. These are easy for a trained grader to spot and may affect the overall shine and transparency of a diamond.
You may have thought that all diamonds were white colored, but they are not! To the trained eye, diamonds do indeed have a slight yellow color – or the least precious ones do.
The color will be the second most important consideration after the cut. There is a scale to grade the color of diamonds on. It ranges from D (high) to Z (low).
The highest grades are D to H and these are the ones carried by the highest class jewelers.
Is the most expensive and is judged to be absolutely colorless by experts. These are very rare indeed.
The second highest classifications and still extremely rare. Tiny traces of color will be visible only under extreme magnification by an expert.
The color will be virtually undetectable by all except a trained grader.
A high quality item, with a slightly noticeable warm tone.
As stated, these diamonds will have a noticeable yellow hue. The higher end jewelers will not stock these.
This is the easiest classification for the beginner to understand. The carat is simply the weight of the diamond. Naturally, the bigger the diamond, the more expensive it is. But it also needs to be understood that two 0.5 carat diamonds do not have the same worth as one larger diamond of 1 carat.