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Why Buying Your Diamond First is So Important
We feel that a diamond is one of the most important purchases you may ever make and for that reason we take the time to educate you thoroughly on a selection of diamonds that have been chosen carefully to fit your budget. Becoming educated about the 4C's with the guidance of a trusted Jeweler, will lead you to the answer. More specifically the size of carat weight makes the biggest difference on cost, but the cut is the most important visual indicator, followed by color, then clarity.
The bottom line with buying a diamond is that you want to pay
for what you see the difference in and compromise more where you can't.
A phone conversation prior to an appointment to set quality, size, shape and budget perameters will make your process more efficient and assure you have the best options available. When you have the Jeweler's undivided attention and guidance, with a selection specifically tailored to your needs, you can be sure to select the best diamond for your ring design.
To establish a diamond's quality, jewelers examine each of the 4C's...cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. The combination of the 4C's determines the value of a particular diamond. The "cut" quality can vary the price by as much as 20%, the "color" can be seen at an arms length and the "clarity" requires a closer look, usually with a 10X loupe.
A colorless diamond is at the top of the Diamond Quality Pyramid in color...but
if it lacks clarity, or is small or not well cut, it will be a lower value. The finest stones
posses the rarest quality in each of the 4C's, and are the most valuable.
While all diamonds are beautiful, only by comparing stones side by side and absent of a ring's metal that may hide things, will you be able to appreciate what makes one more rare and valuable than another. Keep in mind that there are seldom "bargain" diamonds: there are only diamonds of different value, weight and brilliance.
When you view stones in a tray, side by side, you'll understand why
diamonds that look similar at a casual glace are priced differently.
The Language of a "Cert"
There are so many variables when choosing the right diamond for you, including the Certification (Cert) brand such as a GIA vs EGL. Remember that you are "buying the diamond," not the paper, so because the paper cert many not be as accurate as a side by side comparison always use the education of a trained unbiased professional.
Always buy your diamond in person, never online.In the end, you should feel confident in your own ability to make a good decision and recognize the value.
A good Jeweler will point out all of the variables as you look through the diamonds together that have been specifically selected to be within your shape, size and budget. This will allow you to arrive through process of education and elimination, at the best diamond for you!
As a general rule, the higher the cut grade-the brighter the diamond. Under flouresent lighting these diamonds (left to right) display high, moderate and low brightness.
A diamond's proportions determine how light performs when it enters the diamond. Diamonds with different proportions and good polish make better use of the light, and will be bright, colorful, and scintillating.
If light enters through the crown and goes out through the pavilion, the diamond will look dark and unatrractive.
A beautiful diamond looks the way it does because of three optical effects:
1). White light reflections called brightness, flashes of color called fire, and areas of light
and dark called scintillation.
2). Pattern is the relative size, arrangement, and contrast of bright and dark areas
that result from a diamond’s internal and external reflections.
3). There must be enough contrast between the bright and dark areas to give the pattern a crisp,
The diamond industry has long known that some proportion combinations make light perform better than others. In recent years, however, scientists and researchers in GIA’s Research Department and the GIA Laboratory have shown that there are many variations and combinations of proportions that will maximize brilliance and fire in round brilliant cut diamonds.
Subtle differences in color can dramatically effect diamond value. Two diamonds of the same clarity, weight, and cut can differ in value based on color alone. Even the slightest hint of color can make a dramatic difference in value.
Many diamonds emit a visible light called fluorescence when they’re exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Although invisible to the human eye, UV radiation is everywhere. Sunlight contains it. Fluorescent lights emit it, too. Under the right conditions, you can see fluorescence in about 35 percent of gem diamonds.
Blue is the most common fluorescent color in gem-quality diamonds. In rare instances, fluorescence can be white, yellow, orange, or many other colors. Strong blue fluorescence can make a light yellow diamond look closer to colorless in sunlight. Blue and yellow are color opposites and tend to cancel each other out, so blue fluorescence masks the yellow color.
If the fluorescence is too strong it can make the stone look cloudy
or “oily,” which can lower the value of the diamond.
Blue and yellow are color opposites and tend to cancel each other out, so blue fluorescence masks the yellow color. If the fluorescence is too strong it can make the stone look cloudy or "oily," which can lower the value of the diamond, however if the flourescense is clear, it can act as a power boost to the stone and make it appear whiter in color.
Few things in life are absolutely perfect, this is also true of Diamonds. Diamonds have internal features, called inclusions, and surface irregularities, called blemishes. Together, they're called clarity characteristics. Clarity is the relative absence of inclusions and blemishes.
Among other things, blemishes include scratches and nicks on a diamond’s surface. Inclusions are generally on the inside, but some might break the surface of the stone. Sometimes, tiny diamond or other mineral crystals are trapped inside a diamond when it forms. Depending on where they’re located, they might remain after the stone has been cut and polished, and they can affect a diamond’s appearance.
"The clarity grade mainly takes into account the size of the inclusion,
and rarely considers the color and opaqueness of the inclusion nor its position"
Important Differances in Inclusions:
1.) Some inclusions are shiny and some are almost completely clear.
2.) Some inclusions, though, are dead white and some are even stark black.
3.) Some inclusions are dead center in the middle of the diamond, and some are pushed so far
off to the side, they aren’t noticed.
The most common mistake people make when buying diamonds
is they purchase a diamond with a clarity grade that is simply too high
to appreciate in order to buy a “good investment.”
Clarity characteristics might have a negative influence on a diamond’s value, but they can have positive effects as well. For one thing, they help gemologists separate diamond from imitations. (This is easier with included diamonds than with flawless ones.) And because no two diamonds have exactly the same inclusions, they can help identify individual stones.
While the visual difference between a 0.98-carat diamond and a 1.01-carat diamond is negligible, many people will opt for the larger stone—even at a much higher price.
Many goods are sold by weight—by the kilogram, ounce, pound, or ton. Even people who have never bought a diamond are used to the idea that weight and price are related. They understand that a larger diamond is probably more valuable than a smaller one. But there are two things that often surprise people when they start learning about diamonds and carat weight.
The first is the precision with which diamonds are weighed. Diamond weights are stated in metric carats, abbreviated “ct.” One metric carat is two-tenths (0.2) of a gram—just over seven thousandths (0.007) of an ounce. One ounce contains almost 142 carats. A small paper clip weighs about a carat.
The metric carat is divided into 100 points. A point is one hundredth of a carat. It's easy.
Diamonds are weighed to a thousandth (0.001) of a carat and then rounded
to the nearest hundredth, or point. Fractions of a carat can mean price differences
of hundreds—even thousands—of dollars, depending on diamond quality.
Over a carat, diamond weights are usually expressed in carats and decimals. A 1.03-carat stone, for example, would be described as “one point oh three carats,” or “one oh three.” Weights for diamonds that weigh under a carat are usually stated in points. A diamond that weighs 0.83 carat is said to weigh “eighty-three points,” or called an “eighty-three pointer.”
The second is the relationship between rarity, weight, and value which can be surprising. People know that a pound of sugar costs twice as much as a half-pound of sugar. But diamonds aren’t a commodity like sugar. Their price depends on a number of variables—weight is just one of them. So it’s not always easy to understand, or explain, why a 1-carat diamond is worth, say, $6,000, while a 2-carat diamond of similar quality might be worth $15,000.
Large diamonds are more rare than small diamonds. The more scarce something is,
the more it is worth. So a larger stone doesn’t just cost more. It also costs more per carat.
A 1-carat diamond weighs the same as four 0.25-carat diamonds. But even if all
the other quality factors are equal, the larger diamond is worth much more
than the sum of the four smaller diamonds.
Carat weight can also be symbolic. While the visual difference between a 0.98-carat diamond and a 1.01-carat diamond is negligible, many people will opt for the larger stone—even at a much higher price. Some weights are considered “magic sizes”: half carat, three-quarter carat, one carat, etc. There’s not much difference in their weights, but if both are D-color round brilliants with identical clarity and cut, the size makes all the difference. They really don’t look much different, but if a consumer’s heart is set on the one-carat size, the difference is enormous. The fact that the second stone is slightly over the “magic” one-carat size can give it as much as a 20 percent difference in price with only a 6-point difference in weight.