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Buying a diamond can be a daunting task, there are many factors which influence the overall quality, beauty and price of the diamond. The purpose of this article is to explain the different aspects of the diamonds themselves as well as expose the reader to some of the elements for which to look out for.
Diamonds are distinguished according to the principle of the four C's (Cut, Carat, Colour and Clarity). The "Cut" refers to the shape of the diamond. The diamonds are cut into different shapes according to the shape of the originally mined rough stone in order to maximise the weight recovery. Some examples are Round Brilliant, Emerald Cut, Princess Cut, Pear Shape, Oval and Heart.
The "Carat" refers to the weight of the diamond and NOT the size. Each weight has a preferred set of proportions which optimises the beauty and fire of the diamond. This is discussed in more depth later in the article.
The "Colour" is represented by a letter of the alphabet which describes different ranges of colour from D (Colourless) to M (Tinted White). You will then get Yellow Cape and Fancy Yellow. The rarest are the colourless and fancy colours (Blue, Pink, Red).
The "Clarity" refers to the amount of imperfections present in the diamond. The clarity range includes internally flawless (IF), Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2), Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2), Slightly Included (SI1, SI2 and SI3) and Included (I1, I2 and I3). The IF will have zero internal inclusions, the VVS stones will have minute inclusion that are very difficult to spot under magnification, the VS stones will have small inclusions that are difficult to spot under magnification, the SI stones have inclusions that can be relatively easily see under magnification but usually undetectable with the naked eye and finally, the Included stones are those with inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye.
Get What You Are Paying For
The above parameters are recognised worldwide as the standard. The problem arises where sellers manipulate these parameters to sell diamonds at a higher price. This is not to say that every diamond is sold under false pretences but naturally, when dealing with products of this value and nature, it is highly important to trust the dealer and to make sure that he or she is reputable. It is recommended that diamonds are bought from dealers who are members of various diamond or jewellery clubs and that they have some accreditation and a favourable reputation in the industry.
Another important aspect is certification. When buying a diamond over 0.30 Carats, the buyer must insist on receiving a certificate from an independent gemological laboratory. This certificate will confirm the parameters of the diamond so that the buyer is in actual fact getting what he or she is paying for.
Lastly, it is imperative to compare apples with apples, per say. The parameters mentioned above are the ones that determine price on paper however, there is one other aspect to consider when purchasing a diamond and that is the proportions. In other words, handcrafted artisan jewelry how well is the diamond cut? There are preferred proportions with regard to the angles, heights and diameters of diamonds. If these preferred proportions are adhered to by the cutter, the diamond will exhibit the maximum amount of life and fire possible. For example, if a 1.00 Carat diamond is cut with the only concern being weight recovery, it is possible for that diamond to be very deep which means that it suffers both in the diameter department and the beauty department, the stone will be dark and dull and will exhibit the diameter of a much smaller stone. Therefore, make sure that you check all of the boxes and are completely satisfied before walking out the door.
In conclusion, be careful and discerning when purchasing a diamond, you are spending a lot of money on a beautiful product, make sure that it is the best that it can be.