All You Must Know About Diamonds Before You Buy One!
A diamond is one of the largest and most important (wedding ring etc.) purchases one makes. As with any other major expensive purchase, you must understand exactly what you are purchasing, and what determines a diamond's value that may appear similar, have greatly different values.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has established a standard system for grading diamonds, commonly known as the four C's. It can only be accurately applied when the diamond is loose. This grading system judges a diamond by four distinct factors:
The four C's is the best way to assure the quality of a diamond and estimate its value.
Let review the four C's shortly:
Carat is the easiest of the 4 C's to determine. One carat is divided into 100 "points", so that a diamond of 75 points, for example, weighs 0.75 carats, 50 points diamond weighs 0.5 carat etc. Fine quality can be found in diamonds of all carat weights. If a diamond is cut for beauty, and not maximum yield in weight, it is more desirable than a heavier weight and lumpier stone, and will have the appearance of a larger stone.
While inclusions do not generally affect the diamond's beauty and usually cannot be seen, their presence reduces the price. Clarity is graded on a scale with a range from internally flawless (IF), very very small inclusions (VVS1-VVS2), very small inclusions (VS1-VS2), small inclusions (SI1-SI2) to imperfect (I1-I2-I3) with eye visible inclusions.