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All You Must Know About Diamonds Before You Buy One!

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All You Must Know About Diamonds Before You Buy One!
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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:

·         Cut

·         Carat

·         Color

·         Clarity

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:

Cut: Diamonds are fashioned into a several shapes, depending on the nature of the rough stone. The cut is the most crucial value effecting variable of all the four C's. The six most popular shapes are brilliant, marquise, pear, emerald, oval and heart.

 

 

Carat: Most people think that carat is all about the size while Carat is actually a measurement of weight. However, it should be relative to size. Two diamonds of equal quality and carat can have different values depending on their cut, color and clarity. 
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.

 

Color:  Diamonds are found in a range from colorless to yellowish, and judged according to a color grading scale from "D", which is totally colorless to "Z" which is vivid yellow. The colorless diamond is has the highest value because it is the most rare. The difference between one color grade and another is very subtle, particularly to the untrained eye. Although increasing shades of yellow reduce the value of a diamond, they do not necessarily reduce its beauty. The average stone bought carries an I or J grading for its Color. In addition to diamonds listed from D to Z, there are twelve other colors called Fancies, and as the name implies, they are expensive.

 

Clarity: Most diamonds contain tiny natural birthmarks called inclusions. Most inclusions are not visible with the naked eye but can be seen with 10X magnification. Inclusions interfere with the dispersion of light and therefore the diamond's shine. The fewer and smaller the inclusions, the rarer the stone and the price is higher.

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. 

 

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