Mae West once said, I never worry
about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number of carats in a
diamond. The lady had a point. But there's more than just carats; there 4Cys
word criteria that you should pay attention to when buying a diamond: cut,
color, clarity, and carat.
A facet is a flat, polished surface
on a fashioned gemstone, and cut refers to the facet proportions on the
surface of a diamond.
Brilliance, Dispersion Scintillation
According to dharamhk, the shape, placement and angle of each facet determines a diamond's
brilliance, a quality which describes the intensity of the internal and external
reflections of white light through the crown of a diamond. The ideal cut creates
a diamond of perfect proportions, angles and finish, which cause it to reflect
light like a mirror.
In addition to brilliance,
dispersion of light, and scintillation (the
flashes of reflective light that emanate from a diamond when the diamond is
moved, also called "sparkle") are also determined by a diamond's cut.
Sacrifice Diamond Size for Beauty
When a diamond is cut to maximize
brilliance, dispersion, and scintillation, it usually loses size since more of
the stone must be cut away. Likewise, when cut for maximum size, the diamond
usually loses some of these beautiful qualities. The experts at
insist that it is best to choose a diamond for its beauty, not size, and that
additional facets will not necessarily create a more brilliant diamond.
A diamond's cut is considered the
most important of the four C's, since this quality gives the diamond that
irresistible shimmer and brightness that makes diamonds the king of all bling.
Cut, therefore, has a major impact on the overall value of a diamond
The ideal diamond engagement ring
is colorless (white) or nearly colorless, the rarest of all
diamond colors. The closer a diamond is to being colorless, the more
valuable it will be.
The Gemological Institute of
America (G.I.A.) grades color alphabetically from D (totally colorless) to Z
(yellow). For a diamond to be considered colorless, the G.I.A. requires that
it be a D, E, or F - the average grade of diamond engagement rings in
North America is G to H.
The colored tint of most diamonds
is the result of minute impurities within the stone; most of these tints are
imperceptible to the untrained eye, however these invisible differences can
affect the value of a diamond by thousands of dollars.
While most diamonds have a tint of
color, a select few exhibit a strong, pure hue. Diamonds come in almost every
color imaginable but the most popular colors are yellow, blue, green and pink.
These colored diamonds are sometimes called fancies and are extremely rare,
making them all the more sought-after.
Even the most beautiful and
valuable diamonds have natural imperfections called inclusions and blemishes.
All gem-grade diamonds receive a clarity rating based on standardized industry
scale: FL (flawless) to I3 (heavily included).
Dharamhk say that a diamond is
categorized as truly flawless if under the 10x power magnification of a
loupe (a strong jewelry magnifying glass) no external imperfections and no
internal flaws are visible. These unique specimens are exceptionally rare and
therefore extremely expensive.
Likewise, for those majority of
diamonds which are not deemed flawless, the smaller and fewer the blemishes, the
more valuable the stone. Many of the blemishes that reduce a diamond's value are
invisible to the naked eye.
Carat is the standard unit of
weight, not size, used for gemstones. One carat is equal to 0.200 grams.
Large diamonds are very rare, and two diamonds of equal weight can have very different
values depending on their clarity, color and cut.
Ethically Responsible Diamonds
While the diamond industry can
bring essential jobs to hundreds of thousands of paid citizens and enormous
economic value to many countries, the sale of blood or conflict diamonds has
also funded brutal civil wars responsible for violence, slavery and atrocities
in many African nations including Democratic Republic of Congo (formerZaire Sierra Leone and elsewhere.
More consumers and retailers are
exercising their political and ethical beliefs by choosing to purchase diamonds
only from suppliers who certify that they are not endorsing bloodshed.