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Buying a diamond is a very personal experience. The more you know about diamonds, the more confident you will be when making your diamond choice.There are actually 5C’s to considering when purchasing a diamond. The most well-known C’s are Cut - which is the shape, Clarity, Color, and Carat, and the last and rarely discussed but critical to know about is Cutting which is about the facets and brilliance that will determine the beauty of the stone.
Diamond shapes fall under 2 main categories: Round + Fancy. Round diamonds are historically the more expensive cut due to the overall higher demand that exists for this classic cut. All other shapes such as emeralds, cushions, princess, ovals, and marquise fall under fancies.
The cutting of the diamond is what determines its brilliance and scintillation (sparkle.) Round diamonds are cut based on a mathematical calculation for maximum brilliance and fire. If a diamond is cut too deep or shallow, it results in a loss of light emitting from the sides or bottom of the stone determines the brilliance & sparkle. Fancies are judged based on the proper proportions of the shape. The cut of a diamond is a critical and important component in determining the value and the beauty of the stone.
Diamonds are graded based on the amount of color they do or do not possess. The scale runs from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). An absolutely colorless diamond is rare and therefore very valuable.
A diamond is distinguished by its natural characteristics which is notated as clarity. Some of these characteristics can be surface blemishes or inclusions inside the stone. Clarity is judged by the number and types of these characteristics and is designated using a scale that runs from FL (flawless) to 13 (Inclusions highly visible to the naked eye. Flawless diamonds are extremely rare.
FL DiamondsFlawless: No internal or external flaws.
IF DiamondsInternally Flawless: No internal flaws.
VVS1, VVS2 DiamondsVery, Very Slightly included: Very difficult to see inclusions with 10x magnification.
VS1, VS2 DiamondsVery Slightly Included: Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification to a skilled grader.
SI1, SI2 DiamondsSlightly Included: Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification and may be visible with the unaided eye.
I1, I2, I3 DiamondsIncluded: Inclusions are visible with the unaided eye.
The unit of measure used for the weight of a diamond is carat. A carat us equivalent to .2grams and is further divided into points. There are 100 points in1 carat. So a 1/4 (.25) carat stone can be expressed as 25 points. Though 2 diamonds may be the same carat size, the final determination of the surface area will be determined by whether the stone is cut deep or shallow.
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