KNOW YOUR DIAMOND
A diamond's cost is based on the characteristics known as the "4 C's". Clarity, Color and Cut (proportion) are the quality elements which together with the Carat Weight determine the value of a stone.
Carat Weight
Carat is the unit of weight for all gemstones. One carat is subdivided into 100 "points". Therefore a diamond measuring 75 points is 3/4 carat in weight, or 0.75ct. There are five carats in a gram. The word "carat" comes from the seed of the carob tree pod which is found in tropical climates. These seeds were used until this century to weigh precious gems.
Clarity
>A diamond's clarity is determined by the number, nature, position, size and color of internal characteristics called "inclusions" and surface features called "blemishes". These irregularities occurred in the liquid magna (volcanic rock) within which the diamond was created. Diamonds are mostly pure carbon, however, during crystallization other minerals nearby, or even other bits of carbon forming more
quickly may have become trapped within the cooling mass. These show themselves as the various characteristics which make up the clarity of a diamond (included crystals, feathers, clouds etc). Clarity is measured on a scale ranging from pure (flawless) to heavily included (I-3). The clarity of a diamond is graded by using 10X magnification under good lighting by an experienced grader. The final clarity grade is usually determined by how easy the inclusions and blemishes are for the grader to see.
Color
Ideally, a diamond should have no color at all, like a drop of spring water. Increasing degrees of body color are measured on a scale ranging from no color at all (D) to deeply colored (Z). Beyond "Z" is the range where the diamond's color is vivid and rich, called "fancy colors". Diamonds of known color are used as comparison stones for color grading. Grading is done by comparing the diamond to be graded against these "master stones" under either artificial or natural north daylight (in the Northern Hemisphere). A machine called the "Colorimeter" can be used for color grading but there is no substitute for the trained human eye.
Cut
Cut ensures that a given stone has maximum brilliance and sparkle which would not be the case was the stone cut for weight alone. We use the following scale to grade a stone on its overall appearance. The hows angles and percentages for round brilliant cut diamonds; but angles and percentages are for diamond cutters and graders. It is the work of a master cutter that allows the diamond to be cut in such a way as to permit the maximum amount of light to be reflected through the diamond, and that's a great reflection on you. It is the cut that enables a diamond to make the best use of light.