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What to Know

Picking a Diamond Will Be Fun. Really.

You say you’re nervous about purchasing a diamond? You’re not alone. It’s an important purchase, so a few jitters are allowed. Trust us, though; we’ll make the process informative and fun. Promise.

The Four Cs

Cut

A well cut diamond sparkles a lot because it reflects and refracts light better than one not cut as well.

When cut to ideal proportions, a diamond will reflect more light out of the top, resulting in greater fire and brilliance.

A poorly cut diamond with unbalanced proportions will allow light to escape out the bottom and sides, resulting in a dull appearance. That’s why a good cut increases price.

Color

The color of a diamond can range from light yellow to totally colorless – and its beauty and value increase the more colorless it is.

The letters D to Z are used to identify the amount of color present in each diamond, with D awarded only to rare, totally colorless diamonds. E and F are also colorless, but slightly less so than D. G, H, I or J means the diamond is nearly colorless.

Colored diamonds are also available, such as pink, blue, brown or bright yellow, but these diamonds are rated on a different scale.

 

Clarity

Natural diamonds are formed by tremendous heat and pressure. As you can imagine, that kind of pressure cooker can cause imperfections internally and externally. These characteristics seldom affect a diamond’s beauty, but they do affect price.

Clarity is rated by the number, size, nature and position of these characteristics. No diamond is perfect, but the closer it comes, the higher its value.

Carat Weight

Carat weight refers to a diamond’s size and weight. Larger diamonds are scarce, and therefore more valuable – so size does matter.

However, two diamonds with the same cut and weight can be priced quite differently. A half-carat diamond with great color and clarity may cost more than a three-quarter carat diamond that is not as colorless or clear.

It’s simply a matter of deciding what matters most to you, then finding the most beautiful combination that fits your budget.

 

Fun Facts:

  • Diamonds were formed billions of years ago, 75 to 120 miles beneath the earth’s surface. But it does not necessarily take that long for a diamond to form. It can happen much faster as long as the conditions are right. It takes intense pressure and temperatures of 2000º –3000º F to create a diamond.
  • The first written mention of diamonds dates to approximately 500 BC.
  • Only one of every five diamonds found in nature is of gem quality. The rest are typically used in industrial settings.
  • Only one finished diamond out one thousand weighs over one carat.
  • If you have a house fire, your diamonds will probably survive unscathed. To burn a diamond, it must be heated to 1292° F. A house fire typically reaches just 1100° F.
  • Red and green are the rarest fancy colored diamonds. Diamonds in their purest state are clear.
  • Carob tree seeds were used for centuries as a measuring tool for weighing precious stones. The word carob eventually evolved into the word “carat”.
  • The Cullinan diamond is the largest rough diamond ever found. It is 3,106 carats in size and weighs 2.8 pounds.
  • Until the 18th century, the only diamond mines were in India.
  • Diamonds weren’t discovered in North American until the 1840s.
  • Today, Russia mines more diamonds than any other country in the world.
  • The U.S. produces almost no diamonds, but purchases more diamonds than any other country – more than 40 percent of the world’s gem quality diamonds.

 

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