Diamonds – Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy Diamond Jewelery

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Diamonds are beautiful but knowing their value requires some knowledge. Before buying diamonds or diamond jewelery, it is vital that you understand the 4 "C" of diamonds. This will allow you to make an informed buying decision about the stones set in a diamond ring or earrings, or perhaps a diamond necklace or bracelet. The 4 "C" are: Cut, Clarity, Color, Carat.

In brief, diamonds are graded and classified by these 4 "C" characteristics:

Cut is the way that the rough diamond has been shaped. The most usual cut is the "modern brilliant" cut which, with 58 facets, maximises the diamond's sparkle. Fancy cuts which include pear shape, marquise, emerald cut and princess cut, can be attractive but they will not maximise the reflected light so the diamond will not glint as much.

Clarity is a way to describe the size and quantity of foreign material that has been trapped inside the diamond, plus other marks and flaws caused by cracks and dots. Usually very small, so called "inclusions", small pieces of black carbon, other minerals or rock matrix, detract from the beauty of the diamond but are an indicator of the natural origin of diamonds. External blemishes, on the surface of the stone, are also incorporated into the Clarity score of a diamond. Diamonds are formally graded according to the following scale: FL (Flawless), IF (Internally flawless), VVS1 & VVS2 (Very very slightly imperfect), S1 & VS2 (Very slightly imperfect), SI1 & SI2 (Slightly imperfect), I1, I2 & I3 (Imperfect). Avoid inclusions as far as you can. Always try to get a stone with the highest possible clarity rating.

Color is extremely important. A pure white or colorless diamond is the best. However diamonds come in many shades of color and this determines the price. Diamond color is graded from D to Z with D being colorless (the very best) and Z representing a yellowish color. If you can afford a D color stone it's the one to go for!

Carat is often thought of as the size of the diamond but it is actually the weight: 1 carat = 0.2 grammes. So, gemstones may appear to be the same size (diameter) but due to differences in the depth of cut and / or the density of the material, the weights or carat will differ. Do not confuse the carat weight of diamonds, singularly or collective set in diamond jewelery, with the carat used for the purity of gold.

We recommend that you seek out a reputable retailer of diamond jewelery. Perhaps ask friends and family for recommendations so that you select a local jewelery shop that you can trust. Then, with the jeweler, discuss the 4 "C" as you consider your purchase of fabulous diamonds. Enjoy.

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Source by Paul Houseman

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