Evaluating Diamonds


There are 4 C’s that are used for evaluating diamonds so you can make sure your getting the best value for your money.

Those 4 C’s are: color, cut, clarity and carat weight. Below are the reasons why these 4 items are important and how it can benefit you from our knowledge.

COLORDiamonds can cover the entire spectrum of colors. The majority range from a perceptible yellow or brownish tint up to the very rare diamonds described as colorless. Colorless diamonds are the most desirable since they allow the most reflection of light. Off-white diamonds absorb light, inhibiting brilliance.  You can best observe diamond color by placing the stone table-side up on a flat white surface or grading trough, and examining it from different angles. Next, place it table-side down with the culet facing you, and examine it through the pavilion facets.

Cut has the greatest influence on the diamond’s fire and brilliance. A round, brilliant-cut diamond has 58 facets. When well proportioned, this shape best shows the stone’s brilliance because it allows the most light to be reflected back to the eye of the observer. Stones that appear lifeless or seem dark in the center are probably poorly cut. When the angle relationship between the crown and pavilion facets is correct, rays of light entering the diamond strike the rear facets at an angle greater than the critical angle (24.5 degrees for a diamond) and reflect back to the eye of the observer. If the stone is cut too deeply, the light strikes the rear facets at an angle less than the critical angle and the light is lost through the sides of the diamond. If the stone cut is too shallow, the light passes through the diamond without being reflected back.

Most diamonds contain minute traces of non-crystallized carbon and internal stress fractures. Called inclusions, most of these are not apparent to the naked eye but can be seen in loose stones under magnification. Perfect clarity means that no inclusions are discernible when the diamond is examined under a 10x lens. Inclusions greatly affect the beauty and value of a diamond because they absorb the light rather than allowing it to be reflected back through the front  of the stone. How much they reduce the value of a diamond depends on their size, number and position within the stone. An inclusion in the center of a diamond beneath the table is more visible than one near the edge. It also may be mirrored many times by adjoining facets.

The term carat comes from the ancient practice of weighing diamonds against the seeds of the carob tree. The system was eventually standardized, and one carat was fixed at .02 grams. One carat is divided into 100 points, so a quarter-carat diamond is 25 points or 0.25 carat. Although carat is a unit of weight, not size, the carat weight of a diamond has come to refer to particular sizes. If properly cut, diamonds of the same wright should be about the same size. These sizes don’t apply to other gems, however, because their specific gravities differ from a diamonds.

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