Diamond EducationThe 4 C's
Buying a diamond can be a stressful experience. Education is really the key and the more informed you are the less stressed you will feel. Here at Artisan Jewelers I do not buy diamonds for stock like most stores do. There is a lot of pressure then, to sell what they already own. Instead, I have a ‘memo’ process where I work with a select group of wholesalers and order diamonds in to fit a customer’s specific needs. This allows for a better range of options and a better price. There is no charge to look and you are not obligated to purchase.
Diamond Anatomy and Cut Quality
I generally suggest shopping around a bit before stopping in to get a better idea of price/quality. When you do, please be aware that there are specifics related to price you may not know about. Buying a diamond is not like buying a Porsche Boxster in black with tan leather. The specs may appear the same for two different diamonds on paper but there are good reasons for differences in price. For example; An SI1 from one lab report may have a lot more inclusions then one from another. This is why it is important to inspect a stone, unset, under a microscope before buying. Cut is another factor that is difficult to research online. All diamonds are faceted by hand so there can be a lot of variation. Even two diamonds that are ‘ideal’ cut can look different in person.
Understanding the 4 C’s of Diamonds Shopping
The information below is from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) which provides good basic information that will help you learn about diamonds and diamond grading. If you have specific questions please feel free to contact me. The best advice I can give is to do your research before ever setting foot in a store. The more you know the better you will be able to communicate what you want.
Want to learn more on your own?
Diamond Clarity Refers to the Absence of Inclusions and Blemishes
The natural formation of diamonds often results in a variety of internal characteristics called ‘inclusions’ and external characteristics called ‘blemishes.’
Evaluating diamond clarity involves determining the number, size, relief, nature, and position of these characteristics, as well as how these affect the overall appearance of the stone. While no diamond is perfectly pure, the closer it comes, the higher its value.
Diamonds are renowned for their ability to transmit light and sparkle so intensely. We often think of a diamond’s cut as shape (round, heart, oval, marquise, pear), but a diamond’s cut grade is really about how well a diamond’s facets interact with light.
Precise artistry and workmanship are required to fashion a stone so its proportions, symmetry and polish deliver the magnificent return of light only possible in a diamond.
The diamond color evaluation of most gem-quality diamonds is based on the absence of color. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue, like a drop of pure water, and consequently, a higher value. GIA’s D-to-Z diamond color-grading system measures the degree of colorlessness by comparing a stone under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions to masterstones of established color value.
Many of these diamond color distinctions are so subtle that they are invisible to the untrained eye; however, these distinctions make a very big difference in diamond quality and price.
Diamond carat weight is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs. A metric “carat” is defined as 200 milligrams.
All else being equal, diamond price increases with diamond carat weight because larger diamonds are rarer and more desirable. But two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values (and prices) depending on three other factors of the diamond 4Cs: Clarity, Color, and Cut.
For those who have considered buying a diamond on line…
Here’s a great example of how a certificate alone doesn’t tell the whole story.
Two diamonds can have exactly the same clarity grade. It would be pretty obvious that one is much clearer than the other, and yet they have the same pedigree. Purchasing with certificates alone isn’t enough to tell the whole story, which is why we get a selection of diamonds to compare under our high powered microscope. We evaluate each diamond and help you determine the best one for you!
A diamond with certification is just like a puppy in a litter. The pedigree may be great, but there is one puppy that is just the right one!