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The 4 C's

Color

Most diamonds, though appearing colorless, actually have slight tones that come from the natural growth of the stone in the Earth. While diamonds are pure carbon, they tend to capture small amounts of other elements, and the most common of these is nitrogen, which causes tinges of brown or yellow. Because of the uncontrolled nature of diamond growth, it’s more common to find diamonds that have these additions than not. So, as the brown and yellow tones become more easily apparent, the rarity and cost decrease. Ideal cutting dramatizes the rare splendor of a diamond because it produces such dazzling brilliance.

Also, keep in mind that “color” as a quality of white diamonds is a very different thing than judging the color of fancy diamonds (the technical term for richly colored diamonds beyond the end of the scale). The GIA D-Z scale of color grading only applies to the hue of a white diamond, and a different set of standards apply to blue diamonds, yellow diamonds, and more.

Clarity

As with color, the clarity of any Earth-grown diamond is dependent on the random circumstances of its creation. Because of that, practically all diamonds contain naturally occurring internal characteristics called inclusions that are caused by cracks, bubbles, or other materials trapped in the stone during its formation. The most common of these materials are black carbon, olivine, garnet, silica, calcite, and iron. The size, nature, location and amount of inclusions determine a diamond's clarity grade and affect its cost.

One unique advantage of the ideal-cut diamond is that its sparkle can mask otherwise noticeable inclusions.

Cut

The ideal-cut diamond refers to a diamond that has been cut to exact and mathematically proven proportions. Its symmetry, with 58 exactly-placed facets, produces the ultimate lustre and beauty. A very well-cut diamond will reflect light internally from one facet to another, resulting in a brilliant display of “fire”.

There are three cuts of diamond that qualify for “ideal” status: round-cut, princess-cut, and brilliant-cut diamonds. Because of their mathematically designed facets, those three cuts have the most fire and sparkle, but that doesn’t mean that other cuts have less quality. Cushion-cut diamonds, for example, retain the color of fancy diamonds better than any other cut. Emerald- and marquise-cut diamonds appear far larger than diamonds of comparable carat weight. Asscher-cut diamonds have a fascinating internal pattern that can’t be matched by any other diamond cut.

A shopper should keep in mind, though, that each cut of diamond has recommended dimensions that maximize the beauty of that particular cut—so it’s important to do your research before beginning your shopping. GIA cut grades range from Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. Grading scales cover the effects of proportions on optical performance, durability, weight ratio, polish and symmetry.

Carat

Also known as “carat weight,” a carat is the standard unit of weight used for gems. Each carat (ct.) is equal to 0.200 grams (200 milligrams). Diamonds are weighed to 1/1000 of a carat (0.001) and rounded to the nearest 100th, or what’s referred to as a “point”. Gems weighing more than 1 carat are usually expressed in carats and decimals.

Per-Carat Price

The cost for each carat of a diamond's weight. To find the total cost of the diamond, you will multiply the per-carat price by the weight. For example, a diamond at 1.25 CT for $3000.00 per carat would be $3,000/ct x 1.25 ct = $3,750.

The shopper would be advised to know that diamonds tend to be sold in favored increments: For example, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1, 1.5, 2 carats and so on. This standardization of carat weight is helpful for jewelry studios, who can design the settings for their pieces of jewelry around these specific sizes. However, because of that, diamonds that don’t fit inside the “magic numbers” will be markedly cheaper. If you’re looking to save some money, you may want to look into diamonds whose carat weight is close enough to your target that the difference won’t be noticeable to the naked eye and you’ll still be able to fit the stone in your preferred setting, such as choosing a 0.98 carat diamond instead of a 1 carat stone.

Total Weight

The term “total weight”, refers to the combined weight of all the diamonds in a piece of jewelry. When a piece of jewelry is set with more than one diamond, it is necessary to make sure you understand whether you are being told the carat weight of an individual diamond or the total of all stones.

Find Your Perfect Diamond at Albert’s Diamond Jewelers

Albert’s Diamond Jewelers is one of the most trusted retailers of loose diamonds and diamond jewelry, and for 114 years, we’ve been making sure that our showcases are stocked with only the finest selections from the top designers in the industry. If you’re interested in our expert services that will keep your diamonds in glittering quality for decades to come, don’t hesitate to contact us at (219)-322-2700 or visit us today at our Schererville or Merrillville, Indiana showrooms today!

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