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Diamond Education

Diamonds represent the very essence of beauty and light, and the decision to purchase a diamond – for any reason, but particularly in the life-altering instance of engagement rings - is one that should not be taken lightly. There are a lot of little things you need to know about diamond jewelry prior to making a purchase because – let’s face it – diamonds can be a sizeable investment, and the key to consumer confidence in the world of fine jewelry is knowledge.

Fortunately, the most important aspects regarding the quality and value of loose diamonds can be broken down into easily digestible segments, making your searchfor a diamond a pleasurable experience rather than an overwhelming one. The following sections will outline the basic elements which are most important for you, the consumer, to be aware of as you beginyour search for the very best value in diamond engagement rings.

Our complimentary diamond education section begins with an overview of the “four C’s,” followed by some additional information regarding characteristics of which only the truly savvy diamond shopper is typically aware. From here, you will be prepared to make a confident, informed diamond purchase; one that you will reflect upon positively for years to come.

Diamond Cut

The basis of a diamond’s natural beauty lies in its transparency and its ability to refract rays of light. Even in their rough state, loose diamonds possesses these qualities. It was discovered long ago, however, that with precision cutting and polishing, this rare and precious stone was capable of producing unprecedented sparkle and shine. The original 58-facet diamond cut, familiarly known as the ideal cut diamond, was created in the quest to bring out a diamond’s most luminescent qualities and remains the industry standard to this day.
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Diamond Color

The letter grades associated with diamonds are reflective of their color. Naturally, the first instinct is to assume that the highest color grade is the best, but, depending upon your particular budget and desires, this might not necessarily be the case. Loose diamonds are graded on the following scale:
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Diamond Clarity

A diamond’s clarity refers to how clear the stone is both superficially and internally. Clarity is evaluated with regard to a diamond’s transparency, as well as its possession of certain imperfections. Internal flaws are referred to as inclusions. External flaws are commonly called blemishes. The nature and severity of a diamond’s inclusions and blemishes are taken into consideration when determining the value of the stone. Completely flawless diamond solitaires are extremely rare - especially those of significant size - and are therefore rated at the top end of the price scale.
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Diamond Carat Weight

A diamond’s carat weight refers to its overall mass and, assuming all other characteristics to be equal, it the primary determining factor in the value of the stone. Because larger stones with higher grades of color and clarity are much rarer than smaller stones of the same quality, a diamond solitaire weighing one carat is considerably more valuable than a ring a ring made of smaller diamond accents, even though the two may weigh the same. There are several factors which may play a part in your selection of the most appropriate carat weight for diamond engagement rings. Here are some tips for determining the right carat weight as it relates to cut, color and clarity, as well as the overall design.
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Diamond Fluorescence

In addition to the commonly acknowledged characteristics of the “four C’s” of diamond quality, fluorescence is also examined as a part of the overall assessment of a diamond’s value. A diamond’s fluorescence is based on its tendency to exhibit changes in color when exposed to ultraviolet or fluorescent light. This fluorescence can expose colors ranging from a yellowish hue to bluish, with yellow bringing the value of the diamond down somewhat. The less fluorescence exhibited by a diamond, the more valuable it becomes as the designations of “colorless” or “near colorless” are the benchmark in diamond perfection.
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Diamond Certification

Loose diamonds are graded by unbiased, third party entities, and a diamond’s price is based on these assessments of cut, color, clarity and carat weight, as well as the presence (or lack thereof) of fluorescent characteristics. This is the basis of diamond certification, and a diamond’s value can be weighed against that of comparable diamonds based on evaluation of their respective certificates. You may also see a diamond certificate referred to as a diamond grading report or a diamond dossier.
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