Thursday, January 20, 2011

How to Choose the Perfect Diamond

How to Choose the Perfect Diamond
Buying a diamond is one of the most important decisions a couple will make. Choosing the size and shape along with the style of the mounting are important personal choices. Understanding the characteristics that influence the brilliance, beauty and value of diamonds can make your buying experience more enjoyable and more fulfilling. Diamonds are like people—no two are ever exactly alike. Very subtle differences in the internal and external characteristics of each stone, along with subtle variations in color and cutting proportions, have a measurable effect on the value of two diamonds which may appear to be similar. Start with a good jeweler, one who’ll take the time to help you through the 4 Cs—cut, color, clarity and carat weight. Understanding the language of diamonds will put you more at ease in making your selection. The next step should be obtaining a diamond certificate from a reputable independent gemological laboratory. The certificate identifies and evaluates specific characteristics that determine the value of the stone you select.
Cut actually means two things: the shape of the diamond (round, marquise, pear, oval, heart, emerald, princess, radiant, etc.) and the proportions of the stone. When a stone is cut to good proportions, light is reflected from facet to facet, then dispersed through the top. The better the cut, the greater the sparkle, brilliance and fire of the stone.

Most diamonds look colorless. But there are subtle shade differences that range from colorless to yellow/brown. Diamonds are graded on a color scale that ranges from D (colorless) to Z (yellow/brown). Diamonds with no hint of color at all are extremely rare and are therefore, most valuable. Most gem quality stones appear to be colorless, but they usually have at least a hint of color.
Carat Weight
Like all precious stones, the weight or size of a diamond is measured in carats. A one carat stone is equal in weight to one hundred smaller units called "points." Therefore, a fifty-point diamond, for example, is the same as a half carat. Carat weight is the most obvious factor in determining a diamond’s value, depending on the quality of its cut, clarity and color.

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