Your engagement ring is something that you will treasure all of your life and will pass on to your children – it is an important heirloom.
Perhaps you will go shopping together for your ring or maybe you have popped this blog under your partner’s nose (hint, hint!) you are in the right place to learn more about choosing your diamond.
Today Monica from MBC Diamonds Ltd brings to us her wealth of knowledge from over 30 years in the diamond and jewellery industry:
‘Each diamond is unique as nature doesn’t do duplicates. They are mesmerising and beautiful gems. Did you know that the very word “diamond” comes from the Greek “adamas”meaning unconquerable and suggesting the eternity of love? They are indeed the very expression of love itself.
When you buy a diamond you should be aware of a few important factors like the 4Cs. The “Diamond Grading System” was created by the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) in the 1940s and is still in use today.
The 4Cs stand for carat, cut, colour and clarity. Actually, I like to add a few more determining factors like: contour/shape, certificate and conflict-free.
- CARAT WEIGHT
As with all precious stones, the weight of a diamond is expressed in CARATS. One carat (equivalent to 0.2 grams) can be divided into “100 points”.
Did you know that the word carat is taken from the carob seeds that traders used, in ancient time, to balance scales.
Larger diamonds are discovered less often than smaller ones, meaning that large diamonds are rare and have a greater value per carat. For that reason, the price of a diamond rises exponentially with its size.
The CUT is the most important of the “4Cs”. The cut is the ability of a Master Cutter to unlock the beauty of a diamond and, ultimately, enhance its brilliance and fire.
The beauty, sparkle and attractiveness of a diamond depends more on the cut than anything else
The COLOUR conventionally refers to the presence or absence of color in white diamonds. The whiter a diamond’s colour the greater its value.
To grade colourlessness we refer to GIA’s color scale that begins with the highest rating of “D” for colourless and goes down the alphabet to “Z”, to grade stones with traces of very faint or light yellowish color.
Diamonds contain internal and unique birthmarks, natural fingerprints which developed while they were forming in the earth, these are called inclusions. Diamonds are graded for CLARITY under a 10x loupe magnification.
They are very small imperfections and do not affect the diamond’s beauty in any way, however, the fewer and smaller the inclusions are the more rare and valuable the diamond is.
Grades range from flawless which are completely free of inclusions to included 3 which are diamonds with large, heavy inclusions that are visible to the naked eye.
These are the basic 4Cs. However I like to add a few more:
- CONTOUR & SHAPE
The SHAPE of a diamond is not to be confused with the quality of the cut. There are a number of shapes available on the market, the most traditional being the round brilliant cut. Others include princess cut, emerald cut, cushion cut, asscher cut, radiant cut, heart shape, oval cut and marquise cut.
The CERTIFICATE is the blueprint of a diamond: it tells you the diamond’s exact measurements and weight, as well as the details of its cut and quality. Each diamond certificate has a unique sequential number and corresponds to one individual diamond.
Laboratory certification provides an impartial judgment of the characteristics and quality of each diamond. Such a certification gives the purchasers added confidence that the diamond received is as described by the seller.
GIA is the world’s oldest, largest and most respected independent lab. The GIA diamond grading report is considered to be the world’s premier credential of diamond quality.
- CONFLICT-FREE DIAMONDS
CONFLICT-FREE diamonds are mined and produced under ethical human conditions. Profits from these diamonds are not used to fund conflicts and wars around the world.
When purchasing a diamond always make sure that the source complies with the December 2000 United Nations Resolutions on conflict-free diamonds and that they have been through the Kimberly Process and as such they have been certificated by one of the leading gemological institutes such as GIA.
I hope this information was useful and that you feel more knowledgeable about diamonds. Of course, experience and knowledge does not come only from reading a couple of pages but with years of dedication and work in the field.
My professional suggestion when it comes to purchasing a diamond is to keep in mind these key factors:
- The importance of the cut quality which will make the stone sparkle more.
- I will always favour colour vs clarity providing that you don’t see the inclusions with the naked eye.
- Make sure that the diamond is conflict-free so a non blood diamond.
- Size is important however, I will always choose quality vs size.
- Last but not least, you must have confidence in the seller. Do your own research about them and their reputation, how long they have been in business and whether they belong to a well know association in the industry.’
If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further please do get in touch via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks to Monica.
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