Diamonds are precious stones that require a considerable monetary investment. But for so many, shopping for an engagement ring is the only time they get to learn a diamond's value. I would like to share with you the basic characteristics that determine the value of your stone; often referred to as the 4Cs; Carat- Clarity- Color and Cut.
"Carat" refers to the weight of a diamond. In ancient times, diamonds were weighed using the seeds of the carob tree. Industry professionals may refer to carats as points. One carat equals 0.20 grams or 100 points. For example, a jeweller may refer to a diamond that weighs 0.30 carats as a 30 pointer. Taken by itself, carat does not determine a diamond’s value. Two diamonds of equal carats can have very different prices depending on three other factors within the 4Cs. However, all things being equal, the price will increase with carats, because larger diamonds are rare and coveted.
Before I touch on the clarity of a stone, let's review how a diamond is formed. With carbon being the main element, natural diamonds are the result of carbon exposed to tremendous heat and pressure deep in the earth. As carbon crystallizes to form a diamond, other elements can sneak into the process and cause blemishes. These blemishes are often tiny and invisible to the naked eye but they do affect the value of a diamond. Absolutely flawless diamond is extremely rare: it is called loupe clean.
"Clarity" refers to the number of blemishes. The fewer inclusions a diamond holds, the higher the value.
"Color" refers to the tint of the diamond. Diamonds can be found in all the colors of the rainbow, from deep cocoa to warm yellow, lively green to mesmerizing pink, intense red or deep blue. Most diamonds have a slight tint of yellow or brown color. The closer to absolute colorless a diamond is graded, the higher its value. Diamonds are assigned a letter grade from “D” (colorless) to “Z” (light yellow).
Most ladies know how they want their engagement ring shaped. Well, "cut" simply refers to the shape of the stone. The shape (emerald, pear, round) is often a matter of personal taste but beware the quality of cut is crucial to the diamond's final beauty and value. Diamonds are renowned for their ability to transmit light and sparkle so intensely. The perfect cut must facilitate the light to optimally travel through the stone. So when you chose a cut, chose one that will enhance your sparkle the most.
With all that being said, have fun using the chart below when you select your next diamond.