Diamonds Facts and Buying Guide

by Sheweta Dhanuka

Diamond, the name is derived from a Greek word adamas, meaning unconquerable. It is considered as the ‘ King of Gems’. This is the reason why it is close to the heart of all the queens that is each and every woman on the universe. It symbolizes forever love and commitment among the partners. It is the stone for engagement and 75th wedding anniversary.

DiamondTo make the purchase of a genuine Diamond it is essential to understand all the 4C's thoroughly as the 4C's viz. colour, cut, clarity and carat weight determines the quality of the stone. The grading system is also based on these four characteristics. Buyers need to know these facts. Thus, this article offers all the necessary information about this gorgeous stone and also acts as a buying guide. Apart from the four crucial Cs, it provides information on other characteristics as well like certificate, use, origin, precautions etc.

Colour - It is the only stone that occurs in almost all colours but the highly priced and preferred diamond is colorless. Colorless stone inhibits brilliance and sparkles maximum. In this stone, light passes through one side to other easily and the reflection of light occurs to the fullest. Apart from the colorless gems, other chosen colours are blue and yellow. Few more fancy colours are brown, orange, pink and green. According to the Gemological Institute of America's colour scale, colorless diamonds are priced highest while fancy colours are valued least. However, many people treasure bright and intense colored stones too.

Cut - This C is the most significant characteristic as worth and value of the stone is largely depended on it. The over all appearance and look gets enhanced with the efficient cut. Cut specifies the reflective qualities. In a well-cut diamond, light enters inside the stone from one facet and after covering all the sides, reflects back from the same facet to the eyes of the observer. This results in brilliant sparkle of light visible by the naked eyes of the spectator. When the stone is cut poorly then the light enters from one facet but instead of reflecting back it passes or leaks through the sides or the bottom of the stone.

The stone is graded on the basis of the classification of five types of cut. These are Ideal, Premium, Very Good, Good and Fair & Poor cut. In ideal and premium cuts, light is reflected brilliantly creating the sparkle in the stone. Ideal cut is valued most while fair & poor cut is least. The reflection of light and monetary value reduces in the same order.

diamondClarity - The formation process of this stunning stone is quite complicated thus, presence of inclusions in the stone is obvious. The clarity is determined on the basis of amount, size and visibility of the flaws. Flaws are of two type's viz. inclusions and blemish. Inclusions are present inside the stone like air bubbles, cracks, fractures or traces of other minerals. While blemish appear on the surface of the stone such as scratches, pits and chips. Almost all the stone consists of flaws that can be viewed with either by naked eyes or magnifying loupe. No stone would ever seize similar flaws. For instance in few stones flaws would be clearly visible while in few it would be almost negligible. With the increase in the number, size and visibility of the flaws the cost decreases. However, absolutely clean and clear stone are also found but are very rare in nature.

Carat weight - Stones with small carat weight are found more easily than with higher carat weight. Larger stones occur seldom in the natural state therefore for such stone, per carat weight the price is more than that for the smaller size stones. One carat weight is equal to 0.2 grams. Stones in all sizes and weights are available in the market. Anything could be selected in accordance with the size and depth of the pocket.

Certificates - Diamonds are the stones most in demand and highly expensive. There are many dealers all over the world who sell imitations and semi precious stones at the price to true diamonds. Thus, in order to avoid all the doubts about the originality, certificates are given along with the purchase of the stone as the proof of quality and value. These certificates are also called as 'Grading Reports' that offer complete evaluation and details covering all the factors except for the price in terms of money of the stone.

The recognized diamond grading labs in world are Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society (AGS). There are many laboratories issuing certificates across the world. Every lab maintains different standards. When buyers opt to buy non-recognized labs certified diamonds then it is better to ask for the credentials of the certifying labs. With the help of the certificates the buyers are enable to make a better choice among all the available options without any risk of the quality. When diamonds are purchased in loose that is without mounted in jewelry items then in such a situation, buyers should ensure to take the certificate.

Price - All the 4 C's are together taken into consideration for determining the price of this exquisite gem. Colour, cut, clarity and carat weight carry equal weight age in deciding the price. Change in one characteristic can jeopardize the price of the stone completely. Colorless stones are valued most. Cut offering maximum reflection of light and sparkle is highly priced. Stone with minimum flaws is worth more. And finally with the increase in carat weight the price also increases. Rare occurrence of stone is responsible for the soaring prices. Thus, price of rare colorless diamond with no or negligible flaws possessing brilliant cut and high carat weight would touch the sky that is would fetch maximum price.

Shapes - Diamond cuts are different from the shapes. Cut implies reflective qualities in respect to sides and facets of the stone while shape is the outer appearance. This magnificent stone is a very tough stone thus can be given varied designs and styles. The ideal shape for this gemstone is round. This shape offers maximum brilliance and sparkle. Therefore, major part of the gems trade segment select round shape for jewelry items. Rings with oval shape diamond are suitable for the females having smaller and broad fingers as oval shape offers elongated look. In the same way pear shape is appropriate for average length fingers. And this shape makes striking pendants and earrings too. Some other commonly seen shapes are marquise, princess cut, heart, square, emerald etc. Few unusual styles are flower, kite, trilliant, triangle, cushion cut and many more.

Occurrence - This dazzling beauty is formed very deep inside the earth crust under high heat and pressure and comes to the surface via Volcanoes. Crystallization occurs only when precise minerals combines together in the required set conditions. It is found in transparent crystal form of pure carbon. Its unique physical and chemical properties make it a very special stone. It is the hardest gemstone and good conductor of heat. It exhibits highest refractive index, dispersion and fluorescence.

Source - India and Brazil were the first two countries to produce this amazing stone. Today, one of major supplier is South Africa. Few other countries are United States of America, Nigeria, Nairobi, Russia and Australia. The prime source of this glittering stone is Kimberlite, which is volcanic rock.

Enhancement - Natural colorless stones are not enhanced as the Mother Nature presents it in perfect form. However, the fancy colored stones are irradiated or heat-treated to enhance the colour.

Imitations -Today, many of the stones are synthetically produced in laboratories. It is more costly to produce this stone artificially than mining. But, due to growing demand and less supply many people in many countries are into the business of producing artificial stones. Semi precious stones and other stimulants like man-made glass are also sold in the market as the genuine diamonds. Therefore, buyers need be extra cautious when buying this captivating beauty as these imitations is sold at the price of true stone. The innocent buyers are deceived using the fancy trade names.
Uses - It is used in varied ways. Being a tough material, diamond tools are used to shape the lenses precisely and accurately for the eyeglasses. Similar tools are used in windows industry, space probes and manufacturing of computers and televisions.

This attractive stone make exquisite jewelry pieces that are treasured most by the females. Jewelries can be made of sterling silver, platinum, 14K or 18K white and yellow gold. Silver is used little less as it is not compatible with the worth of the stone. Hand crafted jewelry is also gaining popularity day by day. It is an important part of men's rings and pendants.

Diamonds used for female jewelry items viz. rings, pendants, earrings or necklaces can be of any carat weight. As such there is no ideal weight. Higher the weight of the pocket of the buyer so can be the carat weight of the stone. This wonderful stone is very well paired with other precious and semi precious stones. While pairing, being more expensive it is generally in used in smaller sizes but more in number than the other stone in the design. The modern jewelry designers create all the ornaments in breath taking designs. Any type of setting can be used like prong or bezel. Buyers, while making the purchase of any item must ensure that settings are done well as there is high probability of loosing this precious stone.

Precautions - It is the hardest stone among all the gemstones found in nature. It rates 10 Mohs on the hardness scale. It is ideal for the daily wear jewelry. Only general gemstone precautions and care are required to be practiced for the everlasting retention of the stone.
Beliefs - In ancient times, it was believed to possess the power to protect against the evil and incurable diseases. Today, astrologers associate it with courage, good fortune and victory. It also promotes faithfulness and loyalty in a marriage. Moreover, people wear this striking stone as a status symbol and to gain special recognition in affluent society.

Men and women across the globe desire to wear this glorious stone in spite of it being an expensive and beyond the affordable range. This incredible stone even conveys intimate feelings to your partner in best possible way. Apart from the emotional feelings one strong reason to buy this stone is - buying diamond is an investment, as the worth and eminence remain same forever. Thus, everyone should acquire this asset once in his or her lifetime. So get started!!

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