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Seeing as diamonds are so valuable, a universal grading system was created in the 40s & 50s for comparing their quality. This system, recognized worldwide, is called the 4 Cs – Clarity, Color, Cut and Carat (weight).
Clarity– Flawless diamonds and nearly flawless diamonds (clarity between FL and VVS2) are considered particularly rare and are consequently particularly expensive. Inclusions can hinder how the light reflects, lessening the brilliance and prismatic effect of color in a diamond. VVS and VS grades have tiny inclusions that may be seen only by a trained professional under 10x magnification. SI clarity implies that the diamond contains inclusions but is still clean to the human eye. I1-I5 clarities contain inclusions that may include larger clouds or feathers visible to the unaided eye, and may exhibit lower brilliance and transparency.
Flawless: No internal flaws. Extremely rare and expensive.
Very, Very Slightly Included: Inclusions are incredibly hard to detect even under 10x magnification. Rare and expensive.
Very Slightly Included: Inclusions are not visible to the unaided eye. High quality.
Slightly Included: Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification. Good quality.
Included: Inclusions and flaws are visible to the naked eye. Common and affordable.
For larger sized diamonds, better clarity grades are more preferable because inclusions become significantly more visible as the size of the diamond increases.
Going into the SI range of diamonds allows customers to increase the size of the diamond without compromising the visible quality of the diamond.
The best value is for stones of SI1 & SI2 clarity grades with SI3 being a borderline area. For stones under .75CT, SI clarity is the best value.
Color– The levels of the GIA Color Scale can be divided into Colorless, Near Colorless, faint yellow, very light yellow, and light yellow ranges. Each letter on the scale represents a narrow color range, not a specific point. Diamonds in the normal color range (D-Z) are graded based on their lack of color.
The D-E-F grades are considered colorless. D and E diamonds have virtually no color, and an F has a nearly undetectable amount of color that shows only in the face down position. The differences between these grades are actually very slight. In fact, they're almost indistinguishable in diamonds smaller than 0.25ct.
The G-H-I-J grades are near-colorless. They have slight traces of color that aren't noticeable to untrained eyes when the stones are mounted. These diamonds are popular because they combine fairly high color with somewhat lower prices.
The K-L-M grades are faint yellow. When they're mounted, small stones look almost colorless, but larger stones show a faint hint of yellow.
N through R diamonds are considered very light yellow. They appear very light yellow even when they are mounted in jewelry.
S through Z diamonds are light yellow. They show substantial color face-up or face-down, loose or mounted.
Once a diamond goes beyond the Z color range, it's classified as Fancy Light yellow, which causes its price to rise. Sometimes, rough diamonds with color in the X to Z range can be cut to achieve a fancy color designation.
Diamonds of F-H Color are the best value. Face-up they are clear as day and there is no hint of yellow.
D & E Color is fantastic, but the D color is exceptionally rare and as such the largest price jump in the color range occurs here.
I & J Color diamonds beautiful once they are placed in a setting. If size is your priority then these color grades will get you there without compromise.
If size is a must and clarity is stretched to the max, then a diamond of L-N range will still have beautiful sparkle and appeal with the light hint of yellow.
Cut – The term “cut” refers to the geometric proportions of a gemstone. The cut of a gemstone is one of the most important factors in determining how much sparkle a gemstone produces. Once the diamond’s shape has been determined, facets are cut. Each facet refracts light like a prism to produce the stone’s fire and brilliance. Diamonds are cut to evoke the most desirable fire and brilliance from a stone. The ideal cut diamond possesses good symmetry, i.e. its table and girdle are parallel to each other and the culet and table are well centered. The facets are also well aligned and symmetrical. A well cut diamond will optimize the use of light, creating fire and brilliance.
Ideal and Premium cuts are less common. These cuts are more expensive but these diamonds radiate with fire.
Any diamond of Good cut is the best value. Good cut diamonds reflect light properly and allow the diamond to shine to its full potential.
A Poor cut will prevent the diamond from shining with proper brilliance. These cuts are more inexpensive but should be avoided.
Do not sacrifice the quality of the cut of a diamond. Cut should be the last of the five elements to be downgraded if a specific stone is out of your reach.
Carat Weight – A carat, not to be confused with karat, is a unit of weight used in the diamond trade. One carat is divided equally into 100 points. Each carat weighs about 0.20 grams. Diamonds jump up in value when they begin to hit the half & full carat threshold due to the volume of their demand. The bigger, heavier diamonds are much rarer and more expensive than smaller ones. When selecting the best carat weight, take into consideration your taste & style, the finger size, the type of band or setting, and your budget.
T.C.W. or CT. T.W. refers to a piece of diamonds jewelry which has more than one diamond. This term stands for total carat weight. It is the sum of the carat weight in each diamond included in the final product.
The best value can be found in diamonds in the 0.50 ct – 1.50 ct range which are more common.
Diamonds ranging from 2 CT and higher are very expensive and harder to find.
Gold can be manufactured in many colors but the two most popular are white and yellow. Yellow gold and white gold have very similar strength and malleability. The purity of gold is measured in karats, which are expressed in 24ths. Thus, Pure gold is 24-karat or 100 percent gold, 18-karat is 75 percent gold, 14-karat is 58.5 percent gold while 12-karat gold is 50 percent gold and 50 percent alloy. The price of gold jewellery is dependent upon the purity of the gold used or karat weight. When the karat weight or the gold percentage of the jewellery is high, the yellow color of gold is brighter, raising the value of the jewellery.
Take into account where you live and what culture you come from because a certain color of gold might be more suitable.
The color of the existing gold jewellery must be considered so that the new piece will match other items you may already have.
14K gold is recognized as the minimum quality of gold used in high-quality jewellery.
18K gold is more expensive and prestigious because it is a purer mixture of gold. It is recommended for those clients who wish to have nothing but the best quality gold available.
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