Diamonds take millions of years to form and are found 100 miles below the earth’s surface. Within the last 40 million years, there have been no diamonds brought, naturally, to the surface of the earth. All diamonds circulating throughout the world have been mined by heavy equipment that dig extremely deep holes. After mining, diamonds in the rough are sent to be cut and made beautiful for you to buy for yourself and your loved ones.
So you’re ready to pop the big question huh? Where to start?
The key to buying a diamond is understanding the basics of how diamonds are graded or assessed. The most commonly used tool for evaluating diamonds is known as the 4 C’s: Color, Clarity, Carat and Cut.
Diamond Color – When you look at a diamond, do you see bright white light; do you see a yellow or grayish tint? This is the color of the Diamond. Diamonds range from D to Z. Diamonds that are D through F in color are colorless. G through H are nearly colorless. When you go beyond H you will begin to see tints of yellow and sometimes grey. Just because a diamond has more color to it does not mean it cannot be beautiful. If you like the clarity of and cut of the diamond a diamond that has color can be very beautiful in various settings.
Diamond Clarity – When you look at a diamond, are there visual inclusions; do you see little black or grey specs? Does the diamond appear to be virtually flawless? These are questions asked when assessing a diamond’s clarity. The G.I.A. Clarity Scale ranges from FL (flawless) to I3 (prominent inclusions that are extremely visible to the eye). Please click here to learn more about diamond clarity.
Diamond Carat – Carat weight is expressed in either decimals or fractions. For example, a diamond that has a weight of .10 carat can also be expressed as 1/10 carat. You may even hear your jeweler refer to it as a “ten pointer,” as diamonds are also referred to in terms of 100 points. Larger diamonds are more rare and desirable, and therefore, more expensive. For example a single diamond that is 1 carat would cost more than 4 diamonds that’s sum equalled 1 carat.
Diamond Cut – Diamond cut encompasses the shape and the grade of the cut of a diamond. The most popular diamond shapes are Round, Princess, Pear, Oval, Emerald, Marquise and Pear. While the shape of a diamond is important, the cut of the diamond can sometimes be even more responsible for a diamond’s beauty or lack there of. A well cut diamond is cut proportionately and allows light to interfere with the facets of the diamond, in turn, creating optimal brilliance. When a diamond is cut poorly it will not sparkle and reflect light as well. Click here to learn more about how GIA grades diamond cut.