Diamond Pocket Guide–Picking a diamond

This is a sponsored post Diamond Pocket Guide–Picking a diamond . I received compensation in return for this guest post.

For the vast majority of people, life does not offer many opportunities to purchase diamonds. When choosing diamonds for Mother’s Day, an engagement, anniversary or any other special occasion, picking the right stone may seem challenging at first. Major diamond retailers like Shane Co. have put forth a system called “the four Cs” that explains the different levels of diamond quality. Having even a cursory understanding of the four Cs can greatly simplify the diamond-buying process.

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Diamond Pocket Guide–Picking a diamond

Cut

You may be surprised to learn that diamonds do not come out of the ground sparkling and shimmering. The diamonds used in jewelry have been cut by expert jewelers so they have facets that reflect the light. Cutting gives diamonds their immediately recognizable shape: flat on top and pointed on the bottom. A well-cut diamond has the right proportions to reflect light. A diamond that comes to a point that is too deep or shallow will “leak” light and not have proper luster. When buying diamonds, the clerk in the store may let you step outside to see the stone in sunlight. This is one of the best ways to assess the cut of the diamond.

Color

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Diamonds in colors such as yellow, blue or purple are some of the rarest and most expensive stones out there. Unless you are a serious collector, you are unlikely to be considering purchasing a stone like this. For the average diamond buyer, color refers to the presence or absence of color in a standard white diamond. Diamonds are graded from “D” to “Z”, with “D” being colorless and “Z” being dingy yellow or brown. The lower the letter that corresponds to your diamond, the more you can expect to spend. Diamonds graded “D” through “I” are virtually colorless, and even diamonds at a slightly lower grade can appear clear if you select the right jewelry mounting for them.

Clarity

The process of intense heat and pressure by which diamonds are formed is not a gentle one. Therefore, it is not surprising that the vast majority of diamonds have some kind of flaw, either internally or on the surface. However, the fewer flaws a diamond has, the better it reflects light, and so diamonds that are flawless or nearly flawless cost a premium. Diamonds have 11 grades that reflect their clarity. Only the bottom three grades have flaws that can actually be detected by the naked eye and not just under magnification. Higher grades may have slightly less luster, but any flaws in them can only be seen under a magnifying lens.

Carat

Diamonds are sold by carat (ct.) weight. Each carat is divided into 100 points, with each point equal to 1/100th of a carat. For two diamonds of equal quality, the larger the carat weight, the more rare and valuable the diamond.

While these categories can help you select a high-quality diamond, it is important to keep in mind that the size and clarity of a diamond are not measures of your love. The diamond itself is the symbol, not the value of the stone.

Article courtesy of Shane Co.

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