Diamond Basics – A Crash Course For First Time Diamond Buyer

Page Summary: Basic diamond information describing how diamond characteristics affect value when buying or selling. A quick tour!

The four C's is a popular guide into basic diamond descriptions. Carat, Color, Clarity, Cut

Carat: The weight of the diamond is measured on a carat scale. There are five carats in one metric gram. The term "diamond size" is often confused and generally relates to diameter measurement. There are categories categories, half carat, and three quarter carat as examples but these are still based on a carat scale weights. Karat is used for gold purity, such as 18K which is 75% pure etc.

Color: Concerning value diamond color should actually be the lack of color. The less tint (usually yellow) present the more it raises the value of the diamond. DE & F are absolutely colorless, GHI & J are near colorless (having very slight tints present), KZ is faint yellow to dark yellow. When the yellow intensity reaches a dark enough tone a reliable lab would call it a light fancy yellow, fancy yellow, intense fancy yellow, vivid fancy yellow or a deep fancy yellow increasing the value with each grade respectively. Diamond occurs in every color of the rainbow and some can be extremely valuable. The least valuable is brown and the most is occasional red.

Clarity: Clarity grading is done under 10 power magnification preferably with a gemologist's microscope. The amount, location and contrast of inclusions (flaws or internal characteristics) present under 10x determines the final clarity grade. Blemishes, external characteristics, such as scratches, bruises or nicks, affect the final clarity grade also but not as dramatically as internal characteristics.

Cut: Cut should not be confused with shape. Examples of shapes include: Round Brilliant, Pear, Marquis, Emerald Cut, Princess etc. The cut refers to proportions and cut specifications. These specs are extremely important in how the diamond returns the brilliance, dispersion and scintillation to the viewer's eyes. Poor specs on a diamond have a large negative effect on the value of a diamond.

Cost: The Fifth C should be considered carefully by the consumer. Before buying (or selling) your diamond, ask the following: # 1 Is the diamond accompanied with a reliable and accurate lab report (our favorites are GIA & AGS)? # 2 Is the diamond properly proportioned for maximum beauty and value? # 3 Have you shopped the market well enough to find a competitive and knowledgeable merchant?

If you're in the market to buy or sell we encourage you to do further research available on our website.

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by Glenn Lovelady

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