After a lot of deliberation, we welcomed home our first diamond. And now we wonder, why our families are obsessed with only Gold jewelry. 😛
We visited as many stores as we could, and saw some beautifully cut diamonds under the loupe. So I want to share the little knowledge I gained on my blog.
Lets start, primarily look for the 4Cs.
1. Cut: Cut is NOT the shape of the diamond, it is the symmetry, and the finish which determines its ability to handle light. A well cut Diamond will have the magnificent fire and brilliance offering maximum sparkle and reflection of light. The cut grades proposed by Gemological Institute of America, GIA are excellent (ideal), very good, good, fair and poor. Check this image to know the difference.
I would suggest choosing at least a very good one, if not ideal.
2. Clarity: Diamonds are graded with a 10x magnification Loupe. For clarity grades F through SI, inclusions (internal flaws) are NOT visible to the naked eye. Below are the clarity grades.
Flawless: No internal or external flaws. Extremely rare.
Internally Flawless: No internal flaws, but some surface flaws. Very rare.
Very Very Slightly Included. Minute inclusions, very difficult to detect under the loupe by a trained gemologist.
Very Slightly Included. Minute inclusions seen only with difficulty under the loupe.
Slightly Included. Minute inclusions more easily detected under the loupe.
Included. Obvious inclusions visible under the loupe and to the human eye.
This is how they will be visible to the naked eye. So my suggestion is nothing below a clarity of SI1 should do.
3. Color: A diamond’s color refers to the presence or absence of color in white diamonds. The color scale begins with the highest rating of D for colorless, and travels down to grade the stones with traces of very faint or light yellowish or brownish color. The color scale continues all the way to Z. Check the below image to understand better.
Diamonds graded G through I show virtually no color that is visible to the untrained eye. My advice is at least an I color.
4. Carat: Carat is specifically a measure of a diamond’s weight, NOT size. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams. A larger diamond with poor cut, clarity and color will appear less eye catching than a smaller diamond with excellent cut, clarity and color, so a delicate balance is required.
This basically depends on your budget. If you are keen on a solitaire, I would suggest around a minimum of 0.50 carat diamond.
Now for the secondary parameters. Hope you are not bored. 🙂
1. Certificate: A diamond certificate or grading report provides an expert opinion of the quality of the diamond and is provided by an independent gemology lab. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society (AGS) are the two most widely recognized diamond grading labs in the world. Other diamond labs that issue certificates are IGI, EGL, HRD etc. Here is a sample GIA certificate.
Needless to say, buy certified diamond jewelry only.
2. Shape: The round is the classic shape of a diamond and is designed to maximize the visual size of the diamond and it’s sparkle. This is also the most expensive one of the lot. But I think this is your personal choice (mine is obviously round). The different stone shapes available are
The princess shape is the next most popular one. Stones which are not symmetrically formed or have awkwardly located inclusions are often cut into what is called a “fancy cut” or a cut other than a round brilliant.
3. Setting: This is again a personal choice, but look for one which holds the stone in place so it does not fall off (it does happen). The most popular one for rings is the Prong setting, which uses least amount of metal and allows most light to reach the stone. Diamonds can be set with 2 prongs, 3 prongs, 4 prongs, 5 prongs or 6 prongs. Other settings available are Bezel, Channel, Pave, Bead, Cluster, Flush, Ballerina etc.
4. Metal: Gold and platinum provide a long-lasting and beautiful accompaniment to your diamond. The different metal settings for diamonds are in platinum, white gold and yellow gold. If the setting is white gold or platinum, it is better to opt for a higher color grade than if the setting is of yellow gold. This one is yet again a personal preference but my favorite is platinum, and next white gold.
Phew, now for the climax. This is the one we chose finally.
P.S. It was Ims’ anniversary gift for me and I got him the Canon 50mm f/1.4 Portrait lens. 😉