Diamond Education

The 4C’s of Diamond Buying

When it comes time for you to get down on your knee, or make it a big surprise for an anniversary or special holiday, you want everything about that moment to be perfect, including the diamond(s) you are gifting (or receiving, for that matter). Buying the perfect diamond is easier than you may think if you are a first time buyer. All you need to know about are the 4C’s: Cut,Color, Clarity, Carats.

 

diamond cut

Cut – This is probably the most important when it comes to determining a diamond’s value and beauty. It shows the skill of the cutter who fashioned the diamond to bring out the brilliance and scintillation of the diamond to make it sparkle from across the room. Technology can be used to assess the diamond’s light performance and hence the quality of its cut. A diamond’s light performance depends on the cutter’s decision of angles and placement of the facets, as well as the skill to place those facets precisely. Getting a diamond to its full luster takes time and careful polishing. Like minute scratches that dull a glass surface, a poor polish can reduce the brightness and sparkle of a diamond. The quality of the cut also affects a diamond’s value, and can increase it by up to 50% more. When the cut is more precise, the more captivating it is to the eye.

 

 

Diamond Color

Color – Not all diamonds are colorless, like the ones most often seen in jewelry. In fact, they come in many hues ranging from colorless to light yellow and even light brown. The rarest of these are the colorless diamonds. The ones with color to them are known as fancy, and their grading is unique, like a fingerprint. Determining a color or colorless diamond is done with Comparison Diamonds in a controlled atmosphere.

 

Diamond Clarity

Clarity – This is another important thing to look for when buying the perfect diamond, as it can also have an effect on a diamond’s value. Diamonds can have internal characteristics, also known as inclusions, as well as external characteristics that are known as blemishes. A flawless diamond, one that has neither inclusions nor blemishes, is very rare. When a grader looks at clarity, he uses magnification and specific lighting and determines the diamond’s clarity grade based on the particular characteristics he sees.

 

Diamond Carats

Carats – Carats are the units of measurement that are used to determine a diamond’s weight, where one carat is equal to one fifth (1/5) of a gram, and is then divided into 100 points.

 

 

Care for your Diamonds

Once you have made that very special purchase, give a thought to care. Diamonds are forever, but they must be kept clean to assure their most brilliant performance; put away carefully between wearings; and, packed well to travel.

Diamonds get smudged and soiled and dusty. Lotions, powders, soaps, even the natural skin oils, put a film on diamonds and cut down their brilliance. Chemicals in the air can discolor the mountings of precious jewelry.

diamonds should be cleaned so that the maximum amount of light can then enter and return in a fiery brilliance. It just takes a little care to keep them that way. Here are four ways to clean diamonds. One of them is pretty sure to fit the time, the place and the job.

1. The Detergent Bath. Prepare a small bowl of warm suds with any of the mild liquid detergents used in the home. Brush the pieces with an eyebrow brush while they are in the suds. Then transfer them to a wire tea strainer and rinse under warm running water. Pat dry with a soft, lintless cloth.

2. The Cold Water Soak. Make a half and half solution of cold water and household ammonia in a cup. Soak the pieces for 30 minutes. Lift out and tap gently around the back and front of the mounting with an eyebrow brush. Swish in the solution once more and drain on tissue paper.

3. The Quick Dip Method. Buy one of the brand name liquid jewelry cleaners, with its kit, choosing the kind most useful to you. Read the label and follow its instructions. Don’t touch your clean diamonds with your fingers. Handle your jewelry by its edges.
4. The Ultrasonic Cleaner. There are many types of these small machines on the market that will clean any piece of jewelry that can be dipped in a liquid in a matter or minutes. They consist of a metal cup that you fill with water and detergent. When the machine is turned on, a high frequency motion creates the cleaning action. Since each machine is slightly different, read the instructions very carefully before use.

Or see your jeweler.

 

Take Care of your Ring

Even though you wear your diamond engagement ring 24 hours a day, you should still give a thought to its care.

Don’t wear it when you’re doing rough work. Even though a diamond is durable, it can be chipped by a hard blow.

Don’t let your jewelry come in contact with chlorine bleach when you’re doing household chores.

Do see your jeweler at least once a year and have him or her check your ring and other precious pieces for loose prongs and wear of mountings.

Enjoy your diamonds. Wear them with joy, which will be all the greater if you take care of them.