Diamond Education

Buying Diamonds in Carmel, IN

beyond the 4 c’s (carat, color, clarity and cut)

fluorescence and origin

CARATS

CARAT IS A UNIT OF WEIGHT

Do not make the mistake thinking that higher carat weight means a larger looking diamond. Even diamonds of the same weight can differ on a basis of other factors, especially cut that influences perceived size. Just as two people who weigh the same can look very different, so can two diamonds.  Large diamonds are rare to find and much in demand as compared to small diamonds of the same quality. The price of a one-carat solitaire diamond ring is much more than a ring with smaller diamonds making up the same carat weight. Diamond comparison is not effective until you compare the diamonds of similar features and qualities. While comparing the value of different diamonds leading Laboratories like GIA and AGS recommend consulting with a Guild Gemologist or Certified Gemological Appraiser.

Pierce Jewelers is proud to have a Gemologist and Certified Gemological Appraiser on site!  We will take the time to educate you on how to shop and get the most for your money.

COLOR

COLOR IS ABSENCE OF OR AMOUNT OF MEASURABLE COLOR

When a jeweler talks about the diamonds color, they are referring to the absence or presence of the color in the diamond. Color of a diamond is a result of diamond’s composition and does not change with time. Colorless diamonds allow light to travel through them easier as compared to the tinted diamonds. These diamonds can also emit more fire and sparkle. The process, through which a diamond is formed, is the deciding factor for its color. The whiter the diamond is the higher value it will have.

Diamond color is all about what you can’t see. Diamonds are valued by how closely they approach colorlessness – the less color, the higher their value. (The exception to this is fancy color diamonds, such as pinks and blues, which lie outside this color range.) Most diamonds found in jewelry stores run from colorless to near-colorless, with slight hints of yellow or brown.

For grading the color of diamonds, jewelers refer to GIA’s color scale that starts the rating with D for the colorless diamonds and grows up to Z as the traces of light yellow or brown color are found in the diamond. 

 

CLARITY

Natural characteristics called inclusions can also affect rarity and the appearance of diamonds.

Because diamonds are formed under extreme heat and pressure, they often contain unique birthmarks, either internal (inclusions) or external (blemishes).

Diamond clarity refers to the absence of these inclusions and blemishes. Diamonds without fewer or none of these birthmarks are rare, and rarity affects a diamond’s value. Using the GIA International Diamond Grading System™, diamonds are assigned a clarity grade.

Every diamond is unique. None is absolutely perfect under higher magnification, though some come close. Known as Flawless diamonds, these have no inclusions under 10x magnification They are exceptionally rare. Even most jewelers have never even seen one.

Independent Grading reports from a Laboratory usually include a diamond inclusion plot.  This allows identification of your unique diamond as there is no similarity between two diamonds. It lets you have the assurance that the diamond you are receiving is the one you have paid for.

 

CUT

A GREAT CUT PROVIDES BRILLIANCE TO THE DIAMOND

People often confuse diamond shape with diamond cut. Shape of the diamond is the outward appearance and outline. When we refer to ‘Cut’ we are referring to the Play of White and Refracted Light the diamond returns. The quality of diamond cut is the most crucial part of 4Cs of diamonds. A great cut provides brilliance to the diamond. Finish and angles of all the diamonds lets you determine the diamond’s ability to handle light that results in its brilliance.
When a diamond has a good cut, light travels through it easily, adding to its sparkle. The light that is passed through the diamond because of cut is alone responsible for making the diamonds shine and increase their desirability. If a diamond is not cut properly, light enters through the table after reaching the facets, it leaks out from bottom or side, reducing its brilliance.

Many gemologists believe that best of diamond cuts are made after following a formula calculated for maximizing the brilliance. The formula is in the proportions of the diamond, especially in the context of how depth compares to diameter. If you are buying diamonds without GIA certificates, invest some time finding certified diamonds and gain some knowledge for identifying better cuts.  Pierce Jewelers John Kanable and Chuck Scanlan have extensive knowledge of how these factors relate to beauty and the price of the diamond.  They have written papers, training manuals and sat on Jewelry Industry Boards discussing these factors.

An Ideal cut diamond has maximum brilliance and the small table size of these diamonds work in the best possible way to create fire and dispersion. With ideal cut diamonds, you can be sure of having the finest return of money invested. This category is just for round shaped diamonds. Premium cuts can also be equivalent to ideal cuts in round diamonds but the price is slightly lower. Very Good diamond cuts reflect maximum light entered in, providing fair amount of brilliance to the diamonds.

Good and fair cut diamonds can still be very pretty. Approximately 80% of mined diamonds are rated Fair or Good.  Fair and Poor quality diamonds reflect less of the light that entered to them. These diamonds are cut in order to increase carat weight above all the other considerations.