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The Magic of Diamonds: Diamond Buying Guide and Education!
Celebrate a Special Occasion with Jewelry
Jewelry and Gemstones Buying Guide
Diamonds have become one of the most precious gems in history. Uncut diamonds adorned the suits of armor of the great warriors; Cut diamonds have adorned the crowns of kings and queens for generations. Today the diamond is recognized internationally as a symbol of love and marriage and is gaining increasing interest as a source of investment.
Diamond is endowed with many magical powers, high energy, bravery and courage. At one time it was considered a symbol of fearlessness and invincibility; just having a diamond would give the wearer more strength, bravery and courage. It was also believed that the diamond could ward off the devil and all the spirits of the night.
During the 1500s diamonds were considered talismans that could increase a husband’s love for his wife. In the Talmud, a precious stone, according to its description, which was probably a diamond was worn by the high priest and was used to show innocence or guilt. If the accused was guilty, the stone became dim; if it was pure, it shone more brightly than before.
Hindus classified diamonds into four categories. The Brahmin diamond (colorless) gave power, friends, wealth, and fortune; Kshatriya (brown/champagne) prevented aging; Vaisya (the color of the “kodali flower”) brings success; and isudra (shining diamond of polished blade, either gray or black) brings all kinds of luck. Red and yellow diamonds were only royal jewels, only for kings.
Diamonds have been associated with almost everything from inducing rapid sleep to invincibility and spiritual excitement. Even sexual prowess has been attributed to the power of diamonds. There is a catch, however, to all the mythical powers associated with this wonderful gem. One must find a diamond “naturally” in order to have its magic, because it loses its power when acquired by purchase. However, when given as a pledge of love or friendship, its power can return, another good reason for its presence in the engagement ring!
– What is Diamond?
Chemically speaking, diamond is the lightest of all gemstones. It is a clear shiny carbon, the same substance, chemically, as the soot left inside a glass bulb after burning a candle, or the substance used in lead pencils.
A diamond differs from these in its crystalline form, which gives rise to the desirable qualities which have made it highly prized, its hardness, which makes it wear incomparably, its luster, and its fire. However, while diamond is the hardest natural substance known, it can be ground or broken if struck with force from certain angles; and if the girdle, the edge of the diamond that forms the circumference, is cut too thin, the girdle may tear even with a common hippopotamus.
White (or more accurately, colorless) diamonds are the most popular, but diamonds come in all colors from black. When the color is prominent the gem is called a fancy or master fancy diamond.
– How to determine the value of a diamond, the four C’s?
The factors used to determine the quality and value of a diamond are called the “Four Cs.” According to their influence on the value of the diamond, in order of importance, they are listed as follows:
1. Color (body color)
2. Clarity (degree of flawlessness)
3. Cutting and measuring (called make)
4. Carat Weight
– Finding the right combination.
Remember, however, that the key to being happy with your diamond purchase is to understand how each of these four C’s affects the beauty and durability, cost, and overall stone. It may sound difficult at first, but when you start looking at the stones you will see that it is not. With a little experience, you will decide which Cs are most important to you, and know how to look to find the right combination, which meets your emotional and financial needs.
The Importance of Trimming and Proportion.
It is important to distinguish exactly what “cut” means when referring to diamonds and other stones. Cutting does not mean shaping. Choosing a shape is a matter of personal choice. Regardless of which shape is chosen, its cut should be checked. Differences in cut can affect a diamond’s beauty, hardness, and cost, the latter by 50%, or more.
The cut and classification of the diamond, the “making” of the stone is very important because of its effect on the fire (lovely colors of dark red that flash inside) and the brightness (aliveness, sparkle) that the stone shows. Proper cutting and sizing unleashes the absolute beauty that sets a diamond apart from all other gems. A stone with excellent quality will be beautiful, while a stone with poor quality will look lifeless, lacking the sparkle and personality that we identify with a diamond. In addition, stones are often cut to appear larger. But a stone that looks much larger than another of the same weight will not be as beautiful as a smaller stone that is properly cut.
Differences in cut can affect the hardness of a diamond. Some cutting errors weaken the stone and make it more prone to chipping or cracking.
Cutting well requires skill and experience, and takes more time. For all these reasons, a well-cut diamond commands a premium and will cost more than a poorly cut one.
There are many popular diamond shapes. Each shape affects the overall appearance of the stone, but if the stone is cut well, the beauty and value are tolerable regardless of the shape you choose.
– Brilliant round cut (Most popular shape)
Today’s round brilliant diamond has 58 facets, 33 on the top, 24 on the bottom, and a culet (the “point” at the bottom, which is usually the smaller side). Small round cut stones are called “full cut” to distinguish them from “single cut” stones which have only 17 sides, or “Swiss cut” which have only 33 sides. Older jewelry, or less expensive pieces with more features often contain these cuts instead of fully cut stones. They are less flashy and vibrant than a full-on manicure, but in a few respects they are easier and less expensive to cut. Jewelry that contains single or Swiss cut stones should sell for less than jewelry that is full set.
When a brilliant round diamond is cut well, its shape shows its most vibrant aspect because it allows the most light to be reflected from the surface. This means that round brilliant cut diamonds will have more sparkle, in general, than other shapes. However, shape is a personal choice, and some shapes can be very beautiful. New shapes are also emerging, some of which compare favorably with round stones in general appeal.
As a rule of thumb, if the top part (crown) appears to be about 1/3 of the depth of the pavilion (distance from the band to the culet), the measurement is acceptable.
Types of diamond measurements
Measurements, especially the height of the crown in relation to the depth of the pavilion, and the width of the table top in relation to the width of the stone, are what determine how much glory and fire the stone will have. Several formulas for precise alignment have been developed for round diamonds. Stones that adhere to these exact formulas are considered “ideal” making them more expensive than other diamonds because of the extra time and skill required to cut them, and because more “diamond” is lost in the cut.
There are several slightly different formulas for cutting a “good” stone, but each results in a very beautiful stone. Generally, diamonds that are cut with small tables indicate a large fire; those with larger tables show more brightness. The latter seems more in fashion today. But, as common sense can tell you, both cannot excel in the same stone. A large table may create more brightness but will result in less fire; A small table space can increase the fire but can reduce the brightness. The ideal would be a match that would allow maximum light and fire at the same time. No one has come to an agreement, however, as to what the percentages should be, because some people prefer fire to light, and vice versa. That’s why there are so many different sizes available for diamonds, and what’s best is always a matter of personal preference.
When buying a round diamond, ask how it would be graded: good, excellent, very good, fair, fair, or poor. A diamond with a “good” or “bad” quality should sell for less than a “good” diamond. A diamond rated “very good,” “excellent,” or “fair” will sell for more.
Your eye will be responsible for making the final decision. In general, when looking at a diamond with a lot of brilliance and fire, the cut and measurement are probably acceptable. A stone that appears lifeless and appears “dead” or black in the center probably has a cut and fit problem. The more time you spend looking at and comparing diamonds of different qualities and prices, the more your eye will be trained to see the difference between brilliance and fire, dullness and dullness.
Diamonds show different “personalities” depending on the make. The “right” cut will show one personality, while another diamond with a different size will show a different personality. The right diamond cut will cost more, but that doesn’t mean everyone will choose the right cut. A diamond does not need to be cut “perfectly” equally to show intense fire and brilliance, to be beautiful or desirable. Many prefer a diamond with a wider table than is found to be “ideal.”
Regardless of the measurements, before you make a final decision on a particular stone, ask yourself if you think it is beautiful. If you like it, don’t let yourself get too influenced by formulas.
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