KNOW ABOUT 4C’S OF DIAMONDS
Because diamonds are so valuable, it’s essential to have a universal grading system for comparing their quality. In the 1940s and ’50s, GIA developed the 4Cs and the GIA International Diamond Grading System™ to objectively compare and evaluate diamonds.
GIA 4C’S COLOUR
Diamond colour is all about what you can’t see. Diamonds are valued by how closely they approach colourlessness – the less the colour, the higher their value. (The exception to this is fancy colour diamonds, such as pinks and blues, which lie outside this colour range.) Most diamonds found in jewellery stores run from colourless to near-colourless, with slight hints of yellow or brown.
GIA’s colour-grading scale for diamonds is the industry standard. The scale begins with the letter D, representing colourless, and continues with increasing presence of colour to the letter Z, or light yellow or brown. Each letter grade has a clearly defined range of colour appearance. Diamonds are colour-graded by comparing them to stones of known colour under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions.
Many of these colour distinctions are so subtle that they are invisible to the untrained eye. But these slight differences make a very big difference in diamond quality and value.
WHY DOES THE GIA COLOUR GRADING SYSTEM START AT D?
Before GIA developed the D-to-Z Colour Grading Scale, a variety of other systems were loosely applied. These included letters of the alphabet (A, B and C, with multiple A’s for the best stones), Arabic (0, 1, 2, 3) and Roman (I, II, III) numerals, and descriptions such as “gem blue” or “blue white.” The result of all these grading systems was inconsistency and inaccuracy. Because the creators of the GIA Color Scale wanted to start fresh, without any association with earlier systems, they chose to start with the letter D—a letter grade normally not associated with top quality.
GIA 4C’S CLARITY
Because diamonds are formed deep within the earth, 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 these birthmarks are rare, and rarity affects a diamond’s value. Using the GIA International Diamond Grading System™, diamonds are assigned a clarity grade that ranges from flawless (FL) to diamonds with obvious inclusions (I3).
Every diamond is unique. None is absolutely perfect under 10x magnification, though few come close. Known as Flawless diamonds, these are exceptionally rare. Most jewellers have never even seen one.
The GIA Clarity Scale contains 11 grades, with most diamonds falling into the VS (very slightly included) or SI (slightly included) categories. In determining a clarity grade, the GIA system considers the size, nature, position, colour or relief, and quantity of clarity characteristics visible using 10x magnification.
- Flawless (FL) – No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification
- Internally Flawless (IF) – No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification
- Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) – Inclusions are minute and difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
- Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) – Inclusions are minor and range from difficult to somewhat easy for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
- Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) – Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader under 10x magnification
- Included (I1, I2, and I3) – Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance
How did the GIA CLARITY SCALE come about?
Like the colour scale, GIA’s clarity grading system developed because jewellers were using terms that were easily misinterpreted, such as “loupe clean,” or “piqué.” Today, even if you buy a diamond in another part of the world, the jeweller will likely use terms such as VVS1 or SI2, even if her language is French or Japanese instead of English.
GIA 4C’S CUT
A cut is the factor that fuels a diamond’s fire, sparkle and brilliance.
The traditional 58 facets in a round brilliant diamond, each precisely cut and defined, are as small as two millimetres in diameter. But without this precision, a diamond wouldn’t be nearly as beautiful. The allure of a particular diamond depends on the cut more than anything else.
Though extremely difficult to analyse or quantify, the cut of any diamond has three attributes: brilliance (the total light reflected from a diamond), fire (the dispersion of light into the colours of the spectrum), and scintillation (the pattern of light and dark areas and the flashes of light, or sparkle, when a diamond, or the light source or the observer moves).
People often think of diamond cut as shape. Round is the shape used in most diamond jewellery. All other shapes are known as fancy shapes. Traditional fancy shapes include the marquise, pear, oval and rectangle. Hearts, triangles and a variety of others are also gaining popularity in diamond jewellery.
As a value factor, though, cut refers to a diamond’s proportions, symmetry and polish. For example, look at a side view of the standard round brilliant. The major components, from top to bottom, are the crown, girdle and pavilion. A round brilliant cut diamond has 57 or 58 facets, the 58th being a tiny flat facet at the bottom of the pavilion that’s known as the Culet. The large, flat facet on the top is the table. The proportions of a diamond refer to the relationships between table size, crown angle and pavilion depth. A wide range of proportion combinations are possible, and these ultimately affect the stone’s interaction with light.
In early 2005, GIA unveiled a diamond cut grading system for standard round brilliants in the D-to-Z colour range. This system, the product of years of intensive research and testing, assigns an overall diamond cut grade ranging from Excellent to Poor.
HOW DOES PAVILION DEPTH AFFECT A DIAMOND’S CUT?
The distance from the bottom of the girdle to the culet is the pavilion depth. A pavilion depth that’s too shallow or too deep will allow light to escape through the sides or the bottom of the stone. A well-cut diamond will direct more light through the crown.
GIA 4C’S CARAT WEIGHT
Diamonds and other gemstones are weighed in metric carats: One carat is equal to 0.2 grams, about the same weight as a paperclip. (Don’t confuse carat with karat, as in “18K gold,” which refers to gold purity.)
Just as a dollar is divided into 100 pennies, a carat is divided into 100 points. For example, a 50-point diamond weighs 0.50 carats. But two diamonds of equal weight can have very different values depending on the other members of the Four C’s: clarity, colour and cut. The majority of diamonds used in fine jewellery weigh one carat or less.
Because even a fraction of a carat can make a considerable difference in cost, precision is crucial. In the diamond industry, weight is often measured to the hundred-thousandths of a carat and rounded to a hundredth of a carat. Diamond weights greater than one carat are expressed in carats and decimals. (For instance, a 1.08 ct. stone would be described as “one point oh eight carats,” or “one oh eight.”)
How did the CARAT SYSTEM start?
The carat, the standard unit of weight for diamonds and other gemstones, takes its name from the carob seed. Because these small seeds had a fairly uniform weight, early gem traders used them as counterweights in their balance scales. The modern metric carat, equal to 0.2 grams, was adopted by the United States in 1913 and other countries soon after. Today, a carat weighs exactly the same in every corner of the world.
HOW TO BUY DIAMONDS ONLINE – THE COMPLETE DEFINITIVE GUIDE
Buying products online is fast becoming the order of the day. The internet not only offers comfort, it provides an avenue for you to explore your options before making a choice. Should you need a wider array of choices and competitive rates to work in your favour then you might be considering buying online. If you are still looking for options cheaper than purchasing your diamonds online then you may have to pay a visit to the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas where all you need do to is pay a fee for digging (cheap) and find a diamond (unlimited options).
Just like the risks associated with shopping online, diamonds are not spared. If you do not know how to go about buying diamonds online, you may be sold the wrong products so here are a few tips to help you make the right choices while giving you a pleasant online shopping experience.
Tip 1: Knowledge is power
Understanding is very crucial in everything. You will be surprised to know that every product has its own language and the same applies to diamonds. When shopping online for diamonds, you need to be familiar with the 4Cs which are cut, colour, clarity and carat. Observing these factors helps you determine the full value the diamond represents. Diamonds are certified by organizations such as AGS (American gemology society) GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or IGI (International Gemological Institute) and all diamonds should have their certificate grading report from any of these organizations, where they don’t, you should be pessimistic about going for them.
Tip 2: Always Target Trusted sites
In as much as you want to buy something not too expensive, you want to be super careful when buying online. There are so many untrue websites out there and you might want to stick to the popular ones that have their integrity and businesses to protect. Foremost, start your journey towards your shopping by doing an intense search of online jewellery stores that sell diamonds then you narrow you wide choices down by checking to see the ones associated with professional trade organizations, e.g. JBT (Jewelers Board of Trade). And have accreditation from online organizations which ensures ethical business practices. For example, BBB (Better Business Bureau) certifies sites that are trustworthy with a good reputation.
Tip 3: Compare your options
After you have successfully picked out a store and you have decided on the particular diamond you want, to save more money, you may have to cross-check its value with similar diamonds on other sites. For instance, take the price as a base factor then check with other diamonds of similar price with their accompanying documentation reports. This will help you determine if you are actually getting a good deal from your investment and where you are not, you will be able to consider your other options.
Tip 4: Policy Check
Most people have no idea that there are diamonds that come from conflict regions, these diamonds are popularly known as conflict diamond or blood diamonds and they should specifically be avoided when you are shopping. While shopping online, you should always check to see if the online store has a policy that declares that they do not sell these types of diamonds. In the same vein, always ensure that there is an apparent return policy with clearly defined terms in cases where the diamonds fail to meet the required standards where it is appraised by independent appraisers.
Tip 5: No free lunch
This term is used in relation to independent appraisers. As the phrase implies, they should be exactly how they are described, independent. They shouldn’t share any affiliation whatsoever with the store selling the diamonds which may cloud their evaluation. They are not supposed to sell or exchange, they are to offer their professional advice. As a buyer, you are to choose your own appraiser and to be on the safe side, you should never accept free appraisal services from stores.
Tip 6: Spilled milk
Though it might seem like a normal thing to do, this list would not be complete without reiterating this important fact. It is sacrosanct to remember to inspect the shipping package for signs of tampering when it arrives before you sign for it. This is because where you sign for the package; the jewellers no longer have their insurance cover and are no longer liable for the package (in instances where you have complaints). Where you see signs that the package has been tampered with, do not accept and then contact the store for clarification.
Though not exhaustive, these are just a few tips we identified that could come handy when you are shopping for diamonds online. They are very important because they guide you in making the best choices.
FACTS ABOUT DIAMOND RINGS
Amazing Facts About Diamond Rings
Sincerely, there are tons of gifts you may give your loved ones, ranging from clothes to all other kinds of products but really, nothing, absolutely nothing in the world tops the special effects gifting them diamond rings bring. You watch their faces light up in sheer pleasure and then you bless the moment you decided to get them the bling! Apart from the fact that there happens to be this exciting effect the gift of diamond rings bring, it also represents that the person you are giving is special and loved.
The use of diamond rings have been associated with special occasions, the most prevalent being engagements. It represents the bond between the couple and of course shows your commitment to your life partner. Selecting a diamond ring for your engagement might just be the best life decision you ever made because if given the choice every woman on the surface of this Mother Nature’s green earth would choose diamonds! Gifting your loved one a delicately crafted and uniquely made diamond ring would really speak volumes (all pleasant) and carve that particular moment in their hearts for years to come.
Diamond Rings: The Story
The history of diamonds dates back to antiquity as many years back, this precious gemstone was discovered miles underneath Mother Nature’s earth. Thought you may not know how it happens but we’ll tell you. We all have a fair idea of the fact that petroleum and coal are formed from plants and animal remains long (centuries) buried under the soil. These dead and buried remains over the years after having been subjected to preternatural geologic forces get changed from organic matter into oil and coal.
It is worthy of mention that the valuable stones that are set in diamond engagement rings are twisted and created exactly in the same manner. The point of difference between a piece of coal and diamond is one of degree – the geologic forces of heat and pressure that alter organic carbon in to gems that wind up as part of diamond rings are much more superior. As a matter of fact it is viable and reasonable to turn coal in to diamond, which is basically what happens when simulated, industrial-grade diamonds are manufactured in a laboratory. Hypothetically, it is also possible for diamonds to return to coal, were they subjected to hard vacuum under a complex set of extremely improbable state of affairs.
To Create the Perfect Diamond Ring
It is very important to make informed choices when looking for rings for special occasions. There is the need to understand what your choices are and how you can pick the best of the best. The first step towards doing this is to start from the basics i.e. the different types of diamond rings. In looking at the different types of diamond rings, you will want to be mindful of the cut. There are many kinds of cuts of diamonds and they range from princess cuts to round shapes, emeralds, oval cuts and every other types of existing cuts that could give your diamond ring its unique and distinct outlook.
After you have selected the cut, determining the color is the second phase. Many people just think diamonds are made to retain its popular brightness and clear nature but even diamonds have amazing colors! There is the need for your diamond to be decorated to give your ring even more value! To even make your ring more stylish, there are other details that should be given attention like the level of clearness (where the diamond is clear, it shows that there is more value attached to the ring) this has to be in tandem with the carat weight of the diamond. The higher the weight of course, the more value it has!
The inherent nature of diamonds makes them the amazing gemstones they are. The attributes that are kept in mind for diamond rings offer a complete shine to your formal wear or for the one time when you commit to the term “forever” with your loved one. The overall intricate details and characteristics of your ring pave way for the elegance
Observing the specific characteristics and details with regards to your ring then using these details to achieve an overall result is just the beginning of a new phase of elegance, one you never thought existed. With these details, you have the ability to show luxury and definition through the look of your diamond ring. Though wearing a gold diamond for a long time can wash away its polish, you really do not have a cause to worry because the gold mount can be polished in lots of jewelry stores. Of course gold and diamond are made up of high quality properties hence you can be rest assured that their radiance and luster cannot only stand for a long time, they can remain as beautiful as ever!
CARING FOR YOUR DIAMONDS
Effective Ways to care for Your Diamond Jewelry
It is unarguable that diamonds are not only one of the precious gemstones ever discovered; they are perhaps the most durable substance on earth. Where you care for them the way you ought to, they can last for literally generations and generations. Yes, like other jewelries, they can be scratched, chipped, soiled or even smudged and of course, body care products and the cosmetics you use for your everyday skin care are bound to create films on your diamond, owing to this, it is quite essential that you care for your diamond hence the need to learn how to. The amazing part about diamonds is the fact that its care is very simple.
Caring for your diamonds
Having highlighted the fact it is essential that you care for your diamond, it is important that you try to protect all your jewellery from sharp blows, harsh chemicals, and extreme temperatures. Chlorine and related chemicals can severely discolour and damage jewellery as well as loosen the stones and settings. Though some people do not feel the need to, it is actually quite important to remove rings when working with your hands, such as gardening or heavy housework.
After each wearing, you should carefully wipe your jewellery with a soft chamois or flannel cloth to remove oils and salts by doing this; you preserve your diamond’s shine and lustre. Make sure to store each item of jewellery separately to prevent scratching with other pieces. It is very important to clean your diamonds on a regular basis (we will tell you how).
Cleaning your Diamond Jewellery:
There are quite a number of ways you could clean your diamonds and we will highlight a few.
- Detergent bath: This is perhaps the most common way to care for your diamond. To do this, you will prepare a small bowl of warm suds with any kind of mild (mild please) liquid detergent. After this, you will then brush the item of jewellery with a small soft brush, this will create lather. After the washing, you will then place the piece on a wire strainer and rinse off the soap suds with warm water. Pat dry with a soft lint-free cloth and your diamond is back to its full glory!
- Cold Water Soak: To do this, you will mix a small bowl of the solution with 6 parts water to 1 part household ammonia. You will then Soak the piece of jewellery for several minutes afterwards, lift the piece out of the solution and tap gently around the piece with a small soft brush. Rinse the piece in the solution again and drain on a piece of tissue paper.
- Quick-Dip Method: For this method, you will have to buy a brand name liquid jewellery cleaner; you have to be extra careful with the kind of cleaner you buy. The goal is to protect your stones even in your bid to get them clean. After the purchase, follow the instructions for use carefully and avoid holding your jewellery by its stones after washing.
- The Ultrasonic Cleaner: There are several types of these small machines available in the market. They will clean any piece of jewellery that can be soaked in a liquid within minutes. They are comprised of a metal cup, which you fill with water and detergent. When the machine is turned on, high-frequency turbulence is created. Please read the machines instructions prior to use to get the best results possible.
FACTS ABOUT GEMSTONES
Facts about Gemstones
Though many have the rudimentary knowledge about gemstones, these stones also referred to as gems or jewels possess some additional facts you should know.
Foremost, they are also regarded as gems; they are used in making jewellery or ornaments for the adornment of the body. They show splendour and elegance of the wearers. What are gemstones made up of? As we have stated above, gemstones are made of minerals and sometimes rocks and a few organic materials too. Rocks like lapis lazuli can be considered as a gemstone and organic material like amber or jet can equally fall into the category of gemstones.
Gemstones have grades and this is just a way the quality of one gemstone is distinguished from the other. No, the grading is not done by looking at the diamonds, it is not just an eye test, grading is done in a select laboratory, called AGL, and then diamonds are placed accordingly. Many times, people have asked the question in how many ways, gemstones are cut?
The gemstones that are cut in the shape of the dome are polished on the opposite sides of the facets called cabochons. They can be opal, variscite, or turquoise. In the same vein, some gemstones are polished in the facets and are cut by a faceting machine at exact angles and hence they are transparent in looks. There are a lot of things to consider when cutting the diamond. The angles must be weighed and the light also considered.
Also, people have asked the question why are gemstones of different colours? As the saying goes “Variety is the Spice of life”. What is the essence of colours? It brings spice; the reason for any material being colorful is not farfetched, the daylight itself is a combination of many colors and whenever it flows through any material, some of the light is absorbed and the remaining part which isn’t reflected off the eyes of a person glancing at the material hereby creating a burst of colors.
For Example, Ruby is red as the blue, yellow, green colours present in white light are absorbed and only red is left which makes the Ruby looks red. Also, colours can be absorbed with the help of impurities. Another instance is beryl which though is colorless can be made to appear in two colors like green with the help of impurities like chromium which changes beryl into emerald and pink i.e. pink morganite, with the help of addition of manganese impurity.