To pledge your love or to celebrate the years of its fulfillment, choose a diamond, the symbol of love that has endured through the centuries. Don’t choose just any diamond. Choose one that stands out as a gem of distinction.
To select knowledgeably, you need to know what jewelers know: the 5 C’s of diamonds. Being well-versed in a diamond’s color, cut, clarity, carat weight, and certification will take you a long way in ensuring you’re selecting your perfect diamond.
Read on for a quick tutorial that will assist you in finding the perfect diamond for your engagement or anniversary ring.
ColorA diamond’s color rating is actually an evaluation of the diamond’s lack of color. The more colorless a diamond is, the higher it is graded on the scale. The color scale is an alphabetical grading scale beginning with the letter D (colorless) and moving down the alphabet with the more color a diamond has. As the color grade moves down the scale, hints of yellow, brown, or grey become more apparent in the diamond to the naked eye.
The cut grade of a diamond communicates how well the stone is able to use light. Ideally, a well-cut round brilliant diamond will allow light into the top of the stone, bounce the light around the inside of the diamond, and send the light back out of the diamond in the form of brightness, fire (rainbow colors), and scintillation (flashes of light). Poorly cut diamonds allow light to “leak” out, therefore not returning the light to your eye to produce the sparkle that we all know and love!
The main factors in a diamond’s cut grade are the polish, symmetry, and proportions of the stone’s facets, or flat surfaces. There are 57 facets on a round brilliant diamond that must all meet at certain angles and be in certain proportion to the overall size of the diamond in order to reflect the most light. When these three factors are at their best, they work together to elevate the overall beauty of the stone.
ClarityClarity is the measure of how a stone’s internal markings affect the appearance of the diamond. It is extremely rare to find a diamond without any internal characteristics, or inclusions, and very expensive when you do! Clarity grades evaluate a diamond’s natural inclusions based on the size of the inclusion, the color, and the location of the inclusion within the diamond. The scale begins with Flawless and Internally Flawless, moves through varying grades of Slightly Included, and ends with Included
The carat weight of a diamond helps decipher the size of the stone. There are 100 points in a 1.00 carat diamond, so think of it in terms of pennies to dollars: $1.00 would be 1.00 carat, so ¾ carat would be a 75 point diamond.
A diamond certificate is a report issued by an independent diamond laboratory of certified gemologists who objectively evaluate the diamond and have no personal stake in the diamond. The certificate will list the C’s of the diamond, along with specific characteristics such as shape, measurements, and a diamond plots (a roadmap of the stone’s inclusions). There are dozens of grading laboratories around the world, but only a handful deemed reputable. We highly recommend the Gemological Institute of America as they are the most reliable.