By Monique Shire, Manager Wilson & Son Mt. Kisco, Ltd.
The most important thing to know when buying a diamond is the jeweler you are buying it from. A referral from a family member, friend, business associate or neighbor is your best source. If that is not possible, find a well-established jeweler in your area that is involved with the community. Jewelers that are members of the American Gem Society that have gemologists on staff are another excellent source.
Let’s review the 4 C’s in order of importance:
Cut – Cut does not refer to the shape of the diamond but how well it is proportioned. Just like a fine dress or suit; it is the fit, finish and polish that are the most important. A well cut diamond will allow maximum light reflection which will make it sparkle as much as it can.
Color – Diamonds occur in every color of the rainbow and in many different hues. Diamond colors will range from colorless to light yellow or light brown. Colorless diamonds are the rarest. Other natural colors, like blue, red or pink, are known as fancy color diamonds. Their color grading is different from white or colorless diamonds.
Clarity – This describes the internal characteristics of a diamond. These characteristics are commonly referred to as inclusions or flaws. There are 11 different clarity grades of diamonds starting with internally flawless (IF) and ending with Imperfect. Diamond clarity is determined when a stone is examined under a microscope or a hand held loupe.
Carat – Carat refers to the diamond’s physical weight. A carat equals 1/5 of a gram and is broken down into 100 points. Diamonds are weighed on a special scale most commonly to the nearest hundreth of a carat.
Each of these four criteria are important to consider when purchasing a diamond. It is crucial to understand each so that when you are faced with making choices in order to fit into a comfortable budget, you understand the choices you are making.
Read more about The Origin of the Four Cs