A popular trend in today’s marketplace is shopping for loose diamonds. Whether you buy loose diamonds for an investment or to create your own custom ring, there are a few things you should be aware of. Arming yourself with information in regards to what gives stones their value or devalues them will help you in the decision-making process.
What Are Certified Diamonds?
To start your search, you want to be sure and find stones that are labeled ‘certified.’ Certified diamonds have been inspected at an independent gemology laboratory where they have been evaluated before given their certificate. The evaluator looks at the stone and measures characteristics of it such as width, length, and table and girdle size. Color and clarity grade will also be assigned at this time.
In addition to using their own experience and judgment, a professional gemologist will assign a color based on the closest match to a set control group of master stones. When certified diamonds are examined for clarity, the professional gemologist will look for inclusions, making note of the number, location and size of them. Like color, the assigned grade of clarity is also determined by the gemologist’s professional experience and interpretation.
Clarity is a measure of the number and extent of the flaws in certified diamonds. Value is often dependent on the fewer the flaws. Stones that are completely flawless are rare. When it comes to grading systems regarding flaws, there are several. The most popular comes from the Gemological Institute of America’s (G.I.A.) scale, which ranks stones as Flawless (FL), Internally Flawless (IF), very very slightly included (VVS), very slightly included (VS), slightly imperfect (SI), and imperfect (I).
Loose Diamonds And The 4 C’s
Clarity is only one of the “4 C’s” or characteristics by which stones are evaluated. The “4 C’s” are the standards and criteria used to judge the beauty and price of the jewel. For the average shopper, most look for color and clarity as their two most deciding factors. What are the “4 C’s”?
A stone is cut to allow the most light to enter it through the table and crown, where it reflects from one side to the other before bouncing back out to the observer’s eye. When the term ‘cut’ is used, it does not represent its shape, but instead is a term stating the quality of the polish, symmetry, and cut grade of a diamond.
While we think of diamonds as transparent or white, a perfectly transparent stone with no hue or color is very rare. The color of a stone is typically affected by chemical impurities and/or structural defects in the crystal lattice. A stone’s coloration or color can either detract from it or enhance its value. For example, when a more yellow hue is detectable, the less the stone would be worth. The exception would be “fancy colored” diamonds which makes the value of a diamond higher.
Clarity is evaluated by the amount of inclusions including flaws such as air bubbles, cracks, and unnatural minerals found in the stone. Some blemishes occur during the cutting processes- most often at the girdle. A stone is valued higher when showing no or few inclusions or blemishes, as they are rarer.
Carat refers to the actual weight of the stone when measured on a scale. Jewels are often found in smaller size when mined as opposed to larger, which makes the large stones much more valuable. Because of this factor, prices rise exponentially with carat weight.
When shopping for the perfect loose diamonds, one not only searches for what they want, but what to avoid when purchasing. In order to get the best quality stone, one thing to avoid is enhanced diamonds. An enhanced stone means that it is not completely natural; it has been treated to make it appear nicer than it is. Enhancements include laser drilling to remove inclusions, application of sealants to fill cracks, color treatments to improve a stone’s color grade, as well as treatments to improve the stone’s overall clarity.
If you are concerned whether the stone you are purchasing has been enhanced, know that the seller will inform you if this has been the case. According to regulations by the CIBJO and government agencies, it is the law for all sellers to disclose most diamond treatments at the time of sale. When diamonds are certified, a report will have to disclose if a diamond has been treated in any way. Certified loose diamonds ensure safety and that is one of the most important reasons to buy a loose diamond that has been certified.
Having the right information before setting out to purchase your loose diamonds will only make you feel more comfortable in the buying process and can save you thousands of dollars when purchasing loose diamonds online. By taking the time to educate yourself, you can shop with confidence that you’ll find the jewel of your dreams.
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Gold Certified Diamond
Gold Certified Diamond
Gold Certified Diamond