Swarovski Trillion Crystal

Swarovski Trillion Crystal

So, your reign as a bachelor is coming to an end. Or perhaps it ended a long time ago and you are rekindling an old flame. Whatever your stage in life, you have found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and the next step is an important one. Whether you choose to surprise her with a diamond engagement ring or choose one together, this is a financial and emotional investment. With a little bit of knowledge beforehand, this purchase will be made a lot easier.

Know The Four C’s:

The Four C’s are very important gem characteristics which should be considered in your search for that perfect diamond and when judging its quality and value. They are color, clarity, cut, and carat weight, and they each play a crucial role in how much a diamond “sparkles”, how positively people react to the diamond and your fiancé wearing it, and how much you will have to spend to acquire it.

Color:

A diamond’s color, or lack thereof when referring to “white” diamonds, determines its value. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) color scale begins with the letter D and proceeds through Z. It was decided long ago to start with D in case “whiter” diamonds were ever found. Diamonds with colors in the D, E, and F range are rarer, thus more expensive than those in the N, O, and P range, for instance. Colors lower than a Z receive fancy yellow color status. If you are searching for a traditional white diamond, you should stay in the D to H range.

Clarity:

A diamond with perfect clarity is rare. Most flaws that exist in quality diamonds can only be seen through a jeweler’s magnifying loupe. Clarity ratings are based on the internal characteristics (inclusions) and the external characteristics (blemishes, etc) of a diamond. The complete GIA diamond clarity scale is as follows: Flawless, Internally Flawless, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2, I3. From Flawless, where no inclusions or blemishes are seen under 10 x magnification by a trained gemological diamond grader, to the I 3 classification where inclusions are readily visible under 10 x magnification and are often seen with the unaided eye, diamonds are all created different.

Inclusions and blemishes in I 1, I 2 and I 3 stones (with I 3 being the worst) can be so large that they often pose a risk to the diamond’s durability. A decent knock of a ring on a doorknob or countertop which contains an I graded diamond, could shatter it into many pieces because it is so included. A good clarity range to keep in mind would be between Flawless and SI 1.

Cut:

Did you know that a diamond’s cut, in a gemological sense, does not refer to its shape?

The shape, the proportions and the number of facets cut into the diamond affect the “sparkle” or the diamonds ability to capture and reflect light. The most common shapes which diamonds are typically cut into are: Round Brilliant, Marquise, Emerald, Oval, Princess, Trillion (triangular), Radiant, Pear and Heart.

When gemologists speak about “cut,” they are referring to a gemstone’s proportions–its depth and width and the uniformity of its facets–all characteristics that control brilliance, durability and other qualities we look for in a diamond. The other aspect of “cut” is a reference to the skill of the diamond cutter when shaping and polishing the diamond. There are sets of idealized proportions for each shape that allows a diamond to really “sparkle” and stand out from other diamonds that are not cut proportionally or cut with enough facets.

Carat Weight:

Carat weight affects a diamond’s appearance and its price, making it a characteristic you should definitely understand before you buy a diamond. The “carat” is a measure of weight. Typically, the bigger the diamond is the larger the carat weight number will be. However, one needs to keep the “cut” in mind when comparing carat weight. Some diamonds are cut too deep; in other words, they have too deep of a base and will appear smaller even though they have the same carat weight as another diamond. This is because most of their weight is “hidden” in their base, away from view. On the flip side, some diamonds appear really big for their weight, as they are cut too shallow. This minimizes their brilliance. They may look dull or not as fiery as other diamonds. Whether a diamond is cut too shallow or too deep, they will both exhibit less brilliance than a properly proportioned diamond.

Many times you will hear the term “points” in reference to diamond weight. If you think of 1 carat as 1.00 dollar, then a ¾ carat diamond is .75 cents or 75 “points”. It is expressed as .75 ct.

When you see “.ctw” after a weight, it means that more than one diamond adds up to the total combined weight of the number which comes before the .ctw. CTW stands for “carat total weight”.

Now that you have reviewed the basics of the Four C’s, you are ready to begin or continue your search for that perfect diamond engagement ring. Just remember to ask lots of questions and get all the particulars in writing. The old adage about cost still applies today. A good price range to shoot for when buying a Diamond or Diamond Engagement Ring is roughly 2 months’ salary. If you stick to that and the tips above, you will make that someone special very happy and proud.

Chris Murphy is a freelance writer who publishes articles of interest to his readers. For additional information on diamond rings and their characteristics, please visit http://www.southafricanjewels.com

Swarovski Trillion Crystal
Swarovski Trillion Crystal
Swarovski Trillion Crystal

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