People throughout the ages have been fascinated by diamonds, and today there are numerous options for style, cut, and setting. Whether you’re buying or receiving your first or 50th diamond jewelry piece, you’ll enjoy it more if you understand the reasons why diamonds are so special.
Several factors contribute to a diamond’s value. The first, according to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), is a diamond’s metric carat weight. One carat equals two 10ths of a gram, or approximately the heaviness of a single paperclip. Each carat is further subdivided into points, with 100 points equaling one carat.
The second of the “C”s is a diamond’s color, or, more precisely, the lack of it. Unless you are specifically in the market for blue or pink diamonds, the most-prized diamonds approach colorlessness. Many color gradations are not even visible to the unaided eye. The color scale begins at “D,” which describes the most color-free gems, and goes all the way to “Z,” which designates gems with a yellow to brownish color.
Next, diamonds are valued for clarity, which simply means the relative lack of outer or inner marks. The GIA ranks diamond clarity on a scale from “FL” (flawless) to “I3” (having discernible inner marks). Almost all diamonds show imperfections under high-powered magnification, and completely flawless gems are so rare that most jewelers have never even seen one.
Cut is the fourth “C.” The ratings for cut are composed of the gem’s brilliance (the degree of light reflected), fire (the way it scatters light into a spectrum), and scintillation (sparkle).
Diamonds can be endlessly fascinating, especially when you know how to discuss them intelligently with an expert. To learn more, visit GIA.edu.
About the author: Nabila Khashoggi is an author, actress, and entrepreneur who has always be interested in fashion and jewelry. Her current projects include developing a line of naturally derived skin care and a children’s comic book series that comes with action figures and educational toys.