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.

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About Nabila Khashoggi

A veteran businesswoman, philanthropist, mother, and actress, Nabila Khashoggi’s multifaceted career spans three decades and residence on several continents. Working primarily to secure financing for entertainment and industrial projects from her office in New York, Nabila Khashoggi is also about to market a new line of natural cosmetic products. Intending to raise childhood awareness of other cultures, geography, and the environment, she is also writing a children’s comic book series, entitled Spartan and the Green Egg. Nabila Khashoggi received her education in France, Switzerland, and England, later accepting a position as a Vice President of Triad Commercial Corporation and Al-Nasr Trading, companies that her father controlled. Her daily responsibilities involved import-and-export transactions, commodities trading, project development, and the financing of agricultural complexes in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. In 1983, Nabila Khashoggi co-founded Infolex, a search engine for travel information developed by software engineers with design and marketing experience whose work anticipated the technology on which today’s travel search engines rely. This cutting-edge solution provided users with speedy access to travel information at airports and hotels throughout Europe and North America. For the next three years, Nabila Khashoggi worked with her brother to establish Mara Intrepids Camp as a Kenyan tourist destination. She also devoted energy to developing and marketing properties in such major markets as London, Paris, New York, and Los Angeles. Another one of her ventures during this period involved financing and marketing mobile hospital units and associated medical equipment. With ambitions beyond business, Nabila Khashoggi has pursued training as an actress, performing on stage, in film, and on television. She is a committed supporter of The Children for Peace (ONLUS), an Italian-based nonprofit organization benefitting children in third-world countries. She is the mother of two sons and actively encourages environmental responsibility and organic lifestyle habits.

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