Diamond - The King of the Gemstones

 DIAMOND - The Hardest Gem

Diamond is the most important of all gemstones. It is easily the best known of all gems, having a long and colorful history throughout the civilized world.  Because of its great hardness, for many centuries, diamonds were considered nearly impossible to polish. Even its name derives from the Greek word adamas, which means “invincible”. Only after much experimentation were the techniques necessary to polish a diamond developed.  For many years this secret was kept among a limited few individuals. 

Even comparatively small diamonds with good quality have significant value.  Its value derives from three important properties: its hardness; its brilliancy which results from its high index of refraction; and his fire which results from its strong dispersion. Because of its value and durability, the purchase of diamond jewelry has become associated with weddings, anniversaries, and other major milestones.

When making an important diamond purchase, many individuals are confused by the apparent wide range of prices for what seem to be similar stones. The prices of diamond gems are greatly affected by the quality of the stone.  It is entirely possible to purchase a one carat loose diamond gem for less than $1000.  The quality of such a gem of course, is nothing less than awful. It will have many large visible inclusions, and be badly off-color - perhaps with visible cracks as well.  On the other hand, a fine quality diamond of a full carat size may well be priced in excess of $15,000. This huge difference in price between the two is due to the difference in quality.


Understanding The Four C's of buying a Diamond

In order to help the diamond buying public better understand the quality of diamonds and how they are priced, jewelers developed to four C grading system. This system has been taught to the diamond buying consumer for decades. The four C's on which diamonds are rated are the following: Carat weight, color, clarity, and cut.

Carat weight – The carat weight is the size of the stone. Prices are commonly giver per carat, even when the stones are less than one carat. Prices per carat increase as the stones become larger, as larger stones are rarer. There is a significant price increase at round number carat breaks – so stone of 0.99 carats is notably less costly than a stone of 1.01 carats, even though the buyer may no be able to see the difference.

Diamond color – The preferred color is white and any increase in coloration results in a less valuable stone. Common pale colors found in diamonds include yellows, browns and grays. Good values can sometimes be found in near white stones that appear white to the eye, but under careful scrutiny are actually very pale colored. Stones with deep color are called fancy colored stones and are more valuable than pale colored stones that are not white or near white. Such light colored stones, mostly from Australia, have been promoted in recent years as “champagne” colored diamonds.

Diamond clarity – Any flaws within the stone greatly detract from the value. Flaws run the full range from tiny white specs that cannot be seen without magnification, to large black inclusions that severely mar the appearance of the gem. Most diamonds have at least slight inclusions, and better prices can usually be obtained on stones with slight inclusions, but are still so small that they cannot be seen without magnification to assist the human eye.

Cut and Polish – A diamond needs to be properly cut and polished to show its maximum brilliance and fire. Stones that are cut too deeply or too shallow do not reflect the full amount of sparkle and brilliance. Improper polish also reduces brilliance.

 Purchasing  Diamond Jewelry

Because most diamond purchases are significant expenditures and made in relation to some sort of special occasion, it is worth doing a bit a research to determine what you want and to get the best prices. Diamonds are a significant purchase, so whether its for your engagement ring, diamond stud earrings, tennis bracelets or other special jewelry, make sure the diamond jewelry you buy is jewelry you like and will enjoy. It is better to save and make the purchase you will enjoy than to rush and regretting the hurried pace.

Diamonds come from a wide variety of sources across the planet. The principal producers are in Africa, Australia and Russia. While the De Beers diamond cartel only mines a part of the earth’s diamonds, they still have a strong hand in the distribution of a large percentage of the world’s production. They also still exert a significant effect on diamond prices. Recent events have raised concerns about the origin of diamonds and the use of diamonds to fund war and terrorism. While only a small fraction of the world’s diamonds are mined in areas where conflict and terrorism are issues, there is still concern over what are termed “conflict diamonds” or “blood diamonds”. Leading diamond marketers have developed a system to guarantee that their diamonds were not involved in the conflict and war process.

Coming soon is more detailed information on diamonds – all you ever wanted to know! I will be featuring separate pages on:

On Diamonds:
Diamond Colors;  Diamond Clarity;  Diamond Cut and Polish; 
Diamond Carat Weight;  Diamond Prices and Markups;  Diamond Grading and Laboratory Reports;  Conflict Diamonds;   Diamond Mine sources Worldwide;  Canadian Diamonds;  Australian Diamonds;  Champagne Diamonds;   Fancy Colored Diamonds;  Care of Diamond Jewelry;  Rough Diamond Crystals;  Diamond as a Mineral;  Synthetic and simulated diamonds; How the diamond trade works; Diamond Treatments and alterations

On Diamond Jewelry:
Purchasing that meaningful piece of jewelry (don’t rush);  Diamond Rings;   Engagement Rings;  Colored Stone and Diamond Engagement Rings;  Diamond Earrings;  Diamond Tennis bracelets;  Diamond Pendants; Designing your own Custom Diamond Jewelry

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