Diamond Education

Color

Color

The color grade given to a diamond is measured by the lack of color. Yellow and brown tones are a result of impurities in the nitrogen of the diamond.

 

In the laboratories, the color grade is determined by viewing the diamonds from the side, and comparing to a master set of diamonds graded from D-Z. D-F represents the “colorless” range, and G-J the “near colorless”. These are the most common color grades for the larger center diamonds purchased for engagement rings.

 

Each letter grade represents a “range” within that grade. Therefore, the same color grade in different diamonds may look like they have a different color. The less color a diamond has, the more rare and expensive it is.

Cut

Cut

Cut does not only refer to a diamond’s shape, but to the proportion and arrangement of its facets and the quality of workmanship. The amount of brilliance, sparkle and fire in a diamond is
determined by cut. Currently, only round diamonds have a grading scale for the actual cut. These grades range from ‘Excellent’ to ‘Poor’. The polish and symmetry, which are part of the cut, have the same grading scale in all shape diamonds.

Clarity

Clarity

Clarity measures the amount, size and placement of natural, internal inclusions, and external blemishes. Grades run from ‘Flawless,’ with virtually no imperfections, to ‘Included,’ which contain a significant number of imperfections.

 

When looking at diamonds to purchase, the most important thing is to make sure you do not see any of these inclusions without magnification. In most cases, you will be able to see inclusions in the diamond with 10x magnification. Having inclusions in a diamond can actually benefit you in regards to price. The grading of clarity is strictly done thru 10x magnification, and only viewed through the top of the diamond; it is never turned over or on it’s side.

Carat

Carat

Carat refers to a diamond’s weight. Some often mistake this with the visual size and dimensions of a diamond. Generally speaking, the higher the carat weight, the more expensive the stone. Two diamonds of equal carat weight, however, can have very different quality and price when the other three C’s are considered.

Gold

Gold

Because of the softness of pure (24k) gold, it is usually alloyed with base metals for use in jewelry, altering its hardness and ductility, melting point, color and other properties. These alloys also help color gold to produce different shades (Yellow, white, and rose).

 

Gold comes in several densities, and with each density are different characteristics.

 

10K

 

This classification of the metal only consists of 41.7% gold. This is the lowest purity that can still be considered gold in the United States. 10k gold is not used for jewelry.

 

14K

 

58.3% pure gold. 14k gold is not recommended for quality jewelry, due to the balace in alloys and metal.

 

18K

 

75% gold with 25% alloy makes. 18k gold is perfect for making jewelry because it has the perfect balance of strength and purity.

 

22K

 

91.7% pure, this classification is too soft to make jewelry and not as durable as 18k gold.

 

24K

 

The purest form of the metal, with almost no alloys. Pure gold is incredibly soft and pliable, making it perfect to mix with other metals.

Silver

Silver

Once thought of as more precious than gold, silver has been a valued metal for centuries. Pure silver is incredibly soft and can be too malleable to craft fine jewelry. Because of this, silver is mixed with other alloy metals like copper. The durability copper brings when mixed with silver makes for a great medium to craft great fine jewelry.

 

Silver is a creamy grey color that is often plated with rhodium. This allows for the jewelry to maintain that sparkle is has when you first bought the piece. This is practice often confuses people who think the silver is white gold. The rhodium can be re-applied preiodically to return the jewelry to its original shine.

Platinum

Platinum

One of the rarest elements in the world, and although it’s more durable than gold, it’s actually the softer metal. That means platinum can scartch and form patinas easily. This is a quick and easy problem to remedy, and usually just involves polishing the metal to it’s original form.

 

Pure platinum is not allowed to be sold in the United States unless it’s a 950 on the purity scale. This means it must be 95% platinum and 5% other alloy like iridium, copper, or titanium.

Carat

Carat

Carat refers to a diamond’s weight. Some often mistake this with the visual size and dimensions of a diamond. Generally speaking, the higher the carat weight, the more expensive the stone. Two diamonds of equal carat weight, however, can have very different quality and price when the other three C’s are considered.

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