Forged in the fires of the earth, there is no gem as famous, precious or sought after than a diamond. Sometimes called “shards of heaven” or “the stuff of dreams”, they’re one of the most beautiful and interesting wonders on earth. Due to being the hardest substance known, diamond has many uses in industry and technology, such as saws and drills for cutting or penetrating other hard substances that nothing else can. The most popular use for diamonds is of course, for jewelry. They’re the most traditional gem for marriage and used to signify eternal devotion. While some choose to elect a diamond already married to a band, other choose to obtain the gem and the ring separately, which can be more cost-effective. Buying a loose diamond gives the consumer more freedom and selection. Gem collectors and jewelers also prefer to buy loose diamonds. There are some very important factors you need to know when purchasing a diamond.
The 4 C’s:
Any person versed in jewelry knows that gems are very stringently graded on several criteria, which can result in drastic differences in price. The criteria are commonly known as the “4 C’s”;
- Carat weigh
Though diamonds can naturally occur in any color of the rainbow, the most desirable are colorless, for the simple fact that they have the potential to project more radiance and luster than any other color gem because of their translucence. At one end of the traditional diamond color scale is lies a “Z” rating, which means the diamond is of a light yellow color. This is the least desirable of the colorless scale, and therefore the least expensive. At the other end lies a “D” rating, which means the diamond is completely colorless, which is the most desirable color in a diamond. There are various ratings in between, with each letter precession meaning a more colorless diamond.
The cut of a diamond is as important as any of the 4 C’s, especially when it comes to loose diamonds. The reason for this is the way light reacts with it. Light is only 40 percent as fast inside of a diamond, and refracts so severely, that it exits the gem in a different direction than when it enters. As it bends, the facets allow for double and triple light refractions, giving off an almost supernatural glow. This is why a cut matters so much. There are many different styles of brilliant cuts.
The clarity of a diamond is determined by the amount and location of blemishes or imperfections seen under magnified inspection. There is a scale that ranges from an F1 diamond, which is completely flawless to an I3, or an imperfect 3 diamond, which entails several significant blemishes. There are several grades in between, categorizing lone and minimal blemishes. The F1 diamond is very rare and extremely valuable.
Being the easiest of the 4 criteria to measure, carat weight simply refers to the weight of the diamond. They typically range up to 3 carats. A heavier diamond is much rarer, and therefore more valuable.
Knowing the 4 C’s will help you make a much more informed decision when it comes to purchasing a loose diamond.