You have proposed and been accepted: now all you have to do is find the perfect ring to seal the bond between you – but there is a problem! You know about the Four Cs but you do not really understand them! You know you should have a certificate with your diamond – but how do you know that the certificate issuer is trustworthy? How will you find the perfect stone to commemorate your eternal love if you do not know how to tell a good stone from a bad one? Or even a fake one, which would be worse! Let us go through some points to bear in mind when you are looking at a diamond grading chart.
We will start with carats as this is the easiest factor to assess. One carat refers to a weight, 200mg – thus you can see a five-carat diamond should weight one gram – and this is an industry-wide standard, accepted and used all over the world. A one-carat round brilliant cut stone will measure approximately 6.5mm in diameter across the table, but this may vary according to the depth of the cut.
The color is literally the color of the stone, which – in an ideal stone – should be as close to completely clear as possible. It is a common mistake to muddle up color and clarity, as color refers to how clear the stone is, while clarity, as you will see below, has a different meaning. Fancy diamonds, which is what strongly colored diamonds are called, have distinct coloration, and can be almost any color, from pink to blood red, from sapphire blue to green – and even black!
The clarity of a diamond refers to how well light can travel through the diamond, and a jeweler looking for clarity in a stone will examine it for flaws and imperfections – which almost all natural stones will have to some degree. Too perfect a stone could potentially be a lab-grown diamond, so do not be disheartened by small flaws in your diamond, as long as they do not affect the integrity of the stone nor its sparkle, it is unlikely to be too much of a problem.
Cut is perhaps the most complex issue when it comes to diamond buying. Firstly, it refers to both the shape of the finished stone, but also to the way the stone has been cut to allow the light to flood the diamond, enhancing that natural sparkle and releasing the stone’s inner fire. When it comes to choosing the right cut for you, opt for the shape of stone that you like the look of, and leave it at that! Rest assured that cutters are very skilled at picking the right cut to make the most of each diamond, and that they work to remove flaws and impurities, add sparkle and shine, and generally enhance the value of the stone.
Finally, one thing to bear in mind is that not even an expert jeweler who works with diamonds every day would be confident of accurately assessing a diamond without the stone being loose and under laboratory conditions and – most importantly – with a wealth of highly specialized equipment to help him or her out!