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What to consider when buying a diamond?
Posted by galleryofwealth On Thu 09 Aug, 2018

What to consider when buying a diamond?

When you buy a diamond for the first time, you may or may not have any idea on how to select a good diamond for yourself. Then you start asking yourself: Is the diamond natural? Is it worth the money that I pay? What kind of diamond should I buy?

Here are some of useful tips and general information that can guide you through a better understanding of diamond before making any purchase.

A diamond can be ‘certified’ or ‘non-certified’. A ‘certified’ diamond comes with a diamond grading report or a dossier issued by an Accredited Gem Lab such as GIA, HRD, IGI. The report specifies all possessed qualities of a diamond by assigning 4Cs by experienced graders under 10× magnification. The higher the grade assigned, the higher the value. Furthermore, most of the labs start providing laser inscription with a specified laser inscription registry number clearly indicated on the report. The diamond is securely sealed in an airtight packaging controlled by such given registry number. However this is optional. Therefore, a ‘certified’ diamond certainly calls for a better value and assurance level to the buyers. On the other hand, a ‘non-certified’ diamond is usually based on individual statement of a jeweler or an appraiser to assign the grades.

GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has created an International Diamond Grading System™ known as 4Cs to determine the diamond quality. The 4 attributes that add to the beauty of a diamond are known as 4Cs. Color, Clarity, Cut, Carat Weight.

Diamond color is all about what you can’t see. Diamonds are valued by how closely they approach colorlessness – the less color, the higher their value. (The exception to this is fancy-color diamonds, such as pinks and blues, which lie outside this color range.)

Most diamonds found in jewelry stores run from colorless to near-colorless, with slight hints of yellow or brown.

GIA’s color-grading scale for diamonds is the industry standard. The scale begins with the letter D, representing colorless, and continues with increasing presence of color to the letter Z, or near-colorless. Each letter grade has a clearly defined range of color appearance. Diamonds are color-graded by comparing them to a set of masterstones of known color under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions.

Using the GIA International Diamond Grading System™, the Clarity Scale contains 11 grades, ranging from flawless (FL) to included (I3). In determining a clarity grade, the GIA system considers the size, nature, position, color or relief, and quantity of clarity characteristics visible under 10× magnification.

Flawless (FL) - No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification

Internally Flawless (IF) - No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification

Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) - Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification

Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) - Inclusions are clearly visible under 10× magnification but can be characterized as minor

Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) - Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10× magnification

Included (I1, I2, and I3) - Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance

The cut of any diamond has three attributes: brilliance (the total light reflected from a diamond), fire (the dispersion of light into the colors of the spectrum), and scintillation (the flashes of light, or sparkle, when a diamond is moved).

An understanding of diamond cut begins with the shape of a diamond. The standard round brilliant is the shape used in most diamond jewelry. All others are known as fancy shapes. Traditional fancy shapes include the marquise, pear, oval and emerald cuts. Hearts, cushions, triangles and a variety of others are also gaining popularity in diamond jewelry.

Diamonds and other gemstones are weighed in metric carats (cts): one carat is equal to 0.2 grams, or equivalent to 200 milligrams.

* Sample of Diamond Grading Reports are available for preview purpose only.

GIA Copyright. Courtesy of GIA (Gemological Institute of America).

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