What You Should Know
Q: What should I consider when purchasing a diamond?
A: Familiarize yourself with the 4Cs when you purchase any diamond jewelry: cut, color, clarity, and carat. You may prefer black diamonds over white, but whatever your preference, being familiar with the 4Cs will ensure that you're as knowledgeable as the pros.
Q: What is a diamond's cut?
A: The cut of the diamond is an essential aspect that makes the diamond more beautiful. With a high-quality cut, a diamond will reflect the light and sparkle. The cut affects the color and clarity of the diamond. They might be of the highest caliber, but a shoddy cut will ruin the appearance of the stone.
The cut is how we describe the outline of the diamond and its shape. Diamonds can be heart-shaped, oval-shaped, pear-shaped, princess, or simply round. Cuts are ranked as shallow, deep, or ideal.
Q: How do I judge the color of a diamond?
A: Diamonds come in a spectrum of colors, including opaque black. Colorless diamonds are the rarest and most precious diamonds of all. Most diamonds fall somewhere between transparent shades of yellow and brown. We rate diamonds on a D-Z color scale, with D denoting the purest white diamonds and Z referring to extremely yellow diamonds.
Q: What is the clarity of a diamond?
A: Clarity describes a diamond's perfection. It refers to the presence of any flaws within the diamond, or the lack thereof. Diamonds with excellent clarity do not appear cloudy. They have no imperfections inside or on the exterior. Internal flaws are inclusions, while flaws on the outside are blemishes. Small flaws are fine, even desirable because they add to a stone's uniqueness. Too many flaws decrease the value of the diamond.
We grade diamonds on the Diamond Clarity Grading Scale:
- F – Flawless
- IF – Internally Flawless
- VVS1-VVS2 – Very, Very Slightly Included 1 or 2
- VS1-VS2 – Very Slightly Included 1 or 2
- SI2-SI2 – Slightly Included 1 or 2
- I1-I3 – Included 1, 2, or 3
Q: What is a diamond's carat weight?
A: A carat is how we measure a diamond's weight. One carat equals 100 points. When we say that a diamond is ¼ carat, then it's a 25-point diamond, whereas a ½ carat diamond has 50 points. The higher the carat, the more valuable the diamond because it's rare to find a sizable diamond during the mining process. The more carats a diamond has, the more it costs as a result.
Q: How do I care for my diamond jewelry?
A: Clean your diamonds regularly to ensure they remain brilliant and full of sparkle. Diamond jewelry can get dirty or dull if you wear it frequently. In addition to oils from your skin, it builds up a residue from cosmetics, lotion, and soap. As the diamonds sit in your jewelry box, they can get dusty.
You can use a brush with soft bristles along with soap and water or professional jewelry cleaner to polish your jewelry. You can also take your pieces to a professional jeweler for cleaning. When you're not wearing your diamonds, store each piece in its own pouch made of soft cloth so that the jewelry won't get scratched. Keep your diamonds away from bleach, chlorine, chemicals, and hairspray.
Q: What are the most famous diamonds in history?
A: Diamonds have long been considered beauty symbols of power, taste, and wealth. Throughout the years, many diamonds have attained almost mythical reputations, such as:
- The Blue Hope
- The Cullinan
- The Cullinan I, aka Great Star of Africa
- The Cullinan II
- The Centenary Diamond
- The Great Chrysanthemum
- The Idol's Eye
- Koh-i-Noor, aka Moutain of Light
- The Orloff
- The Regent
- The Sancy
- The Tiffany
- and the Taylor-Burton
Q: What's the difference between carat and karat?
A: Simply put, a carat refers to the weight of a diamond. The word derives from “carob seeds,” which were once used as an ancient means of measurement. Karat, however, is a measurement pertaining to the purity of gold, particularly the balance of alloy and gold. The purest gold is 24 karat, whereas 18 karat gold is 18 parts of gold versus parts of metal alloys.
Q: How do I take care of my jewelry?
A: You can follow the same methods you use to clean your diamonds for the rest of your jewelry. Don't forget to store individual pieces in their own pouches or plastic baggies.
Q: How can I pick out jewelry that fits within my budget?
A: Parker Edmond prides ourselves on offering jewelry for every budget. Always set a budget before you browse for new pieces, then shop for bracelets, necklaces, and rings that you can afford. Pick out the best option within your budget while considering cut, color, clarity, and carat.