The Chase Gregory Guide to Diamonds
Diamonds are forever, and do we love them! Whether you are choosing the a stone for an engagement ring or just looking for a special piece, it is important to know the characteristics that go into finding your perfect diamond!
4 C's Break Down
In order to understand what makes a diamond and how it is graded, the 4 C's teach you everything you need to know. This guide will focus on the white spectrum of diamonds, and we will leave "fancy" colors for another blog!
Carat refers to the weight and is what many people think of when considering diamond characteristics! Carats are the universal measurement when referring to diamonds. One carat is equivalent to "100 points". Like pennies to a dollar, 100 points equals 1 carat.
Carats are the first thing many customers will consider when planning out their next piece, but it is important to remember that depending on shape, the same carat weight can look much larger or smaller.
The higher the carat weight, the more valuable the stone becomes. Larger diamonds are rarer, hence a one 1 carat diamond will often cost much more than buying 2 half carats.
Cut is often thought of as the most important part of the 4 C's, but it does not refer to shape. When diamonds are originally mined, they do not look nearly as bright and shiny as it will when it ends up in your hands. Cutters will take a rough diamond and transform it into a multitude of shapes, but it is all about how the stone is carved which gives it it's "cut". To grade cut, each diamond is placed in a highly precise measuring device that rotates the stone 360 degrees to capture hundreds of measurements and facet angles.
When the diamond is graded, it will receive a range between "Excellent to Poor" for it's polish and symmetry. However, a round diamond will receive an overall grade compromised of it's cut, polish and symmetry. A poorly cut diamond doesn't have the proper faceting placement an/or perfectly smooth surface to allow for maximum brilliance.
The clarity of a diamond refers to its internal inclusions and external blemishes. An inclusion can be a small crystal or other type of impurity within the stone. A blemish refers to small chips, scratches or cavities on the outside of the stone. The GIA clarity scale includes 11 clarity grades ranging from flawless to I3. Flawless indicates that there are no inclusions or blemishes visible at 10 times magnification. A grade of I3, is for diamonds with inclusions that are obvious to the naked eye. Highly graded stones are often more important with engagement rings or other prominent jewelry, but have more room for compromise with fashion jewelry.
The rarest color of a diamond is one in the colorless range. Diamonds are graded on a scale from D-Z, with D being the whitest and Z being the most color before turning to the fancy color range. According to the Gemological Institute of America, you will start to notice a faint color at the "I" grade.
At Chase Gregory Jewelers we spend the time and attention to guarantee that your center and accent stones match for the color and clarity. An important but often times overlooked detail, especially with jewelers who do not custom make every item.
Here at Chase Gregory, we have an expansive network of diamond dealers to help source the diamond you have been dreaming of. Custom is what we do best, and we are here to perfect your item.
*Images courtesy of the GIA