THE DIAMOND’S VALUE
The three qualifications of a gemstone are durability, rarity and beauty; and a diamond is the most prized of all gemstones. Diamonds are durable; they are the hardest gemstone known to man. Only a diamond can scratch another diamond. On the Moh’s scale of hardness of one to ten, the diamond is a ten. A diamond is rare, given that there are only a few diamond producing areas in the world, that diamonds are difficult to find, and that diamonds are expensive to extract from the ground. A diamond is an object of beauty. Even in the rough, the diamond crystal is beautiful and its beauty is only enhanced upon cutting and polishing. Just like everything in nature, each diamond is unique and no two are alike. The diamond’s characteristics (the clarity, color, cut and carat) give each diamond its own identity. ARK Jewelers utilizes the Gemological Institute of America’s diamond grading system. The GIA is a scientific and educational institution for diamond resource information, and its grading system is recognized worldwide.
THE DIAMOND’S QUALITY-The Five C’s
Cut The cut of the diamond is perhaps the most important of the C’s because the quality of the cut is what gives the diamond its brilliance and beauty and strongly contributes to the diamond’s value. The cut of the diamond is fashioned by human hands and is the only C that is not determined in nature. Diamond cutters cut and polish diamond rough by hand into objects of beauty. It requires a master stone cutter to fashion an ideally cut diamond. Facets are the tiny planes on the diamond’s surface, which give it sparkle and fire. The manner in which the facets are angled to each other and the diamond’s proportions determine the brilliance, dispersion and scintillation, or its light refraction, display of spectral colors and their movement, respectively.
The cut can contribute up to 40% of the diamond’s price. Therefore, the better cut diamonds will demand a higher value and price.
Color is the inherent body tone color in a diamond when viewed table down through the pavilion with a cool white light and white background. The less color the diamond has, the more rare it is and, therefore, the more valuable.
The color scale starts at D and follows the alphabet down to Z. D, E and F are in the “colorless” range, and are the most rare color ratings. G through I are labeled “near colorless”; these stones will face up colorless when mounted. Color grades K through M are faint yellow. N through R color graded diamonds are very light yellow. Diamonds S through Z have an obvious yellow tint. A diamond with more color than Z would be considered a fancy yellow diamond. Other fancy colors can occur, such as pink, blue, green, red, purple and orange.
The third C of diamond grading is clarity, which refers to the diamond’s natural characteristics, or inclusions, and blemishes. Inclusions are internal while blemishes occur on the surface of the diamond. The vast majority of diamonds have inclusions and blemishes. The size, number, position, nature and color or relief of these characteristics determine the clarity grade. Diamonds are graded under standard ten power magnification. It is desirable to have a diamond that is as free as possible from these characteristics; because fewer inclusions and blemishes allow more light to be reflected. A flawless diamond is the most rare and the most valuable.
The Fourth C of diamond grading is carat. This refers to the weight of the diamond. The term carat comes from the carob bean, weighing approximately 0.2 gram, which was used to weigh diamonds in the early days. The standard diamond weight measure is 1.00 carat. = 0.2 gram. Like pennies to a dollar, carat weight is broken down into points. Thus, 1.00 carat = 100 points.
At ARK Jewelers, we also advise our customers about certification. The certification of a diamond is an evaluation of cut, color, clarity and carat information recorded in a grading report, performed by an independent laboratory and signed by a graduate gemologist. The independent laboratory is contracted to only grade the diamond. The laboratory is completely unbiased to the diamond’s grading, as it is not connected to the buying, selling or pricing of the diamond. The certification is recognized as an authoritative reference to the diamond’s grading. All of ARK Jewelers’ fine diamonds are certified.
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South Euclid, OH 44121
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