Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A tutorial on diamonds

Every woman should know what she wants in a man, and same goes for diamonds.

Of course, we may not always apply this truth to men, but diamond rings really are one of those things where size doesn't matter; it's all about personality.

"Lies!" you yell at me. "Go big or go home!" you cry.

But I am right and you are wrong.

There are 4 C's in the diamond world you should know about, and carat is the first of them. A carat is the gemologist's measure of diamond weight, and one carat is divided into 100 points. Big diamonds (bigger carat weight) sound appealing to most, but will a big diamond flatter your small hand size? Will it blind you? Will it break your boyfriend's bank account? That last one isn't good -- you're about to share that bank account! Plus, affordable big diamonds are not going to be the best looking up close and personal. Think about it: it's not easy to find a gigantic piece of clear carbon that has no black spots. Right? Right! If you can afford a carat at 26, either I need to get your job, or you fell for that "it's an exotic diamond called the spotted leopard diamond" speech. So size down and go up in quality for the same price. What makes a diamond quality? The next 3 C's...

The second C is colour. The range goes from D, which is colourless, to Z, which is a deep yellow, aka fancy-coloured. DEF look colourless, GHI look near-colourless, and these are found at Birks easily. JKL are the common colour found at stores like Peoples, Mappins, etc., and they have a faint yellow tinge. It just gets more and more yellow from there. I say hang out in the EFG range for best appeal.

Third is cut. This will make or break a diamond. Cut it too deep or too shallow and it won't reflect light properly -- it will look boring. You want your ring to sparkle! You want it to look like there are fireworks coming out of your finger! An ideal cut is called Ideal Cut for a reason ;)

And last (and in my opinion, most important) is clarity. Clarity refers to (hopefully the lack of) those pesky black spots called "inclusions". The better the clarity, the fewer the number of inclusions. Yet another grading system, but this one isn't as easy as D-E-F:
IF -- internally flawless (exceptionally rare, don't count on finding one)
VVS1-VVS2 -- very, very slightly included
VS1-VS2 -- very slightly included
S1 -- slightly included
S2 -- slightly more included
I1 -- included (visible to the unaided eye)
I2-I3 -- included (obvious to the unaided eye)
...and it only goes downhill from there.

Hang out in the VV's, if you can -- no one can tell the difference between them and IF.

For more reading:

Oh, if you have questions about gold vs. platinum, how much you should spend, etc., ask away or check the guides mentioned above!

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