Choosing a diamond - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Choosing a diamond

Cut

Cut determines the fire and brilliance of a diamond. In order to maximize this fire and brilliance, the diamond cutter must place each of the stone's facets and angles in exact geometric relation to one another. On a classic round brilliant-cut diamond there are fifty-eight precisely aligned facets.

Clarity

Tiny feathers and clouds in diamonds affect the value of the stone. Clarity grades range from "I" (imperfect) to "FL" (flawless).

"IF" = Internally Flawless

"VVS" = Flawless except under microscope

"VS" = Flawless except under 10x loupe

"SI" = Flawless to the naked eye

"I" = Eye visible inclusions

A diamond is said to be "flawless" if no inclusions or superficial blemishes can be seen under a standard 10-power jeweler's loupe. Truly flawless diamonds are extremely rare.

Color

The purest and rarest diamonds are virtually colorless. Although many diamonds may appear colorless to the untrained eye, the majority contain very slight races of yellow, brown or gray.

Color quality is critical. A stone's beauty and value usually increase dramatically the more colorless it is. The spectrum ranges from light yellow, "Z," to totally colorless, "D."

Carat

Carat is the gemologist's standard measure of a diamond's size and weight. Size alone is meaningless, you must consider cut, clarity and color. A large stone holds little value id it lacks fire, brilliance, purity and high-grade color. When investing in a diamond all critical qualities of the stone should be certified in writing.

Shape and Setting

Shape and the setting is a matter of personal preference.

Cleaning your Diamond

A mild solution of six parts water to one part ammonia may be applied with a soft bristle brush. Most glass cleaners will do.

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