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Diamond AppraisalsDiamond BrandsDiamond Grading Reports

jeweler evaluating a diamond A diamond is a major investment.  So it makes sense that you should know what you are looking at when you are making this important purchase.  While most diamond sellers will be happy to walk you through the process of buying your diamond, being an aware and informed consumer can help ensure that you get what you pay for.  So what should you look for when purchasing a diamond?

When looking at diamonds, pay attention to the four Cs — color, carat weight, cut, and clarity.  The diamond should come with a certificate that notes all of these things.  The jeweler should be willing and able to provide the certificate to you; if not, caveat emptor!

As far as color is concerned, the less color a diamond has, the more valuable it is (except in the case of rare or fancy diamonds).  Diamonds are assigned a letter grade from D to Z to indicate their color, and as the grading system descends toward Z, price decreases as the color increases.  Diamonds graded D, E, or F are colorless, while those graded G, H, I, or J are nearly colorless.  The diamonds become more yellow, brown, or gray as the letters go on.  Diamonds that are a natural but rare color, such as pink, are more prized and more valuable than colorless diamonds of the same size and cut.

The next "C" is carat weight.  A carat is a unit of weight that equals 1/5 of a gram, or 200 milligrams.  In most cases, the higher the carat weight, the greater the price of the diamond.

The cut is another crucial factor in the quality of the diamond.  Diamonds can be cut in round, square, pear, oval, diamond, and heart shapes, and whether some are considered more valuable than others often has to do most with what is in fashion at the time and in the area.  A good rule of thumb is that no matter what the cut it, it should be brilliant across the stone when the diamond is looked at face up.  If the brilliance is interrupted by dark areas, you are looking at a diamond that is not well cut.  In addition, diamonds should not be cut so that you are paying for excess weight that doesn't contribute to the brilliance of the stone.

Clarity, the degree to which the diamond is free of blemishes, is the final "C."  There are 11 grades for clarity, which range from flawless to imperfect.  This should be noted on the diamond's certificate.  The closer to flawless a diamond is, the more it is worth.

Knowing how to evaluate diamonds not only makes for a more informed shopping experience, it's also more fun too!


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Evaluating Diamonds