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What to Look for when Buying a Diamond

By: TomB

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For most people, buying a diamond is often a new and potentially overwhelming experience. Today, we’re going to explain some of the quality characteristics that you should be looking for when buying a diamond and in turn, hopefully help make your purchasing experience a whole lot easier.

The Four Cs of Diamond Buying

The main thing to know is that there are four grades which are important to understand when purchasing diamonds.  You may have heard these referred to as the four Cs; Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat weight.

1. Cut

The cut of the diamond is typically the most important characteristic.  The brilliance of a diamond depends heavily on its cut. A common misconception is that the cut refers to the shape of the diamond (ex. round, square, pear shape etc.). This is not true. The cut actually refers to the reflective qualities of the diamond and not it’s shape.  The angles and finish of a diamond are ultimately what determine its ability to reflect light.  The cut can be defined as ideal, excellent, very good, good, medium, fair or irregular.

2. Clarity

Most diamonds have inclusions that occur naturally in the stone.  How clearly these imperfections can be seen, both the size and number are what determine clarity of a diamond at 10x magnification.  Inclusions include air bubbles, cracks and non-diamond minerals. The highest possible clarity rating for any diamond is Flawless (FL). This means there are no discernable inclusions at 10x magnification. As the grade decreases to Internally Flawless (IF), Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1) and further, the value of the diamond can decrease by as much as 10% per grade.

3. Color

The color of a diamond refers to the presence or absence of color. A colorless diamond allows more light to pass through, although only a few rare diamonds are truly colorless.  The highest rating of diamond color begins at D for colorless and continues all the way to Z. Although diamonds graded D through F are naturally the most valuable and desirable because of their rarity.

4. Carat Weight

A carat is a unit of measurement used to weigh a diamond. The term carat originates from the  carob seeds people used in ancient times to balance scales.  One carat is equal to 200 milligrams or 0.2 grams. The natural materials required to form a diamond are usually found in small amounts and so larger diamonds are rare and the price increases with size. A half carat diamond is a good sized stone that will come in well under $1,000 budget.

At Parlour Pawn we offer varying degrees of the 4 C’s of diamonds and we can always work within your budget. We have the expertise on staff to make sure that she gets exactly what she deserves. Come see us today.