About Diamond Weights
Diamonds are measured in Carat Weight.
One carat weighs 200 milligrams. If a
diamond is referred to as four grains, this
also means that it is a one carat diamond.
The word Carat comes from the word carob.
A carob is a bean that grows on a tree in the
Mediterranean. In times past, if a diamond
weighed the same as a carob bean, it was
one carob, or one carat.
However, in the far east, where Carob trees
do not grow, rice was used to measure the
weight of a diamond. If a diamond weighed
as much as four grains of rice, it was four
grains - or one carat as we know it to be
now. The majority of diamond purchases
are for diamonds that are 1/3 of a carat.
Beware when shopping for diamonds that
are already set or mounted. If more than one
diamond is used in the piece, the tag on the
jewelry will give the CTW or Carat Total
Weight - it does not tell you the carat weight
of each stone in the piece. You need to ask
the jeweler for the total carat weight of the
largest diamond in the piece to truly
understand what you are buying.
Are Diamonds Really Rare
When you walk into a jewelry store and see
all the diamonds in all of the various settings
that are for sale, it is difficult to realize that
diamonds are indeed rare. Most people
don't even stop to consider how that
diamond came to be sitting in that jeweler's
case! There is quite a bit of work that is done
before a diamond is ready to sell to the
For every one million diamonds that are
mined, only one will be found that is a quality
one caret diamond. In order to find a two
caret diamond, about five million diamonds
must be mined. More than two hundred tons
of ore must be mined to find one small
diamond, and even then, more than 80%
of the diamonds that are mined are only
good for industrial use, such as diamond
So, the next time you visit your local jewelry
store, ask to see the one carat diamonds.
You should look at this diamond with new
appreciation - knowing that it truly is one
in a million!
Diamond Grading Reports
You've been told that having a certificate or
a diamond grading report is important, and
as a responsible consumer, you get one -
unfortunately, you probably won't understand
a word of what is on that diamond grading
report, unless you are a jeweler.
On the color grading scale, D, E, and F
mean that the diamond has no color. G, H,
and I means that it has very little color. J, K,
and L means that the diamond has a slight
yellow color. P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, and X
means that the diamond is a darker shade
of yellow. Z means that the diamond has a
fancy color - other than white or yellow.
On the color grading scale, D is the most
valuable, and X is the least valuable -
however diamonds that get a Z rating are
the rarest and most expensive diamonds
in the world.
There are many aspects to a grading report.
Figuring it all out can be very confusing. You
should talk to a jeweler you trust, and have
them explain everything on the diamond
grading report to you.
Diamonds are graded for certification by
laboratories using grading criteria. Four of
these criteria are critical to understand when
making a diamond purchase or investment.
Known as the "Four C's" these criteria are:
color, cut, clarity and carat.
Color is the result of the composition of a
diamond and it does not change. When a
jeweler is describing the color of a diamond
they are referring to the presence or absence
of color in white diamonds. Because a
diamond with no color allows maximum light
to pass through, colorless diamonds are
preferred for their sparkle.
Cut refers to a diamonds reflective quality.
Most diamonds are cut with 58 facets. The
brilliance of diamonds is heavily dependent
on the cut. The different angles and the finish
of a diamond determine its ability to reflect
light and cause its brilliance and fire.
Remember that the cut of a diamond can
have an impact on its durability as well as its
beauty. Some cutting faults can make a
diamond prone to breakage. A diamond
that is cut too thin can also cause light to
leak out of the back and the diamond will
lose some of the sparkle and appear not
to shine. So, as you can see the Cut is
probably the most important of the Four C's.
During the formation process, inner flaws, or
inclusions occur in most diamonds. The
number and size of these inclusions
determine what is referred to as the clarity
of a diamond. Diamonds that are clear
create more brilliance and therefore are rarer
and highly priced. To be considered
"flawless", a diamond must have no surface
or internal imperfections visible upon being
viewed by a skilled diamond grader using
10 power magnifications.
Carat is the unit of weight by which diamonds
are measured. One carat is equal to 200
milligrams. A carat is divided into 100
segments called points. 150 points would
equal one and a half carats.
When you go to the store to make that all
important diamond purchase, do not be shy!
Ask questions, get the answers needed to
make an informed purchase. Shopping for
certified diamonds enables you to make an
informed selection. Knowing the "four C's"
allows you to comparison shop and purchase
the best diamond at a fair price. But, before
making a purchase, shop around and decide
what shapes and styles really appeal to you.
Enjoy your diamond for years to come!
How Diamond Prices Are Determined
Pricing most products is quite easy.
Determine how much it costs to make the
item, how much it costs to market that item,
and then mark it up by 15 - 30% or more.
Simple, right? Well, pricing diamonds isn't
quite that simple. There are many factors
that are considered when diamonds are
Diamond prices are determined first by
adding the cost of the rough diamond, the
cost of cutting the diamond, and all other
costs necessary to turn the rough diamond
into a marketable diamond. Depending on
the importance of the diamond, an
independent company may be called in to
certify the grade of the diamond based on
color, cut, clarity, and weight.
At this point, the diamond becomes more
expensive each time it changes hands, until
it finally reaches a retailer, where the price is
raised a bit more. Before reaching the
retailer, however, the diamond must travel
from the mine, to the cutter and polisher, to
the independent grading company, and
then to the Primary market. Once it has
reached the primary market, it will be
purchased by diamond dealers and
wholesalers, and from there it will be sold
As you can see, the earlier you can purchase
a diamond in the process, the lower the cost
of the diamond will be - but not the value.
The value is based on what the diamond will
sell for in the market place - through a retailer.
If you own a diamond, and you have no idea
how much it is worth, you can have it
appraised, but the appraisal may not be
accurate. You will be better off obtaining a
certificate through GIA - Gemological Institute
of America. With the information on this
certificate, you can use a cutter's guide to
accurately determine what your diamond is
There are also many diamond price
calculators available. These can be found
on the Internet, and many diamond dealers
use these as well. You must realize, however,
that before you can accurately price a
diamond, without a Diamond Grade Report,
you need to know quite a bit about diamonds,
such as different cuts, clarity, color, and weight
- and how each of those aspects adds to the
value of a diamond, or decreases the value of
the diamond as the case may be.
Again, you will be better off if you get a
Diamond Grading Report on the diamond,
and use that information to look up the price
in one of the guides that the diamond cutting
industry uses. This will give you the most
accurate value of the diamond in your
possession, or of the diamond you are
Insuring Your Diamonds
Insuring a diamond takes a bit of thought,
planning, and shopping around. Diamond
insurance isn't like purchasing car insurance.
It is quite different. Depending on the state
that you live in, there are basically three
different types of policies that will cover
diamonds, and all insurance policies that
cover diamonds are considered Marine
The first type of insurance policies for
diamonds is an Actual Cash Value policy.
If the diamond is lost or damaged beyond
repair, the insurance company will replace
the diamond at today's market value, no
matter how much you paid for the diamond
to begin with. This type of insurance policy
for diamonds actually is not that common.
The most common type of insurance for
diamonds is Replacement Value insurance.
The insurance company will only pay up to a
fixed amount to replace the diamond that was
lost or damaged beyond repair. This does not
mean that they will pay that amount - it means
that they will pay up to that amount. In most
cases, the diamond can be replaced at a
The third type of coverage offered for
diamonds is Agreed Value. This is
sometimes called 'Valued At.' This type of
coverage is very rare. In the event that the
diamond is lost or damaged beyond repair,
the insurance company simply pays you the
amount that you and the company agreed
upon. This is the best type of insurance to
have, but it is rarely offered. If you can't get
Agreed Value coverage, Actual Cash Value
coverage should be your next choice.
Your rates will be determined by the value of
the diamond, the type of coverage that you
select, and the area that you live in. If you live
in an area with a high crime rate, you can
expect to pay more for your diamond
insurance coverage. It is important to
remember that insurance agents are not
qualified jewelers, and jewelers are not
qualified insurance agents. It is best to get
a certificate for your diamond, and to
provide the insurance company with a copy
of that certificate. This leaves the insurance
company less room for arguments over the
actual value of the diamond.
Don't rely on separate coverage to cover
your diamond. For instance, if you diamond
is stolen from your home, it is probably
covered on your home owner's insurance
policy - but the diamond probably won't
always be in your home, and once it leaves
your home, there is no coverage.
How To Clean Your Diamonds
Through our day to day movements our
diamonds get smudged and soiled. Even
when we are not wearing them, they collect
dust. Lotions, soaps, our natural skin oils,
can cause film and grime on diamonds
and inhibit their brilliance.
Want to keep that Brilliance and Shine?
Diamonds require cleaning so that maximum
amounts of light can refract fiery brilliance.
Remember that all it takes is a few minutes
and a little care to keep that diamond as fiery
as the day you first saw it.
You can use an small soft brush such as an
eyebrow or lip stick brush and soap and
water to clean your jewelry. Simply make a
bowl of warm sudsy water with a mild
detergent and place your pieces in the
mixture. Then brush the diamonds with the
soft bristles of the brush while they are in
the suds. You will need to make certain that
you rinse them clear of the suds after
cleaning them. You can use a small kitchen
strainer such as a tea strainer to contain
them while rinsing under warm water. Use
a lint free cloth, or a jewelry polish cloth to
pat them dry.
If your diamonds are in need of a stronger
cleansing, you may want to soak them for 30
minutes in a solution of half and half water and
ammonia. Once they have soaked for 30
minutes, remove them and gently brush the
mountings with a small brush. Then replace
the pieces to the solution and swish them
around in the mixture before removing them
to rinse and pat dry.
If you find your self too busy to be mixing
soaps and ammonias, many department
stores sell liquid jewelry cleaners. Most are
kits, with everything you need included. You
need to read the labels to determine the one
that is right for your diamonds and other
jewelry. Read the complete directions and
follow all the precautions.
And if you find yourself more the
"high-tech type", even in your diamond
cleaning routine, there are multiple ultrasonic
cleansers on the market. These machines
use high-frequency to create a cleaning motion.
All machines are not the same, so please read
the instructions before using.
Only you can choose the cleaning method
right for you. But, it is essential to keep
your jewelry clean to keep it brilliant and
sparkling. Between cleaning, try not to touch
your clean diamonds with your fingers or
handle your jewelry by its edges. This will
help maintain its shine and brilliance for
All About The Clarity Of Diamonds
Clarity is an important aspect of a diamond,
and it is important to know how to grade the
clarity of a diamond before you buy one. It is
actually quite easy to learn how to grade the
clarity of a diamond. There are basically two
things that you must understand: Diamonds
with visual inclusions and blemishes, and
those that are 'eye clean' meaning that there
are no inclusions or blemishes that can be
seen with the naked eye. From there, the
clarity of a diamond is further broken down
Many people mistakenly think that diamond
clarity refers to how clear it is. This isn't so.
Clarity actually refers to the internal and
external imperfections of the diamond. The
best diamonds, of course get a grade of FL
or IF - Flawless or Internally Flawless -
meaning that it is perfect. A grade of I-1, I-2
or I-3 means that the diamond is imperfect,
with a grade of I-3 being the worst.
Other grades are VVS1 and VVS2, which
means that the diamond is very, very slightly
imperfect; VS1 and VS2, meaning the
diamond is very slightly imperfect; SI-1 and
SI-2, which means that the diamond is
Diamond Brands And What They Mean
Diamonds are one of the few products that
simply cannot be 'branded.' Even though
there are different cuts, different grades, and
different values placed on each and every
diamond in existence, no diamond is any
specific brand - just as gold is not a specific
Branding is actually based on who owns the
diamond. For instance, if DeBeers owns the
diamond, it is a DeBeers Diamond - but it is
still just a diamond. If the diamond was cut by
a specific well known cutter, then it might be
branded in that way as well - but it usually
isn't. It is still branded based on who owns it
at the time. So basically, when it comes down
to it - diamond brands mean absolutely
nothing at all.
Do not allow a jeweler to try to talk you into
paying an exorbitant price on a diamond
because it is a specific brand. This is a bit
of trickery used by unscrupulous jewelers
when they know that they are dealing with
people who don't know much about
diamonds. Remember that diamonds are
not actually branded - unless mother nature
has her own brand!
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