THE 4 Cs OF DIAMONDS
The process of selecting a diamond may seem overwhelming. But knowing the four Cs - Carat, Color, Clarity, and Cut - will help you understand diamond characteristics and guide you towards the perfect stone.
One of the biggest reasons to come to Steve Pronko Jewelers is Diamond Education and our expertise in loose diamonds. A diamond is more than just a beautiful stone, it is an investment and like any investment it can grow in value over time.
Nick Pronko, GIA Graduate Gemologist and owner of Steve Pronko Jewelers, knows the value side of loose diamonds better than anyone else in Scranton or Dickson City, PA. Nick’s extensive training in gemology allows him to adequately educate customers about the 4C's and see to it that you buy the best stone for your budget. Steve Pronko Jewelers has been in business for nearly 100 years because we have always given our customers outstanding service and value.
Carat is the unit in which a diamond is weighed.
Carat is the unit in which a diamond is weighed. One carat equals 0.2 grams or 200 milligrams. Carat weight is the prime factor that determines the weight of a diamond. Larger diamonds are undoubtedly costlier. Carat makes expressing diamond weight easier as compared to milligrams.
One should not forget that high carat weight does not necessarily mean a larger looking diamond. Diamond weight translates roughly into diamond size but due to differences is cut and shape, two one carat diamonds can appear to be very different. Large diamonds are rare to find and much in demand as compared to smaller diamonds of the same quality. The price of a one-carat solitaire diamond ring is more than a ring with smaller diamonds making up the same carat weight. Diamond comparison is not effective until you compare the diamonds of similar features and qualities.
You may have experienced your jeweler discussing points while talking about diamond sizes. This is not in context with the number of facets a diamond has but to the weight of the diamond. One carat is equivalent to 100 points, so every point is 1/100th of a carat. Carat weight also influences a diamond's price. Because of the rarity of larger stones, they are priced higher.
Color is the result of a diamond's composition.
When the jeweler talks about the diamonds color, he is referring to the absence and presence of the color in the diamond. Color of a diamond is a result of diamond's composition and does not change with time. Colorless diamonds allow light to travel through them as compared to the colored diamonds. These diamonds also emit more fire and sparkle. The process, through which a diamond is formed, is the deciding factor for its color. The whiter the diamond, the higher value it will have.
For grading the color of diamonds, jewelers refer to GIA's color scale that starts the rating with D for colorless diamonds and grows up to Z as the traces of light yellow or brown color are found in the diamond. Diamonds graded from D to F are among the most desirable and valuable stones. These diamonds are a delight for diamond lovers. Nevertheless, you can also find beautiful diamonds in the G-J color range. These diamonds are not exactly colorless but show no color to the untrained eye.
Consider the setting before choosing the color grade of your diamond. If the setting for your diamond is platinum or white gold, go for higher color grades, if you want to get it fitted in yellow or rose gold, slightly lower color diamonds can also look great. While you will find a faint yellow hint in the diamonds that are graded from J to M, the color can be camouflaged by choosing the right setting for the stone. Many people prefer the warm glow given by lower color diamonds.
Fluorescence is found in diamonds when they are exposed to ultraviolet light. Under most of the lighting conditions, this effect cannot be seen by the eye. Some people prefer diamonds without this effect while others look for it. It is all about the aesthetics.
Inclusions are internal and external characteristics.
The clarity of a diamond is the first thing a trained Gemologist will look for in a natural diamond. Most diamonds have natural internal flaws, also known as inclusions, that impact the value of the stone. Generally, these cannot be seen with the naked eye but are visible under magnification. External flaws known as blemishes also influence the value of a diamond. Naturally flawless diamonds are very rare so these stones are significantly more valuable.
On a basis of clarity, grades are given to diamonds under 10x magnification. These grades vary from the ones that do not have blemishes or inclusions to those that do.
Diamonds that are VS and VVS grades are great in terms of appearance and value. You can also invest in less expensive options that include SI1 and SI2 where inclusions can also not be seen by the naked eye.
A great cut provides brilliance to a diamond
People often confuse diamond shape with diamond cut. The shape of a diamond is the outward appearance. When jewelers use the word cut, they are referring to the skill of the cutter who fashions the stone.. The quality of the cut is a crucial part of the 4C's of diamonds. A great cut provides brilliance to the diamond. The finish and angles of all the facets lets you determine the diamond's ability to handle light that results in its brilliance.
When a diamond has an ideal cut, light travels through it easily, adding to its spark. The light that is passed through the diamond because of cut is responsible for making it shine. If a diamond is not cut properly, light entering the table will leak out from the bottom or side, cutting down its brilliance.
BEYOND THE 4C'S
While the 4C’s are important, this is just the beginning of diamond education and valuation. Within each category a labyrinth of variables dramatically influence the value of a diamond. The GIA Graduate Gemologists at Steve Pronko Jewelers encourage customers to become educated buyers. Whether you are purchasing your first engagement ring or adding to a sophisticated loose diamond collection, we can help you make the right purchase.