The Four Cs of Diamonds and more..........
Fine diamonds are among the most coveted of all gems. Their value, however, differs widely from one diamond to another. Experts evaluate every diamond for rarity and beauty, using four primary guidelines. These are called The Four C's--Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight.
When you think of the cut, you probably think of the shape of the diamond. You are partially correct. While cut does refer to shape, it also refers to the proportions of how the diamond is actually cut.
Diamonds are cut into many different shapes, reflecting not only popular taste but the proportions and quality of the rough diamond. The most popular shapes include Round, Oval, Square, Princess, Emerald, Baguette, and Marquise cuts. Many specialty shapes are also available.
A diamond's overall proportions, as well as the size and placement of its many reflective surfaces or facets, also play a large part in "cut." The consistency and balance of these can greatly affect how the stone captures light and reflects it back to the eye.
With the exception of some fancy colored diamonds, the most valuable diamonds are those with the least color. The color scale for transparent diamonds runs from D-F (colorless), G-J (near colorless), K-L (faint yellow), to Z (light yellow). Completely colorless diamonds are rare.
When diamonds are formed with traces of other minerals, rare and beautiful colors can result. These "fancy" colors range from blue to brilliant yellow to red, brown, pale green, pink, and violet. Because of their rarity, colored diamonds are highly desirable and may be quite valuable.
A diamond's clarity is measured by the existence, or absence, of visible flaws. Tiny surface blemishes or internal inclusions -- even those seen only under magnification with a jeweler's loupe -- can alter the brilliance of the diamond and, thus, effect its value. Clarity levels begin with Flawless (F & IF) and move down to Very Very Slight (VVS1 & 2), Very Slight (VS1 & 2), Slightly Included (SI1 & 2), and Included (I1, 2 & 3).
The size of a diamond is measured, not by its dimensions, but by weight. One carat, the traditional unit of measure for diamonds, is equal to approximately 0.2 grams. You may also hear the weight of a diamond referred to in points. A point is equal to 1/100 of a carat; therefore, a 75-point diamond equals 0.75 carat. Diamonds of equal weight may appear slightly different in size, depending on their depth and proportions. Because they are quite rare, larger diamonds of gem quality are much more valuable.
RARITY & BEAUTY
All gem-quality diamonds are rare, taking billions of years for nature to form them. The journey from the mine to you is long and arduous. While the four C's information helps you to identify the quality of the diamond you are purchasing, it is the combination of these four characteristics which determine a diamond's rarity. If you imagine a four-sided pyramid, with each side being a diamond characteristic—the more readily available diamonds form the base of the pyramid while the rarest diamonds are at the top. Keep this pyramid in mind when you are selecting your diamond. Your selection of characteristics will determine rarity and value. And remember—beauty is in the eye of the beholder. A diamond can only be truly perfect if you think it is beautifully perfect for you.
Fancy Diamonds GIA’s color grading system runs from D to Z and applies to colorless to light yellow diamonds. For colored diamonds, the presence of color establishes the color grade. Diamonds that have a tone and saturation greater than Z are Fancy color grades. The word Fancy is critical because that means the level of color is to the extreme right of the color scale rather than in the middle.
Blue: Natural blue diamonds are one of the rarest of the colors in diamonds; they range in color from faint to very deep blue. Mined in South Africa, India and Australia these diamonds become blue with the presence of Boron atoms.
Yellow: The yellow or “canary” diamond rough is mined in South Africa, Brazil, Russia and India. Nitrogen is a major cause of yellow in diamonds. Yellow diamonds range in colors from Fancy Light Yellow, Fancy Yellow, Fancy Intense Yellow and Fancy Vivid Yellow, the higher intensity in color the higher cost the diamond will have.
Pink: 90% of all the pink diamonds are minded in northwestern Argyle, Australia. Natural pink diamonds get their color from a natural irregular growth pattern within the crystal. Pink diamonds have very few nitrogen impurities. The higher intensity in pink color results in a higher cost of the diamond.
Black: Mined in Australia, parts of Africa and in Venezuela and Brazil these coal-looking diamonds are over 3 billion years old. The color of natural blacks comes from countless microscopic particles of smoky carbon graphite; hematite and magnetite which were trapped within the crystal lattice of the gemstone structure during its formation. Black diamond prices are usually less expensive than other colored diamonds.
Brown: Brown diamonds are the most common color of Fancy Diamonds. Also called Champagne, Cognac, Cinnamon or Chocolate; brown diamonds are usually mined in Australia, Africa and Siberia. Natural brown diamonds are caused by trace elements of nitrogen and hydrogen.
One of the most important steps when choosing a diamond is examining the diamond certificate, referred to as a grading report. A grading report documents the characteristics of a diamond in great detail. Three independent laboratories known as EGL (European Gemological Laboratory), AGS (American Gemological Society), and GIA (Gemological Institute of America) are the most popular. There are many companies that grade diamonds. Often they differ in criteria slightly.
So, what are Clarity Enhanced Diamonds?
Clarity Enhanced Diamonds are natural diamonds like any other diamonds. They both originate from the same place; the diamond mine. The difference between the two is that one went through a process of an enhancement, meaning that this diamond prior to being enhanced “had” an eye-visible inclusion. Even though both now look different, the enhanced diamond will look much better than its non-enhanced counterpart that still has eye-visible inclusions-- it does not change the fact that both were diamonds in the rough in a natural diamond mine.
The enhancement adds more brilliance and shine to the diamond, while the non-enhanced diamond pales in comparison.
Clarity Enhanced Diamonds are Real Diamonds, not to be confused with Cubic Zirconium or Moissanite, which are synthetic stones and grown in a laboratory.
The Clarity Enhanced Process is based on a patented formula which contains certain elements that the GIA, the worlds greatest laboratory, which has tested (and continues to test) regarding the enhancement process:
a. The enhancement remained in the diamond without fading for at least a decade, and counting.
b. The process adds zero weight to the diamond.
c. The enhancement improved the clarity of the diamond only up to two grades.
d. The enhancement process doesn’t improve the color of the diamond.
Does the enhancement add weight to the diamond?
The Clarity Enhanced process is based on a patented formula which contains certain elements that the GIA, the world greatest laboratory, has reported that the process adds ZERO WEIGHT (an atomic weight equal to a diamond weight) to the diamond.
Will the enhancement fade from exposure to the sun?
It is true that extremely intense heat (more then 100C /212F) can release the enhancement from a Clarity Enhanced Diamond. We do not recommend putting your hand in boiling water, and if you take a trip to the sun leave the ring in the space shuttle.
However, our Enhancement is so resilient (extremely strong) that your jeweler can use a steam cleaner, warm ultrasonic devices, cold rhodium and cold acid.
Why should I buy Clarity Enhanced Diamonds?
Since clarity enhanced diamonds are 30% - 50% less expensive than non-enhanced diamonds, you have three advantages to gain from:
- You get a Bigger diamond for the same price - Size DOES matter.
- You get a Cleaner Diamond for the same price.
- You get the Same Color, Carat and Clarity for a lower price.
How is the process made?
In order to understand how the process works, we have to understand what an inclusion is.
As we already know, 99.9% of the diamonds in the world have inclusions, and the most important element in the brilliance of the diamond is the passage of light without interference.
The inclusion that is in the diamond is trapped with air, and light can’t go through it, making the inclusion visible.
The process is made from a patented formula that contains lead and bismuth, and through a combination of high heat and high pressure, these elements are sucked into all the air that is trapped in the inclusion and let the light continue to flow without interference to its maximum brilliance.
Is the process irreversible?
There are two types of processes:
- Irreversible Process - The Laser Drilling Process releases the black inclusion from the diamond by drilling microscopic holes from the surface of the diamond to the inclusion it self.
After the process is done the stone will stay like this for ever without change.
- Reversible Process - The Clarity Enhanced Process fills the inclusion with elements that replace the air that’s in the inclusion.
This formula makes the inclusion seem invisible (the inclusion is still there).
The stone can be returned to the previous way it was only by removing the process, either if it occurs unknowingly, or with complete knowledge, the stone will be the same like it was before the enhancement—though it will contain an inclusion.
The enhancement can be done over and over again.
What guarantee do I have?
Your Enhanced Diamond is protected by our lifetime warranty.
Should the appearance or the brilliance of your diamond change, which is a very seldom occurrence, Bishop's Jewelry Gallery will retreat your diamond at no charge and with no questions asked.