Remember that jewelers never buy diamonds from diamond certificates alone; a certificate can’t tell us what the diamond looks like. At John Laughter Jewelry, we handle and examine each diamond with our own eyes to verify its beauty for the price. Only then will it be chosen for one of our stores. If an experienced jeweler refuses to select diamonds from a paper certificate, so should you! We suggest choosing a jeweler who understands the value of excellent Cut and has pre-selected well-cut diamonds for you to actually handle and see
Carat weight is the gemologist's universal measurement of a diamond weight (not how big it is) and is the easiest of the 4cs to determine. Diamonds are weighed when they are loose or free from any mounting or setting. A carat weighs 0.02 grams or 1/142 of an ounce. And one carat is made up of 100 units called points. Therefore, a diamond of 75 points weighs 3/4 of a carat, and 50 points, 1/2 of a carat. It is important to know that two diamonds of equal weight can have very different appearances because of their cut, and different values because quality is still determined by cut, color and clarity.
After cut, color is the second most important factor in choosing your diamond. Color refers to the degree to which a diamond is colorless. Color in a diamond is the result of traces of other elements, which mix with carbon during the diamond's formation. White diamonds are color graded on a scale that begins with "D" indicating a total colorlessness, progressing down the alphabet for lower qualities. While diamonds tinged with yellow or brown are less desirable. Diamonds of vivid colors such as Canary Yellow are rare and today are highly valued.
Clarity is an indication of a diamond's purity. In all diamonds, except the most rare, tiny traces of non-crystallized carbon (the element from which a diamond is formed) can be trapped during the crystallization process. These internal 'inclusions' appear as tiny crystals, clouds or feathers. The presence of some inclusions does not diminish the diamond's beauty or endanger its durability. Most cannot be seen without powerful magnification.
Clarity is based on the quantity, size, position, nature, color and relief of inclusions in a diamond. There are 10 clarity grades, where each grade represents a range. Clarity is determined by a trained grader, using 10-power magnification.
Keep in mind that all diamonds have birthmarks, even those certified "flawless." Beyond a certain point it's impossible to see birthmarks with the unaided eye, and prices for those diamonds rise with their rarity. Buying a diamond better than "SI1" or "SI2" does not enhance the beauty of the diamond to the naked eye.
Cut refers not to the shape of the diamond, but to the angles, proportions and faceting arrangements of the stone. It is perhaps the most important of the 4cs because it is what releases the diamond's sparkle. A well-cut diamond will internally reflect light from one facet to another and disperse and reflect it through the top of the stone. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in less brilliance. The shape of a diamond is its outline. Common shapes for a diamond are round, emerald, oval, princess, radiant, pear, marquise and heart. The faceting arrangement, along with the outline of the diamond, results in the diamond's visual brilliance.
A diamond cut is classified as Excellent, Very good, Fair and Poor.