The 4C's of a Diamond
The Carat Weight
The word carat derives from the word carob, a Mediterranean seed, which has an extremely consistent weight for measuring. The greater the carat weight, the rarer, and more valuable the diamond becomes. Five metric carats weighs exactly 1 gram.
Some people want the largest diamond possible. If size is a priority, we at Seven Oaks Fine Jewelers can help you classify the proper cut, color and clarity to fit your budget economically, and fit your jewelry beautifully. Many of our engagement rings can fit diamonds up to 5.00 carats, but each ring has different size constraints based on its size and the type of setting. Prong settings can be manipulated to fit virtually any size diamond, but tension-set diamonds and bezel set diamonds have more limitations on size.
The true definition of cut is the quality of the proportions and symmetry of the diamond. Your diamond’s proportions make a vast difference in how brightly your diamond shines. An ‘ideal cut’ diamond is one that allows the maximum amount of light to return through the top of the diamond, which takes into consideration the depth, table size, crown height and angle, girdle thickness and more. Our diamond professionals will be happy to assist you in selecting the best diamond cut.
After a rough diamond is mined, it is evaluated to determine its best possible cut, in order to maintain the maximum clarity, color, and carat weight. The term ‘cut’ is often confused with diamond ‘shape’, such as round brilliant or princess cut.
Diamonds range from colorless to yellow or light brown and are sometimes found in a spectrum of fancy colors, including yellow, blue, and even red diamonds. The less color, the rarer the diamond.
D – Colorless
E-F – Colorless
G-J – Near Colorless
K-M – Faint Yellow
N-R – Very Light Yellow
S-Z – Light Yellow
After ‘Z’ on the color scale, diamonds become fancy yellow, which cost more because of their rarity.
Diamonds are composed of mostly carbon. During the heating process, other elements become trapped inside, giving each diamond its own unique fingerprint. These inclusions help identify the clarity of your diamond.
- F – No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader.
- IF – No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader.
- VVS1-VVS2 – Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see.
- VS1-VS2 – Inclusions are clearly visible but can be characterized as minor.
- SI1-SI2 – Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader.
- I1-I3 – Inclusions are obvious and may affect transparency and brilliance.
*All diamonds are viewed through a 10x magnification lens by diamond graders.
Center Buying Tips
Buying a diamond could be one of the most important purchases in one’s life. The following tips may help make it easier to make this important purchase.
Diamond Weight & Size
Some people want to buy the biggest diamond possible. Is this always the right choice? We feel that it’s always a matter of preference, but here’s something to think about:
The larger the diamond, chances are the more inclusions it likely has, and because it’s larger, these inclusions are typically even more visible than on a smaller diamond. But most importantly, if the diamond cut isn’t proportioned correctly, it won’t return the maximum amount of light through the top of the diamond.
This illustrates that no matter how large the diamond, it’s cut and proportions determine how brilliant the diamond really is.
Since diamond colors range from colorless to yellowish-brown, sometimes these colors can add warmth or depth to your diamond. Also, by mounting a non-colorless diamond in yellow gold can make the diamond appear colorless in some cases.
We are always happy to share our expertise. Please let us know how we can help you make a confident decision in your diamond purchase.
What Are They?
Lab-grown diamonds are produced using a technological innovation that yields diamonds of exceptionally high quality and purity. They are identical in their composition, as well as in their physical appearance, to mined diamonds and because of this they are graded the exact same. A gemologist cannot tell the difference between a lab-grown diamond and a mined diamond because there is no difference.
How Are They Grown?
Lab-grown diamonds are grown using a ‘seed’ of pure carbon. That seed is then produced using advanced technology that replicates the conditions under which diamond crystals (or rough diamonds) are formed. The rough diamonds are then cut and polished using the same tools and techniques used to cut earth-mined diamonds. The production cycle of lab-grown diamonds takes about 10-12 weeks to produce rough diamonds. The diamonds then must go through the processes of cutting, polishing, and certification so overall the process takes about nine months.
How Are They Priced?
The price of a grown diamond and the price of an earth-mined diamond are all the result of a Price Index-Rapaport which is followed universally. However, due to the efficiency of the pipeline of a Pure Grown Diamond, it is available to the consumer at a difference of 30-35%.