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Important Facts When Purchasing A Diamond

Aug 18, 2008
Diamonds are treasured for their extreme beauty and everlasting durability.

As a purchaser of diamonds for engagement rings, whether past, present or future, one may wonder why there is such variation in price from store to store. What characteristics constitute a $5,000 diamond versus one that costs only $500?

Diamonds are graded based on 4 criteria. The first of these is referred to as the carat, which is a measurement of the weight. The more carats the more expensive a diamond becomes. Size is not the only factor that matters however, remember: it is what is on the inside that counts.

Price is not solely determined based on the number of carats however. Expensive diamonds also need to have excellent clarity. The means the inside of the diamond should be free from "inclusions", and the outside of the diamond should be blemish free.

The quantity, type, location, measurement, and tint of its inclusions, or internal facets, as well as its blemishes, or features on the surface, all factor into the clarity. The clarity ranges from the rank of 'pure,' meaning no flaws, to 'heavily included,' meaning that it is seriously damaged.

Therefore the more severely included a diamond is with crystals, feathers, or other types of internal and external flaws, the lower its value. These deformities are due to the cooling process of the diamonds against other materials. Clarity is highly prized, especially in larger carat diamonds where the imperfections are more detectable.

Color is the next factor that determines a diamond's overall value. If possible, a diamond should be as clear as water, but this is not always the case. Colors from other gases and minerals around during the time of the diamond's formation may have altered its clean appearance and left the gem tinted.

Diamonds range in color from a designation of "D" to "Z", with "D" being no color at all, and "Z" being a diamond with a color that is deep enough to be very noticeable to the human eye.

The cost of a diamond is also determined by one final factor, the cut. The cut of a diamond gives it the ability to glitter by reflecting the light back out in very precise ways.

A diamond that sparkles and glitters can be said to have 'fire'. The actual rating system uses common words like good, average, and irregular. The bottom line though is if you want your diamond to sparkle even in dim light, then you need to make sure the cut is impeccable, and that will cost you more money.

Understand the 4 elements that make a diamond a special and precious gem: carat, clarity, color and cut. Knowing the difference between a dud and a dazzling diamond will be the difference between money spent poorly and money spent wisely.
About the Author
Some of the most impressive diamonds are referred to as colored diamonds. Discover why manufactured diamonds take on a shine in their own right.
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