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Loving Loose Diamonds Does Not Make You A Loose Woman

Sep 11, 2008
They say that diamonds are a girl's best friend, and as with all best friends, a girl should get to know everything about them. I also heard somewhere out on the streets that a loose woman loves a loose diamond; that may be another take on the seductive properties one of these beautiful sparklers can have on a lady. I am neither a lady of a loose nature or one that has a stone as a best friend (although I do confess to owning one of those pet rocks back in the 1980s, although it was very short lived), but I know a thing or two about jewellery. Here I will explain how to get to know a sparkly best friend by carat, clarity, colour and cut.

If Mr Knight In Shining Armour comes trotting on his trusty steed over the hill to whisk you off into the sunset, you need to be prepared to judge exactly how sincere his intentions are. Upon dropping on bended knee and flipping the ring box lid, be prepared to suss out the four C's of the offer before sailing the seven seas to live happy ever after. See it as an insurance policy. If it turns out he is more armour than amour you can always cash in the ring and get on the next boat home with enough money left over for a bottle of bubbly and a brand new wardrobe!

Carat
The carat is the unit of weight a gemstone is measured by. As diamonds are of equal density, the carat of a loose stone can be judged by the size. The larger the stone, the bigger the carat. The value goes up exponentially with the carat, so a 1 carat stone will never be as valuable as 3 carat one of the same quality. Most rings will go up to a 5 carat as any larger is impractical for everyday wear. However, when buying loose gems, theoretically any size can be set into a ring. Extremely large stones are more suited to large jewellery such as brooches and necklaces, but their occurrence is much rarer. One of the largest diamonds in circulation, the Koh I Noor is set in to a crown and has a carat value of an incredible 105, the equivalent of 21 grammes.

Clarity
The clarity of the stone also has an effect on the value. The clarity is based on the number or impact of inclusions and blemishes. Inclusions are cracks or clouds that are inside the stone, and blemishes refer to surface imperfections. These flaws affect the way a diamond can reflect light and hence is a measure of its desirability. Flawless gems fetch the highest prices. However, unless you have a jewellers monocular it's will be hard to tell just how good the clarity of a stone is.

Colour
The colour can more or less be judged by eye, but a jeweller will usually have a grading tool with all grades of diamond on to compare quality. The grading runs from D to Z, with D being a pure white or colourless diamond, which has a much higher value than a brown diamond in the Z range. There is an anomaly though with coloured diamonds, which do not fit into this scale, but can have a much higher value than a colourless one. For example, a blue sparkler is incredibly rare and caused by a presence of boron.

Cut
The cut of the best friend is usually based on the original rough state of the stone and any imperfections it may have had. The most attractive cut for a stone is the round brilliant. Not only does this cut preserve as much as the original carat as possible, it works mathematically to produce the best sparkle and is wonderfully suited for a special ring for that special finger.

So educate your potential knight to shop for the best he can get, and tell him there is no way you will set yourself loose until you get a 10 carat guarantee of his devotion.
About the Author
Dominic Donaldson is an expert in the jewellery industry.
Find out more about loose diamonds and how to choose a ring for that special occasion at Diamond Manufacturers.
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