Here is a fun fact: the world’s second-largest gem-quality diamond has been recently discovered in Botswana. The 1,111- carat stone is yet to be evaluated and appraised, but it already has the potential to be very expensive. Just for comparison, in April a flawless 100-carat diamond was sold for $22.1m at Sotheby's in New York. Does size really matter? You bet!
How big? This is often the burning question in the mind of an overwhelmed engagement ring shopper. Of course, it depends on the budget, but there are also characteristics such as carat weight, clarity, cut and color -- the 4Cs every savvy shopper should know. Let’s take a closer look!
Carat weight is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs. 1 “carat” equals 200 milligrams or approximately 0.07 oz. Each carat is divided into 100 points to ensure the most accurate and precise measurements. Diamond weight that is greater than 1 carat is usually described in carats and decimals. For example, a diamond that weighs exactly 1 and ¼ carat is recorded as 1.25 ct. The price of a diamond increases with its weight, given that the remaining characteristics (clarity, color and cut) remain equal.
Evaluating diamond clarity depends on whether or not the stone has blemishes or inclusions -- natural characteristics that appear as a result of a diamond’s exposure to heat and pressure during formation deep underground. The GIA Diamond Clarity Scale has 6 categories ranging from “flawless” (where no blemishes or inclusions are visible under 10x magnification) to “included” (where a diamond has obvious inclusions that may affect transparency and brilliance). While inclusions and blemishes are so tiny that they can’t be visible to the naked eye, they play a crucial role in determining the quality of a diamond. That’s why an inspection by a certified expert is very important.
We often refer to a diamond’s cut as a shape (round, oval, marquise, etc.), but in reality, the cut of a diamond is in the ability of its facets to interact with light. The proportions of these facets determine if a diamond can create such visual effects as brightness (the strength with which white light reflects from its surface back to ‘face up' an observer), fire (the scattering of white light into all the colors of the rainbow) and scintillation (the amount of sparkle a diamond produces). These elements are crucial to the value and beauty of your gem.
When it comes to diamonds, colorrefers to the lack of color, grading the whiteness of the stone. The color of a diamond may be affected by chemical impurities that manifest themselves in a yellow hue, so the less color a diamond has, the higher its color grade. Diamonds naturally occur in a variety of colors, with red being the rarest. If you are curious to see all different color variations, take a look at The Aurora Pyramid of Hope, the natural color diamond collection displayed at London’s Natural History Museum. This unique exhibit showcases 296 gems in a wide array of colors that fluoresce with spectacular colors.
Whether you are choosing a perfect diamond for a loved one or estimating the value of the stone you already own, it’s important to weigh all options in the context of these 4 C’s. The ultimate choice is yours and we are here to help. Our GIA-certified experts will carefully inspect all elements of your stone and recommend the best one that you will enjoy for the rest of your life.
If you would like to learn more about our selection of engagement rings or get your diamond appraised, please contact us or stop by our store. We look forward to seeing you at Lamon Jewelers!