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Diamond Tips

Quality of Cut

  • The life or fire of a superbly-cut diamond can create a more vibrant appearance giving the diamond a fuller look when “face up” to the viewer.
  • Cut is vital to a diamond's sparkle and shine. The experts at Karat urge everyone considering an investment such as this to seek the finest cut within their budget.
  • Every diamond has sparkle or brilliance, however a superbly cut diamond will have the brightest life or fire forever.
  • Lesser cut diamonds unavoidably will reflect less light. This is created by the misalignment of the diamonds natural internal mirrors which creates dead or dull spots where the light escapes away from the viewer’s eye.
  • Cut and shape are often confused. However the term shape refers to a general overall description such as round, oval or pear shaped. The terms referring to cut are actually graded according to industry scales. The cut, or how well a diamond is cut, is foremost to having a diamond with the greatest possible sparkle
  • A diamond that is cut to the higher scale will traditionally be more expensive. This is due to the investment of skill, equipment and expertise of the diamond cutter. The time and effort spent cutting a diamond remains forever in its brilliance and sparkle.

Quality of Color

  • After cut, the most observable quality to the human eye is color or more importantly the absence of color in traditional settings.
  • Color becomes more apparent in diamonds as they increase in weight or size. A larger viewing area creates a larger window to perceive the variations from colorless to perceivable color.
  • The grading of a diamonds color is a precise process. Though the highest grade traditionally is a ’D’ color for absolutely colorless. This process can only be determined by an experts trained eye using specific lighting and a "reference set" of diamonds. Although the color scale proceeds from D down to Z, most individuals are pleased with what in the industry is known as “white goods”. This term refers to diamonds in the D to I color range that are imperceptible in color for daily use and conditions. Diamonds in this range can offer significant savings over the colorless D diamonds that will no doubt bring a premium price.
  • Many times, a superbly cut diamond or specific shapes such as round brilliant or princess cut can “wash out” apparent color with the extra sparkle or brilliance those cuts can bring to a diamond.
  • How the color appears in a diamond can be influenced by the metals surrounding it. A diamond that is near colorless would benefit from a mounting of platinum or white gold. A diamond with a graded color outside the “white goods” range would benefit from a yellow gold mounting as its complementary color.

Clarity

  • The majority of fine jewelry diamonds today are graded on a clarity scale that is so precise that the imperfections cannot be seen by the unaided eye.
  • The concept of flawless can have dual meanings. Technically speaking the term should refer to a diamond that has no visible imperfections under a 10 power magnification by a trained eye. A less technical interpretation of the term is that the diamond has no visible imperfections to the unaided eye. Many of the diamonds graded on the upper portion of traditional scales satisfy the second interpretation and can offer significant savings over a technically flawless diamond.
  • Larger diamonds because of their larger windows accentuate any visible flaws. This reality increases the need for greater clarity in those diamonds.
  • Certain cuts because of their open window or large visible table such as emerald and Asher require diamonds of SI1 or higher to remain visibly flawless to the wearer.

Carat

  • While carat, or the weight of a diamond, is the most commonly discussed feature of a diamond, it can be misleading if other factors are not considered. The simple weight of a diamond does not reflect its color, brilliance or proportion.
  • Many people seek diamonds that are one or two carats. This creates larger market demand for those weights. A well cut 0.96 carat diamond is to the unaided eye the same size or larger to a poorly or disproportional 1.00 carat and may more valuable.

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