YOUR GUIDE TO DIAMOND QUALITY AND VALUE
A diamond is judged by four distinct factors that combine in a number of ways to arrive at its value. These are called the 4 C's - Colour, Carat, Cut, and Clarity.
As with all precious stones, the weight of a diamond is expressed in carats. The word carat originated in a natural unit of weight: the seeds of the carob tree. Diamonds were traditionally weighed against these seeds until the system was standardised and one carat was fixed at 0.2 grams (one fifth of a gram). One carat is divided into 100 "points" so that a diamond of 25 points is described as quarter of a carat or 0.25 carats.
Almost all diamonds contain minute traces of non-crystallized carbon or small non-diamond crystals. Most are not discernible to the naked eye and require magnification to become apparent. Called inclusions, they are nature's fingerprint and make every diamond quite unique. However, the fewer there are, the rarer the stone will be.
Of all the 4 C's, cut is the one most directly influenced by man. The precision and delicacy with which your diamond is cut will dramatically influence its fire and sparkle, for it is the polisher's skill that releases its beauty.
The precision and delicacy with which your diamond is cut will determine its brilliance, its fire and its ultimate beauty. The shape you select is a matter of individual taste and today your choice is only limited by the skill and imagination of the craftsman. The round brilliant is the most popular shape, but there is a wide variety of others that range from the more traditional marquise, pear, emerald, oval, baguette, square or heart to the more fanciful or creative.
New Flower Cuts for example which were introduced quite recently are beginning to grow in popularity and are a unique marriage between the cutters' art and modern technology.
Although the majority of gem diamonds appear to be colourless, others can contain increasing tinges of yellow or brown, some of which are referred to as champagne diamonds. Rare stones of exceptional colour - pink, red, blue, green or amber are known as fancies.
How a diamond handles light
It is the cut that enables a diamond to make the best use of light.
- When a diamond is cut to good proportions, light is reflected from one facet to another and then dispersed through the crown or the top of the stone.
- If the cut of the diamond is too deep, some light escapes through the opposite side of the pavilion or bottom.
- If the cut is too shallow, light escapes through the pavilion or bottom before it can be reflected.
The Fifth C
Confidence in your jeweller
When you are ready to choose your diamond, see a reliable jeweller. We are the diamond expert and will be happy to explain the Four C's to you. We will tell you the difference between various qualities of diamonds and how these differences affect the price. Don't expect to find any "bargains" in diamonds - quality has its price.
Kimberley Fine Diamonds is an established jeweller prizing our good reputation and we will help you choose the best quality diamond, because we know you are looking for quality when you are making one of your most important purchases.
Deciding on how much to spend on a quality diamond
Almost all the purchases you make for your home and yourself will depreciate in value as they're used over the years. However your diamond, is a store of value that like love, can grow more precious with time. An important reason for buying the best quality stone you can, regardless of size or the design of the piece of jewellery.
A good guideline on how much to spend on your engagement ring is approximately one to three month's salary. But it's really up to you. Diamonds are available in such a wide range of prices, you're sure to find one to suit your taste and budget.
You must remember that prices today are not the same as they were when your parents or grandparents married, so that you cannot expect to pay the same price for your diamond as they did. But unlike other important purchases you make on very special occasions, such as an expensive wedding dress, a diamond will not fade in a box in the attic.
A diamond is forever.
How to care for your diamond
Diamonds do need care to keep them at their brilliant best. A clean diamond not only reflects light better, but actually looks bigger than one that's been "dulled" by skin oils, soap, cosmetics and cooking grease. Diamonds have an affinity for grease and should be cleaned once every month to keep their fire at its brightest.
The detergent bath
Prepare a small bowl of warm suds with any mild liquid detergent. Brush pieces gently with a tooth brush while they are in the suds. Transfer to a wire strainer and rinse under warm running water. Pat dry with a soft, lintless cloth.
The cold water soak
Make a half and half solution of cold water and house hold ammonia in a cup. Soak the diamond for 30 minutes. Lift out and tap gently around the back and front of the mounting with a small brush. Swish in the solution once more, and drain on paper. No rinse is needed.
The quick-dip method
Buy one of the brand-name liquid jewellery cleaners with its kit, and follow the instructions.
- Don't let your diamond come into contact with a chlorine bleach when you're doing house-work. It won't hurt the diamond, but it can pit or discolor the mounting.
- Don't wear your diamond when you're doing rough work. Even though a diamond is durable, it can be chipped by a hard blow along its grain.
- Don't jumble your diamond pieces in a drawer or jewellery case because diamonds can scratch each other and also scratch other jewellery.
- Take your diamonds to your jeweller for a "check-up" at lest once a year. Your jeweller will check your ring for loose settings and signs of wear and usually give them a professional "polish" too.
Superior quality - Kimberley Fine Diamonds is a highly respected Argyle Diamond appointed distributor of Australia's finest diamonds.