Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and while they may be beautiful little gems that add a wonderful sparkle to your look under all circumstances, not all are created equal. The kind of diamond you buy depends entirely on your own tastes and your personal priorities as well as the kind of jewelry on which it’s to be mounted. An engagement ring will require a very different stone to an earring or a tie pin. Here, we’re going to look at some of the fundamentals that make up a diamond’s quality as well as some other considerations that you might want to take into account so that you can take pride in knowing that you have the perfect stone for your needs.
Unpalatable as it may be, the diamond industry is a hotbed of crime, exploitation and human rights abuses. We all know the stories of the blood diamonds that made their way into circulation in the mid 2000s but fewer of us are aware that even ‘non-conflict’ diamonds come from countries with corrupt and violent governments. The best diamond retailers, like 77 Diamonds are compliant with new legislation designed to reduce the human cost of the diamond industry. The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme has been established to produce a universally recognized system of certification for diamonds in compliance with UN Resolutions so you should make sure that any diamond you choose is KPCS certified.
A diamond’s shape is highly important as it will dictate the shape of the piece in which it is embedded. If you’re buying for someone, it’s important to know their tastes when buying as many cuts are not to everyone’s taste.
- Round- The most popular choice, suiting a range of rings. Round diamonds are also called brilliant cut as they are precisely cut for maximum dazzle.
- Princess / Square- These are the second most popular and great for showing off a diamond’s clarity. These are the cut of choice for more modern designs.
- Cushion- The choice of celebs or those who like their diamonds big, colorful and ostentatious.
- Emerald- Similar to the princess cut but designed to create more dazzle.
- Marquis- These give you a much larger looking diamond by maximizing carat weight.
- Oval- These can look a little more elegant and modern than the round diamond and are often a useful compromise between the round and princess cuts.
Diamonds are polished stones and while they may appear as clear as glass, by necessity they contain tiny imperfections (or in industry speak- inclusions). Thus, diamonds are graded on their clarity and for many buyers it’s a case of marrying the size and carat weight of the diamond against the stone’s clarity. Flawless is the gold standard although some minor inclusions will be barely visible to the naked eye. The more inclusions, the less dazzle you will get.
Color is hard to perceive in diamonds, but it’s there. Pink and blue hues can add value to a diamond while yellowing can compromise a clear diamond’s sellability. The color of a diamond will be more or less of an issue depending on what kind of metal it will be used with. Yellow gold, for example, can help to mask yellowing in an otherwise clear diamond.
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