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4Cs

Diamond Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight are collectively termed the 4Cs– the factors that, when combined,define a diamond’s quality and ultimately determine its value. GIA created the 4Cs of Diamond Quality, which has become the universal method for assessing the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world. The creation of the 4Cs means that diamond quality can be communicated in a universal language so diamond purchasers know exactly what they are buying.



Colour

GIA’s diamond color grading system measures the absence of color, starting with D as colorless and continuing to Z representing light yellow or brown. The distinctions between color grades are so subtle that they are often invisible to the untrained eye but can make a big difference in diamond quality and price.



Cut

A diamond’s cut determines its sparkle. To fashion a stone with proportions, symmetry and polish worthy of an excellent cut grade requires artistry and workmanship. The finer the cut quality, the more sparkle the diamond has.



Clarity

Natural diamonds form from carbon exposed to tremendous heat and pressure deep in the earth. Diamonds often contain clarity characteristics, called inclusions or blemishes. Inclusions are enclosed within the gem and blemishes are on the surface of the diamond. If all else is equal, the closer a diamond is to flawless, with no inclusions or blemishes, the higher its value.



Carat weight

Diamond weight is measured in carats. One carat is equal to 0.2 gram, about as heavy as a paperclip. Since larger diamonds are more rare, they will cost more than a smaller gem with the same color, clarity and cut grades.



Anatomy



GIA grading report

The GIA Diamond Grading Report includes an assessment of a diamond’s 4Cs– Color, Clarity, Cut and CaratWeight – along with a plotted diagram of its clarity characteristics and a graphic representation of the diamond’s proportions.The GIA Diamond Dossier® includes these without the graphical representation of the clarity characteristics. The GIA laboratory issues diamond grading reports for loose, natural diamonds in the D-to-Z color range that weigh 0.15 carats or more


Why ask for a grading report?

A diamond grading report is the scientific blueprint of a stone’s quality characteristics. A GIA diamond grading report is your assurance that your diamond is a natural diamond, with disclosure of any treatment to enhance color or clarity. The report provides the clear evidence that is vital to a confident purchase. A GIA Diamond Grading Report not only provides expert analysis of Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat Weight, it also contains a plotting diagram that clearly shows a diamond’s inclusions and clarity characteristics. The GIA Diamond Dossier® includes these without the graphical representation of the clarity characteristics. All GIA reports contain security features to prevent them from being forged or duplicated. GIA does not buy or sell diamonds, making an independent diamond grading report from GIA an unbiased assessment of the diamond


About GIA

Established in 1931, GIA protects the public through gemological research, education, impartial gem identification and grading services, and instrument development. The world’s foremost authority in gemology, GIA sets the global standard for determining the quality of diamonds and performs research-based identification of colored gems and pearls. GIA created the 4Cs of diamond quality and the International Diamond Grading System™,providing all who buy or sell gemstones with a common language for describing diamond quality. As an independent nonprofit organization, all of GIA’s activities are governed by its mission to serve the public.Visit GIA.edu.


Diamond fluorescence 

Fluorescence Is the visible light some diamonds emit when they are exposed to invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays. On a GIA diamond grading report, fluorescence refers to the strength, or intensity, of the diamond’s reaction to long-wave UV, which is an essential component of daylight. The light emitted lasts as long as the diamond is exposed to the ultraviolet source.


Diamond treatments

While treatments Can improve a stone’s Color or Clarity, the presence of such enhancements may affect a diamond's value – particularly if the price reflects its appearance after treatment. Buyers have a right to know whether a stone is natural, a diamond simulant or a diamond created in a lab, and whether or not the stone has been treated to enhance its appearance.


Diamond simulants

While the appearance of diamond simulants is similar to that of natural diamonds, they are not diamonds.Common diamond simulants include glass and cubic zirconia (CZ), both of which are completely unrelated to diamond at the atomic level. Simulants are generally less expensive than the real thing. They allow consumers to enjoy the flash and dazzle of diamond-like jewelry and to inexpensively complement the latest fashion trend. But no matter how convincing the illusion, all diamond simulants have optical and physical characteristics that can be identified by a trained gemologist.


Laboratory-grown diamonds

A lab-grown diamond (sometimes called man-made or synthetic diamond) is the result of a technological process,as opposed to the geological process that creates natural diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds have essentially the same chemical composition, crystal structure, optical and physical properties of diamonds found in nature.Most lab-grown diamonds are categorized as either high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) or chemical vapor deposition (CVD) diamonds, depending on the method of their production. Since HPHT and CVD diamonds grown in a laboratory are virtually identical to natural diamonds, differences only become clear when they are analyzed in agem laboratory


Inclusions

Natural diamonds are the result of carbon exposed to tremendous heat and pressure deep in the earth. This process can result in a variety of internal characteristics called ‘inclusions.’ Many inclusions and blemishes are too tiny to be seen by anyone other than a trained diamond grader. This is why expert and accurate assessment of diamond clarity is extremely important.

Flawless (FL): No inclusions and no blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.

Internally Flawless (IF): No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.

Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS): Minute inclusions that range from extremely difficult to very difficult to see are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.

Very Slightly Included (VS): Minor Inclusions that range from difficult to somewhat easy to see are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.

Slightly Included (SI): Noticeable inclusions that range from easy to very easy to see are visible to a skilled graders using 10x magnification.

Included (I): Obvious inclusions are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance


How to care for your diamond

Diamonds are remarkably durable, resist scratching (except by other diamonds) and maintain their brilliance overtime. But diamonds aren’t indestructible. They can be chipped by a sharp blow, become loose or lost in a weakened setting, or be damaged by contact with other diamonds. Wear diamond jewelry with care. Store it in padded boxes or soft bags separate from other jewelry. Clean your jewelry by wiping it with a lint-free cloth or with warm water,mild soap and a soft toothbrush, or by dipping it briefly in a commercial cleaning solution. Have your diamond jewelry periodically cleaned and its setting examined by a professional jeweler to maintain its beauty and integrity over time


How to choose an engagement ring

  1. Know what you want to spend. You will be confronted with a dizzying array of choices when it comes to engagement rings. Have a price range in mind. Going in with fairly specific parameters will help your jeweler find the right engagement ring to fit your budget.
  2. Know her ring size. If she wears rings, borrow one she already owns. Trace the inner circle on a piece of paper,or press the ring into a bar of soap for an impression. You can also slide it down one of your own fingers and draw a line where it stops. A jeweler can use these measurements to identify her approximate ring size. If she doesn’t wear rings, estimate in the following manner: The average ring size in the US is 6 (based on the ‘average’ USfemale being 5’4” tall and weighing 140 lbs.) If she’s more slender, or fine boned, her ring size is probably in the 41/2 to 5 1/2 range. If she is heavier, larger boned or taller, her ring size is probably in the 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 range. It’s always better to buy a ring a bit bigger than you think she’ll need, because sizing a ring down is much easier than increasing its size.
  3. Know what diamond shape suits her. She will be wearing this ring every day of your married life. It will need to go with everything from jeans to evening wear. If you’re uncertain about her shape preference,it’s sensible to stick to the classics. They became classics because they appeal to most people most of the time.Certain shapes pair more successfully with other gems in multi-stone rings. Round, Oval and Marquise all workwell. If she prefers clean, modern lines in furniture, for example, it’s likely she’ll react well to the same aesthetic inRectangular or Square shapes, like the Emerald Cut or Princess Cut. If she tends towards the traditional, a round shape rarely misses.
  4. Know what setting makes sense.There are four basic types you are likely to encounter:solitaire, side stone, three stone and pavé. As to actual setting design, consider her lifestyle and how well a certain setting will fit into it. If she’s more active or outdoorsy, look for lower profile, less ornate, more sturdy choices,which are less likely to get knocked or caught on things. If she’s more of a glamour girl, look for statement settings, with a higher stone profile and more intricate ring detailing or unique motif.
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