Choosing a diamond

Looking for an engagement ring and you don’t know where to start since it’s the first time you’ve dealt with the jewelry world?Is it time to make up those diamond earrings that you’ve been dreaming of and you want them to be just right?

Here is some advice so you don’t make any mistakes.

  1. Remember the 4 Cs of diamonds

In English, the 4 Cs are considered when referring to diamonds and their characteristics: Color,Clarity, Cut and Carat. Keeping the 4 Cs in mind when examining each diamond is the best way to classify them.

Let’s analyze one according to the 4Cs:

COLOR:

Diamond colour table english

 

Color is perhaps the first characteristic we notice in a diamond. The most commonly used scale today is the one created by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the world’s most prestigious name in diamond grading. Color is based on the letters from Z to D, D being the most exceptional white to be found.

Every jeweler has its own style and promotes the product lines that it sees fit. We at SANT Jewelers, have always, from the very beginning, chosen quality as our bottom line, and we will only work with extra and rare quality diamonds. In accordance with this philosophy, we always recommend that you buy stones with a color grading of G or above, meaning that the stones will be extremely white, without other coloration.

Most of the diamonds found in SANT pieces will be of F or G coloration.

Of course, good coloration is necessary, but it is not the only consideration. Let’s look at the other basic characteristics:

CLARITY

diamonds_clarity_scale

Clarity in a diamond refers to the number, or degree of inclusions found within. The fewer inclusions a diamond has, the clearer and more valuable it will be.

Here is the clarity scale with which diamond quality is evaluated. Flawless being the clearest and P3, the least.

Our suggestion is that you always buy diamonds with a clarity scale above VS2.

The diamonds in SANT pieces range from Flawless to VS2.

CUT

The cut is the form the diamond cutter gives the rough stone to transform it into the form decided upon.

When speaking of the cut of a diamond, there are two things to consider:

a) What shape has the diamond been cut into.

diamond_cut

Here is a small chart showing the most popular current diamond shapes.

(*We’d like to clarify a question many of our clients have asked us:

“What is the difference between a diamond and a brilliant?”

Diamond is the generic name of the mineral which is then cut into different shapes. One of these shapes, the most popular, is the brilliant cut, which is cut into a round form with 57 facets.

In the same manner, a diamond cut into a square with 76 facets is a princess cut diamond, an octagonal rectangle cut diamond is a marquise cut, etc., according to the different shapes the diamonds are given by the diamond cutter.

Thus, the generic name is diamond. A brilliant is a round cut diamond, and due to its popularity, the term ‘brilliant’ is often used incorrectly, to refer to all diamonds.

b) That the stone is cut into the correct proportions

It is very important that a stone is cut to appropriate proportions in order to produce maximum shine and light reflection.

diamond-proportions

 

This may be the most difficult characteristic to appreciate for those unfamiliar with diamonds.

When diamonds are of a certain size and are certified (recommended from 0.50-0.60cts), it is advisable to check the quality of the cut according to its appraisal certificate.

We personally recommend that you choose stones certified with Very Good and above cuts (i.e., Very Good, Excellent or Ideal).

CARAT

When we talk about carats, we refer to the diamond’s weight.  The abbreviation ct. is used.

A carat is equivalent to 1/5th of a gram and is the universal measure for weighing gems.

Within the same quality (cut, color and clarity), the larger the diamond, the greater its cost.

Our advice when shopping for a diamond is to always begin by looking for a diamond of excellent quality (color, clarity and cut), and after this starting point, choosing a size (weight and carats) according to your budget, the occasion, and the type of jewelry you want.

2 The Appraisal Certificates

Even though it doesn’t take a professional to appreciate the difference in diamond quality when you look at them side by side, it can be difficult to recognize the great differences, between a higher quality diamond and a lesser one, which is why we have written this post. The key is evaluating the 4Cs, which we previously mentioned.

Thus, when buying a piece of jewelry which contains diamonds, or simply buying a diamond, two factors will help you know what you have in front of you

a) A certificate of appraisal from a certified gemological laboratory

When buying diamonds of a weight superior to 0.50-0.60 cts, we recommend you buy stones that have been appraised and certified by a recognized gemological laboratory. The appraisal certificate will describe all of the stone’s characteristics: weight, clarity, cut, and location of possible inclusions. This appraisal will serve as the diamond’s ID and it is important to keep it safe. Furthermore, not all certificates have the same prestige/credibility, since not all laboratories are equally rigorous when classifying gems

b) Your trust in the jeweler

Diamonds weighing less than 0.50-0.60 cts are generally not certified by gemological laboratories, since the cost of appraisal is disproportionate in regards to the price of the stone.

In this case, here at SANT, we offer stones weighing less than 0.50-0.60 cts our own appraisal certificate, which includes a photograph of the piece and the characteristics of the stone.

  1. Be aware of the worrying increase of artificially treated diamonds on the market!

This occurrence is unstoppable and as in almost everything, it has its good and bad sides. A negative aspect is the destructive adulteration of something natural. Diamonds have not been spared this tendency and we have unfortunately seen the increasing appearance on the market of diamonds that have been artificially treated to eliminate impurities or to improve their color. (What is a positive side of this?)

These stones are very inexpensive, since they are of poor quality, yet the different treatments applied to them make them look fantastic – at least to those who don’t know much about diamonds. These treated diamonds are thus sold at often abusively high prices given their low cost and their little actual worth.

Jewelers who choose to sell these treated diamonds should be obliged to inform their clients of the type of diamond being sold, unfortunately, more and more often, this is not the case.

*What can you do to avoid buying a treated diamond?

-If the stone has been appraised, check to see if the certificate says TREATED anywhere

-Don’t fall for very low prices

-Work with a trusted jeweler. Trust is the basis of our profession.

You will NEVER find a treated diamond at SANT Jewelers

4 The ideal setting

In the same way that a person’s individual style depends on what is most flattering to their looks, their personality, etc., we have to find the setting that will best suit the diamond’s natural beauty, while at the same time taking into account the wearer’s personal style.

This is the most subjective part of choosing a piece of jewelry with diamonds, since there are infinite styles and tastes.

Even so, make sure that:

-The setting chosen holds the stone securely.

-The setting maximizes the beauty of the stone, rather than overshadowing it.

We hope that this small guide will help orient you and please remember we are at your disposition.