Diamond Buying Guide
Vanscoy, Maurer & Bash Diamond Jewelers offers high quality diamonds that are sure to fit your budget and quality requirements. In this section, we provide a guide for selecting the shape and determining the right size to fit your needs. Read on and you will also get valuable information about the 4Cs of diamond quality.
Learn about the 4 C’s of Diamond Quality
The four most popular factors used to measure diamond quality are cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. This crash course in diamond buying will help you understand how diamonds are valued and priced — and help you decide what’s most important to you in a diamond. The easiest way to explain diamonds is using the four Cs: cut, color, clarity, and carat.
Of all the 4 Cs, cut has the greatest effect on a diamond’s beauty. In determining the quality of the cut, the grader evaluates the cutter’s skill in the fashioning of the diamond; technology assesses the diamond’s light performance. The more precise the cut, the more captivating the diamond is to the eye.
Gem-quality diamonds occur in many hues. In the range from colorless to light yellow or light brown, diamonds are compared to Master Color-Comparison Diamonds under controlled conditions. Colorless diamonds are the rarest. Other natural colors are known as fancy – their color grading is unique.
Diamond Color Designations:
- D, E, F – colorless (white)
- G, H, I, J – near colorless
- K, L, M – faint yellow or brown
- N, O, P, Q, R – very light yellow or brown
- S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z – light yellow
Diamonds can have internal characteristics known as inclusions or external characteristics known as blemishes. When grading clarity, the grader uses magnification and specific lighting and considers the effect these characteristics have on the diamonds appearance and/or durability. Diamonds without inclusions or blemishes are rare; however, most characteristics can only be seen with magnification.
- FL, IF Diamonds: Flawless: No internal or external flaws. Internally Flawless: No internal flaws. Very rare and beautiful diamonds.
- VVS1, VVS2 Diamonds: Very, Very Slightly Included: Very difficult to see inclusions under 10x magnification. An excellent quality diamond.
- VS1, VS2 Diamonds: Very Slightly Included: Inclusions are not typically visible to the unaided eye. Less expensive than the VVS1 or VVS2 grades.
- SI1, SI2 Diamonds: Slightly Included: Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification, and may be visible with the unaided eye. A good diamond value.
- I1, I2, I3 Diamonds: Included: Inclusions are easily visible under 10x magnification, and be visible with the unaided eye.
The carat is the diamond’s physical weight measured in metric carats. One carat equals 1/5 gram and is subdivided into 100 points. Carat weight is the most objective of the 4 Cs. It involves no estimates, comparisons or judgments.
The Fifth C: Confidence
When you shop smart — with an American Gem Society jeweler — you will feel confident in your decision. You know that the jeweler is qualified to describe the characteristics of your diamond, so you could make the choice that is right for you.