DIAMOND SHOPPING FOR BEGINNERS
You’re 26. You just scored the biggest deal of your career.
You’re 15. You watch as mum puts on her diamond earrings at her dresser. You witness a bewilderment of those brilliant things in her jewellery box, and dream of the day you’re all grown up with one of your own.
You’re 30. You’re just a boy who wants to stand in front of a girl asking her to marry you.
Whoever you are, and wherever you are in your life, it’s never too early to have an education in diamonds in preparation for that very special moment.
You Can’t Ignore the 4 C’s
Cut is arguably the most important C. Diamond cuts are graded in five levels: Excellent, very good, good, fair, poor. Each diamond is faceted precisely to bring out the beauty of the stone. A stone with a high-cut grade gives it the most ideal level of brightness, fire (rainbow colours) and scintillation (sparkle).
A diamond’s colour spectrum goes from “D” — colourless, which is the highest grade — to “Z”, or light yellow. Colours D to G are rare. H to I are near colourless, and J to Z is slightly tinted and includes many shades including grey, champagne and cognac.
Be aware that all diamonds contain imperfections because they are formed under tremendous heat and pressure. The very best and rare level of clarity is internally flawless (IF). Because many inclusions are not visible to the naked eye, diamonds are graded under 10x magnification.
Carat weight measures how much a diamond weighs, aka its apparent size. A metric “carat” is defined as 200 milligrams. Each carat can be sub-divided into 100 points. This allows very precise measurements.
Considering all four C’s, you can be sure that no two stones are quite the same. It would be wise to choose quality over size.
A diamond grading report is an unbiased assessment of the diamond’s quality. It provides a description of the diamond’s 4 C’s and confirms that the stone is a natural or synthetic diamond. The report also discloses any treatments the diamond may have undergone to alter its colour or clarity. You can verify the information contained in any GIA report by entering the report number in Report Check, GIA’s secure online database.
Choose a Trusted Jeweller
When you’re ready to go shopping for your first diamond, be sure to visit a jewellery who is credentialed and reliable, such as a GIA Graduate Gemologist. Take note of their affiliations with jewellery industry groups and professional associations. Use GIA’s Retailer Lookup to find a jeweller near you who carries GIA-graded diamonds or has GIA-trained associates on staff.
And that’s about the size of it. But before you go, a final piece of advice we really like. This comes from celebrity jewellery designer Claire Hammom, (her fans include Rihanna and Zoe Kravitz), who says: “Find a brand that aligns with your values, be true to yourself, and choose something you really love and can see yourself wearing for a long time. Or forever.”
After all, isn’t that what a diamond is?
Photos: The Canary Diamond Co