Thin Band

What You Need To Know: Buying An Oval Diamond

There are many questions on “how to choose the best diamond” when in reality it is one of the most personal choices you can make. Today were going to go over color and length to width ratio in order to help you make your best decision.

Continue reading “What You Need To Know: Buying An Oval Diamond”
Thin Band

Why Do 1 Carat Diamond Prices Vary So Much?

When many people start shopping for engagement rings, they are unaware of how complex the process is. The first thing to do when buying diamonds online is to get educated about the four c’s. Learn about cut, clarity, color, and carat weight are all extremely important in deciding which diamond to purchase.  For many shoppers, the first item on their wish list is carat weight. However, carat weight is generally considered to be the last characteristic to consider. Because of this, 1 carat diamond prices can vary dramatically. While many customers will search for a 1 carat diamond, they are surprised to find the costs can vary between $1,000 and $13,000. To best help our customers be educated about their diamond purchases, we’ve put together this explanation as to why 1 carat diamond prices vary so much.

Cut, Clarity, and Color

As we’ve mentioned many times before, cut is the most important factor in determining a diamond’s value. The highest quality of cut is affinity, and affinity cut diamonds will have perfect symmetry. This means the diamond will produce the maximum amount of fire and brilliance, and therefore has the highest impact on how much a diamond costs. Additionally, clarity describes the amount of inclusions, or internal markings, that a diamond possesses. These inclusions are unique to each diamond, and they are also used to help identify and appraise diamonds. Finally, the most valuable diamonds are colorless diamonds. This means the diamond has not been affected by external sources that tint the diamond with yellow or brownish hues. Colorless diamonds allow for the maximum amount of light to pass through, which then provides the most sparkle.

 

1 carat diamond
The price of a 1 carat diamond can vary widely based upon cut, clarity, and color.

Tips On Shopping For Value

When shopping for an engagement ring on a budget, it is important to shop for diamonds with value in mind. Because a diamond’s cut is so important, be sure to select a loose diamond with at least a very good cut. Diamonds that have a clarity of Very Very Slightly Included will not contain inclusions visible the naked eye. In fact, a microscope would need at least 10x magnification to identify internal flaws. Finally, a 1 carat diamond that is near colorless in the G to I range will appear to be crystal clear to the naked eye. When these factors are combined with a 1 carat weight diamond, typical prices start around $5,000. While this is only a starting point, it does help first time diamond buyers understand how much they are spending on diamonds– and why a 1 carat diamond can vary so much in price.

To learn more about diamonds, visit the Adiamor Diamond Education center today!

Thin Band

How To Identify Diamond Alternatives

Synthetic diamonds are a popular diamond alternative, especially for millennials. Additionally, they can be incredibly difficult to identify. While synthetic diamonds are created in a lab, the process imitates how diamonds are formed naturally. However, lab grown diamonds are not real gemstones. While synthetic diamonds continue to grow in popularity, they are not rare gemstones and therefore do not have the same value as real diamonds. Although synthetic diamonds can be nearly impossible to spot with the naked eye, a certified gemologist is capable of identifying a real diamond when compared with a diamond alternative.

Types of Diamond Alternatives

In addition to lab grown synthetic diamonds, there are a number of other diamond simulants available on the market. Lab grown diamonds are created over the course of a couple days. The canisters mimic the natural conditions that create real diamonds. For this reason, synthetic diamonds are incredibly difficult to spot without proper training. However, other diamond alternatives are much easier to recognize. For instance, the mineral moissanite is a popular diamond alternative introduced to the marketplace in 1998. Although moissanite mined like diamonds are, it is more comparable to cubic zirconium, better known as CZ.

Comparing Moissanite and Real Diamonds

Moissanite and diamonds have many similar characteristics, including the fact that moissanite is incredibly hard. Additionally, moissanite has a crystalline structure that is similar to the makeup of natural diamonds. Because of their similarities, moissanite is often used in scams that replace actual diamond gemstones with alternatives. However, certain tests can demonstrate the differences. Both higher electrical conductivity and birefringence of moissanite will show that it is not a real diamond. Another test involves heating the moissanite which will cause a change in color that will not happen to mined diamonds.

The Benefits of Natural Diamonds

One of the reasons so many people are interested in diamond alternatives is they are much cheaper. While this may be a selling point, the driving force behind this is that synthetic diamonds and diamond alternatives do not have the same scarcity or value. Since real diamonds are made through millions of years of pressure and the combining of elements, they are more rare and therefore retain much more value. When purchasing diamonds, be sure your diamonds are accompanied by proper certification. These documents ensure that a diamond is genuine and includes an examination of the diamond’s characteristics.

Thin Band

Know Your Diamonds, Part 4: Diamond Cut

In a continuing celebration of the diamond being April’s birthstone, we forge ahead with our Know Your Diamonds blog series. In part 4, we examine what most experts consider to be the most important of the four C’s: diamond cut. When many people think of diamond cut, they are actually thinking of a diamond’s shape. Diamond cut determines the gemstone’s proportions, and these proportions create brilliance, fire, and scintillation– also known as a diamond’s sparkle.

The Most Important of the Four C’s

In the diamond industry, a diamond’s cut is widely considered to be the most important aspect. Diamond cut will greatly affect how a diamond sparkles as well as the diamond’s carat weight. In order to keep the maximum weight of the mined rough diamond, most diamonds are “spread” when cut. The result of spreading creates a heavier diamond. However, this technique sacrifices the potential fire and brilliance of the stone. Therefore, the diamond could potentially have less sparkle, especially to the naked eye. The way light enters and exits the diamond depends heavily on the cut because the width and depth have the greatest effect on how light travels within the diamond. The light exiting the diamond is also affected. Both shallow cuts and deep cuts have specific characteristics.

Shallow Cuts and Deep Cuts

When diamonds have shallow cuts, light leaks out of the bottom. Unfortunately brilliance is lost, and the diamond appears dark or watery. A shallow cut diamond with these characteristics is referred to as a “fisheye”. On the other hand, in diamonds with deep cuts, light leaks out of the sides. This means brilliance is lost, and the center of the diamond will appear to be dark. A diamond with these characteristics is referred to as a “nailhead”. When a diamond has an ideal cut, it will retain the maximum amount of light, resulting in a more brilliant diamond.

Diamond Cut Characteristics
Diamond Characteristics

Grading A Diamond’s Cut

There are several measurements used to grade a diamond’s cut. Two key factors in grading diamond cut are known as depth percentage and table percentage. Depth percentage measures the height of the diamond against the width of the gemstone. To calculate table percentage, a gemologist would take a measurement of the diameter of the top facet of the gemstone against the average width of the diamond. The GIA or AGSL grading reports that accompany every loose diamond from Adiamor list these percentages.

While different gem experts possess differing opinions on the best table size and the best depth for a diamond, these two factors are not enough to fully grade a diamond’s cut. A number of other factors contribute to the overall diamond cut quality, including crown angle, culet size, girdle thickness, polish, and symmetry.

Thanks for checking in on our current installment of the Know Your Diamonds series. For more information on diamonds, visit the Adiamor Education Center.

Thin Band

Know Your Diamonds, Part 3: Diamond Inclusions

The four Cs – carat, color, clarity and cut, are the primary focus for people buying loose diamonds. The clarity scale runs from flawless to heavily included, with the former having no visible blemishes. The latter has obvious flaws that are visible under 10x magnification. A high clarity grade means that the diamond is free from imperfections, but these imperfections might not be something you need to avoid. When buying a diamond, price is often a key factor, so if you are happy to compromise on inclusions, you can find something bigger, with a higher quality cut, or with less color.

Diamond inclusions
A diamond with inclusions

However, diamond inclusions aren’t necessarily a bad thing . A slightly included diamond might not sparkle any less than a very slightly included diamond. It all depends on the individual diamond, but there are a few things to consider.

Diamond Birthmarks

A nice way to think about inclusions is that they are the birthmarks of your diamond. Research has shown that minerals inside diamonds that cause inclusions take billions of years to form. This means the inclusions can help to date your diamond. Scientists recently discovered that the inclusions found in diamonds often differ depending on the location of the diamond mine. They studied diamonds from two mines just miles apart and found distinct differences between the inclusions found in diamonds. If you want to be reminded just how old your diamond is, inclusions can help.

Diamond Inclusions Are Used In Identification

Since inclusions are unique to your diamond and mapped on your diamond certificate, this is an excellent way to protect yourself against theft. If you diamond is ever stolen and re-cut or re-set, you will have a much better chance of seeing this returned to you if you have inclusions in your diamond to help identify it.

Diamond Inclusions Can Be Faked

If you are concerned about the risk of buying a fake diamond, then you will be happy to learn that inclusions can be used to definitively prove if a diamond is real. The inclusions seen in real diamonds differ from the lab-grown variety, so purchasing a diamond with inclusions can help to safeguard against the fake diamond trade.
When you consider these so-called flaws will be invisible to the casual viewer, if you’re looking for a diamond with character, inclusions could be your best friend. These flaws offer a window into your diamond’s past and a link to its origins.

Thin Band

Know Your Diamonds, Part 2: Diamond Flouresence

All of us are inspired by the beauty of diamonds. These rare stones, mined from the very depths of the earth, are visually compelling. In general, diamonds are often considered devoid of intrinsic color. Their clarity is seen as the epitome of perfection. This is not a casual observation of the uninformed, but the sight of a well cut diamond set in an appropriate reflecting natural light that instills awe into most observers. The diamond is capable of a magnificent spectral display, due to natural scientific refraction of white light into its constituent ‘rainbow’ colors. In addition to this refraction, and the resulting myriad of color, there is another component: Fluorescence.

Flourescence
Diamond Fluorescence

Color is just color right?

Well, sort of. Diamonds come in few colors; all of them are transparent so the refraction of light is maintained through the yellow/blue-tints found in some stones. In general diamonds are white (i.e. colorless). Regardless of their actual color, diamonds have fluorescent qualities. Fluorescence is a means by which the energy from an electromagnetic wave (i.e. light, in this discussion) is stored in a substance (i.e. a diamond) and re-transmitted at a different frequency. In layman’s terms, this means light hits a diamond and is re-emitted as a different light. This re-emitted light is called fluorescence. In diamonds the fluorescent emission is rated by examining experts and a part of the grading process. The internationally accepted grades are: inert, faint, medium, strong, very strong. These grading are self-explanatory but it is important to know these facts before fluorescence is considered as a purchase criteria;

· Diamonds do not all fluoresce. In fact only 35% do
· Of the 35%, most are blue-fluorescent (97%)
· Of the 3% that are not blue-fluorescent, green/Yellow/Red are potential colors, but many shades in-between are possible. These are rare and expensive stones. Professional advice should be sought when purchasing these stones as some can produce a milky (and unattractive) view when viewed under certain lights. These are named “overblues” and although rare, are not sought after.
· Strong blue fluorescence has the effect of yellow cancellation, so these stones produce a much more desirable visual spectrum. Yellow tinted stones which can fluoresce in blue can make an otherwise less attractive yellow diamond into a very pleasing gemstone.

Choose carefully…

Many fluorescent diamonds, especially when mounted in jewelry, exhibit dullness or cloudiness when viewed in certain background lights. When examining such stones, varying light sources including sunlight should be used, before a purchase is made. Diamond fluorescence is a complex science, but in the world of diamonds, a fairly straightforward quality grading process. At the end of the day, the ‘eye is in the beholder” – but note that the highly fluorescent diamond is not necessarily the best!