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Diamond Bowties and Fancy Shaped Diamonds

When it comes to the perfect diamond, all the light which enters a table will reflect. This creates the sparkle that diamonds are famous for; however, not every diamond is perfect. When a diamond has light which does not reflect back, it creates dark spots in the stone. In many cases, the light leaks out the bottom of the stone. While this is the most common occurrence, it is not the only way that a diamond can appear dark. For example, fancy cut stones such as oval shaped, marquise cut, or pear shaped diamonds can have a bow tie effect. The name refers to what appears to the eye which is a dark bowtie across the diamond. Even though there is darkness, it is not from light leaking.

What Causes The Bowtie Effect?

The most important aspect in determine the quality and value of a diamond is the diamond’s cut. This refers to the consistency of proper proportions of the diamond’s many facets. In the event that a diamond is poorly cut, light will not properly reflect from the diamond. In many cases, this is caused by light leakage. However, the bowtie effect is actually caused by another problem: obstruction.

Diamond Characteristics

Instead of the normal scenario of light entering the diamond and exiting elsewhere, bowties are the result of light being shielded from entering the diamond. Although diamonds would normally sparkle from all angles, diamonds experiencing the bowtie effect result from direct light being blocked from entering the stone in the first place.

Diamond Cut and Diamond Bowties

The higher quality the diamond cut, the less likely the chance of bow ties being visible. However, simply picking a better cut will not completely eliminate a bowtie. Skilled diamond cutters will be able to minimize their appearance, but ultimately a diamond may still appear to have the bowtie effect for another reason. One example is the amount of polishing done on fancy cut diamonds. In this case, polishing may remove too much of the overall carat weight from the rough diamond. This will cause even a skilled diamond cutter to choose a bowtie effect over creating a smaller diamond. Overall, though, the higher quality diamond cut results in fewer bowties. This is important when buying diamonds online as it may be difficult to spot a bowtie without knowing what it is.

Are Diamond Bowties Flaws?

Although diamond bowties are widely considered to be a net negative, they are not always a bad flaw. The diamond bowties to avoid are large enough to create black areas throughout the entirety of a diamond. However, in some fancy shaped stones, the bowtie effect helps better define a diamond. This character boost is more akin to a beauty mark than anything else. However, if a diamond displays an obvious bowtie effect and has a poorly rated cut, then beware. These are often signs of a diamond with more flaws than perks.

Learn more about diamonds in our Diamond Education center!

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Understanding The Price Of Loose Diamonds

With online shopping’s overtaking of retail stores, more and more customers are doing all of their holiday shopping online. For many couples, that means jewelry. However, buying diamonds online takes a bit more knowledge that picking out a sweater. To help our customers better understand the price of loose diamonds, we’ve put together this guide ahead of the holiday season. Known as the Four C’s, we’ve outlined how cut, color, clarity, and carat weight are factors which determine the price of a diamond.

Cut Is King

When it comes to the price of loose diamonds, cut is the most important of the Four C’s. Cut, though, refers to the quality of a diamond’s cut and not to the diamond’s shape. Essentially, the higher the quality of the cut, the higher the price. This is because a diamond’s cut will determine the proportions of the diamond, and therefore diamond cut determines the amount of reflected light. This means better quality cuts will create more fire and brilliance. Rated from highest to lowest, diamond cuts range from fair to good to very good to excellent to Affinity.

diamond cut example
An example of a diamond’s proportions with the cut rated Very Good. Diamond cut has a high impact on the price of loose diamonds.

Color and Clarity

Clarity and color are closely related because both terms refer to a lack of elements that will reduce light refraction. The best diamonds, then, are referred to as “colorless” diamonds as they appear to be completely clear. Additionally, diamonds with “flawless” clarity will have no inclusions- marks inside the diamond- or blemishes which are surface marks. Diamond color ranks from K, representing diamonds which have a yellow or brownish hue, to near colorless diamonds in the J through G range then colorless diamonds in D, E, and F. Clarity tops out at flawless followed by internally flawless then VVSI down to the low end of Slightly Included 2.

Why Carat Weight Matters

Finally, carat weight is the diamond’s size. Carat, though, is probably the most commonly recognized element of the Four C’s. For example, many times entertainment media will refer to a star’s diamond by carat size. Although carat size is the least important factor of the Four C’s, it still has a major impact on the price of a diamond. While diamonds of the same carat size will range in price due to cut, color, and clarity, larger diamonds cost exponentially more. This is because larger diamonds are much more rare, and finding them with ideal qualities even more so.

When shopping for the perfect diamond jewelry this year, it is best to be informed. Continue your diamond education on Adiamor!

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The Perfect Pair of Diamond Earrings For Your Wedding Day

Planning a wedding is hard work. From finding the right dress to getting the seating chart just right, there’s plenty of details that can be overlooked. However, one thing many brides focus on is wedding day jewelry. In addition to finding the perfect matching wedding band, most women want the right pair of earrings too. While earrings may seem like a small detail, the right pair can make a huge difference. Although picking the right pair of diamond earrings can seem impossible, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Consider these tips when selecting your diamond earrings, and you’ll find the perfect pair in no time!

Match Your Diamond Earrings To Your Diamond Ring

One of the best ways to pick the right pair of earrings is to match them to your ring. For example, if you have a halo setting, then pre set diamond halo earrings make perfect sense. Even if you have a custom designed engagement ring, matching styles is a great option. This simplifies your decisions, and it also allows your jewelry to appear as a set. Additionally, while the diamond earrings may be intended for your wedding day, they can still be worn for other occasions. When selecting diamond earrings, be sure to also match the diamond shape. If your ring is round, you’ll want round diamonds in your earrings whereas a princess cut ring should be paired with princess cut diamond earrings.

diamond earrings
These round diamond earrings would pair perfectly with a halo engagement setting.

Contrasting Metals?

One question many brides ask is whether or not to have contrasting metals. The truth is that the decision is up to you. While some engagement rings and wedding bands combine two different metals successfully, this should definitely be the limit. Also, consider what pieces of jewelry are made from which metals. If both your engagement ring and wedding ring are rose gold, then you should probably continue the theme with your diamond earrings. However, white gold earrings are extremely versatile and can be paired with almost anything. Therefore, if you like the look of white gold earrings with a yellow gold ring, then go for it!

Shop Adiamor’s collection of pre set diamond earrings today!

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How Big Of A Diamond Should My Engagement Ring Have?

While the cost of an engagement varies wildly, there are some ways to help understand price points. Although even  one carat diamonds can vary in price by as much as $12,000, the size of the diamond often has less to do with price than quality. Higher quality cut diamonds will typically demonstrate better quality in color and clarity.  However, most people best understand diamonds by their size, or carat weight. Typically, engagement rings fall into one of three carat weight classes: under one carat, one to two carats, and larger than two carats. Larger diamonds are more rare, and therefore deciding how big of a diamond to choose will raise the cost.

Diamonds Under One Carat

Diamonds under one carat are typically used either in budget friendly engagement rings or as accent diamonds. For example, a popular three stone diamond engagement setting is the R2237. This tapered baguette setting features two smaller diamonds channel set around the center stone. These two diamonds total 0.35 cttw which means how big of a diamond is selected for the center will make the side stones feel larger or smaller. A half carat diamond will give the appearance of three smaller, fiery stones. Half carat diamonds range in price from about $1,000 to as much as $3,000.

three stone engagement ring
This three stone engagement ring features smaller side stones which make the center stone appear larger

Diamonds Between One and Two Carats

The most common size of an engagement ring diamond is in the one to two carat range. When side stones are considered, the total carat weight of most diamond engagement rings is approximately two carats. When all of these factors are considered, the most common engagement rings average around $5,000 to $15,000. However, two carat diamonds are considerably more expensive than one carat diamonds, so deciding how big of a diamond to use as a center stone matters. Larger, high quality stones can cost as much as $25,000 on their own.

Diamonds Larger Than Two Carats

Finally, the most luxurious engagement rings are those which contain center diamonds larger than two carats. For the average American, these rings are out of budget. However, rings of this size are extremely common amongst celebrities and those with high end tastes. Diamonds larger than 2 carats typically start near $12,000 for just moderate quality. The most expensive diamonds that can be used for most engagement ring settings top out in the 5 carat range. These diamonds, with the highest quality in cut, color, and clarity cost nearly $150,000. This puts large diamond engagement rings for many, yet they are still desired by most.

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How Does Sunlight Affect Diamond Fluorescence?

Diamond color is not related to fluorescence; it is a separate element referring to the diamond’s ability to fluoresce under ultraviolet (UV) light. Although the sun emits some UV rays in sunlight, it is generally not enough to detect most fluorescence. However, when exposed directly to UV light, many diamonds will glow with a blue coloration. Blue is the most commonly displayed diamond fluorescence, but other hues are possible. Diamond fluorescence grades include None, Faint, Medium, Strong, or Very Strong.

diamond fluorescence

Fluorescence’s Impact

Although fluorescence is a characteristic that can be measured, it is rarely an issue when selecting a diamond. This is because diamond fluorescence is rarely detectable to the eye. The impact of fluorescence on the value of a diamond depends on its noticeability. Since diamonds graded none or faint fluorescence have little effect on color, the value of these diamonds is not affected. However, some higher grade stones such as those rated D to G may contain a milky white appearance under UV light. This can greatly reduce the stone’s value. On the other hand, fluorescence often adds value to stones with a hint of color, such as I-color and below, as diamond fluorescence often gives the diamond a brighter appearance.

Diamond Fluorescence In Direct Sunlight

Although the sun’s UV rays don’t affect most diamonds, diamonds with very strong fluorescence glow blue under direct sunlight. While the amount of fire and brilliance is not changed, the diamond’s color appears blue. However, even very strong diamond fluorescence will still be faint in most sunlight. Ambient sunlight, such as the light that passes through windows into buildings, will not alter the diamond color. Therefore, while a diamond’s fluorescence may lower the value of a stone, it will still appear gorgeous with great sparkle in nearly every situation. For this reason, many shoppers on a budget will opt for a diamond with strong fluorescence when designing a custom engagement ring.

Learn more about diamond fluorescence in the Adiamor Diamond Color Education guide.

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What’s The Difference Between Colorless and Near Colorless Diamonds?

Gemologists grade diamonds based upon a wide number of factors. The four most important factors are called “The Four C’s,” and this includes diamond color. The best graded diamonds actually refers to the absence of color, and these are known as colorless diamonds. While colorless diamonds are the most valuable, near colorless diamonds also offer a great value. For customers searching for a more affordable diamond ring, picking a near colorless diamond is a great option. Continue reading below to learn more about the difference between colorless and near colorless diamonds.

The Diamond Color Scale

Diamond color is a primary factor in determining the value of a diamond. The most well known rankings of diamond color are provided by the AGS and GIA. Although AGS is one of the standards, the majority of diamond retailers use the GIA scale. This scale rates diamonds from colorless to near colorless followed by faint, very light, and light color. Diamonds beyond a rating of Z on the GIA scale are known as fancy colored diamonds. Diamonds rated D through F are considered colorless diamonds while diamonds in the G through J range are near colorless.

four c's diamond color
Diamond color is an important aspect of the four c’s

 

Near Colorless Diamonds

As their name implies, near colorless diamonds contain only the smallest traces of color. Diamonds are colored by elements trapped inside, such as nitrogen. The nitrogen absorbs blue and violet light, which causes the diamond to appear with a yellow or brownish tint. While near colorless diamonds are not as pure as colorless diamonds, it can be extremely difficult to tell them apart without magnification.  When mounted in jewelry, it can be impossible to differentiate colorless and near colorless diamonds apart.

The Best Value

Since near colorless diamonds are much more affordable than completely colorless diamonds, they are a great value. Additionally, for customers who absolutely must have a colorless diamond, diamonds graded F are an excellent choice. Although these diamonds are graded as colorless, they are a more affordable options than diamonds graded D. Overall, the right diamond for you fits both your style and budget. Be sure to research diamond color in the Adiamor Diamond Education Guide before making a decision. This will allow you to get the best diamond for your budget.

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How To Read ASET Images for Loose Diamonds

Previously on the Adiamor blog, we spent some time breaking down the ASET image as a tool. However, one important topic we did not cover is how to read and use ASET images as a consumer. Although ASET images contain sophisticated information, they are relatively simple to understand. To help our customers make the best possible decisions when buying diamonds online, we will explain how to view ASET images and parse out the diamond specifications they include.

The Meaning of ASET Image Colors

When viewing an ASET image, one of the first things you will notice is there are three main colors: red, green, and blue. The red color represents the brightest light return in a diamond from a direct light source while green demonstrates light return from an indirect light source. This means the red and green colors demonstrate a diamond’s fire and brilliance. The most telling part of an ASET image, though, is provided by the blue colors. Blue is showing the diamond’s internal patterns, and therefore explains the quality of the diamond’s cut. A higher quality diamond cut will provide symmetrical blue coloring. On the other hand, diamonds with poor cut quality will have clustered areas of blue.

The Best Diamonds Have Symmetrical ASET Images

aset image

The easiest way to understand a diamond’s quality by viewing an ASET image is examine the symmetry. Take the above round cut diamond as an example; it is an excellent quality diamond. The more symmetrical the coloring, the higher quality the diamond’s cut. This is because diamonds with ideal proportions will return more light. Therefore, diamonds that return more light and have more sparkle will be more symmetrical. However, because a diamond’s cut is not the only way to measure a diamond’s quality, it is only one part of the equation. Although ASET images are helpful, they are not the only tool for deciding which diamond to purchase.  Before buying a diamond, all of the four c’s must be considered.

 

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What Is An ASET Image?

The quality of diamonds used in fine jewelry is extremely high. This makes diamonds with great fire and brilliance both rare and expensive. When buying diamonds, customers need to have the most information possible. While a knowledge of the four c’s is very important, there are other tools used to help determine the quality and value of a diamond. One such tool is the ASET image.

What does ASET mean?

ASET is an acronym of Angular Spectrum Evaluation Tool. It was designed by the American Gemological Society, or AGS, to show the way a diamond handles light. The purpose of ASET is to provide quantifiable results on diamond light performance. Using this tool, a jeweler or gemologist can explain how the light performance and the diamond’s proportions affect the value of a diamond. These images help customers make a more informed decision when buying diamonds.

What is in an ASET image?

ASET images consist of three colors: red, blue, and green. These colors are representative of light passing through a diamond. Light refracts as it passes through the diamond. Different wave lengths of light appear as different colors. The red color demonstrates the highest amount of light from above. Therefore, red is a good indicator of a diamond’s brilliance. On the other hand, green indicates returned light from less direct sources and reflected back at other angles. Finally, blue shows contrast, or light that enters the diamond but is blocked from returning.

aset image
A sample ASET image of a round diamond

 

Different diamond shapes will present different ASET images, so it is important to understand how to read ASET images. While the AGS created ASET as an evaluation tool, it is not the sole indicator of a diamond’s quality. Additionally, while many diamonds have ASET images, this is not always the case. For instance, recently cut diamonds will often not have one available. If you would like more help in understand a diamond’s ASET image, contact our customer service team today!

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Everything You Need To Know About The Four C’s

When making any purchase, having enough information is crucial. However, when making a once in a lifetime purchase like an engagement ring, you need to be an educated buyer. At Adiamor, we want our customers to make smart purchases. To help our busy customers who are also very much in a hurry, we’ve put together this guide to the four c’s: cut, clarity, color, and carat.

Cut Is King

The single most important factor in buying diamonds is the cut. However, cut is not the shape of the diamond as most people initially think. Diamond cut actually refers to the quality of cutting the raw, mined diamond into its final form. Essentially, the higher quality the diamond’s cut, the higher quality (and therefore, the more expensive) the diamond. The highest quality cut is affinity, then the rankings move to excellent, very good, good, and then fair. For customers looking for the most value, choose a cut rated “very good” or “good.” Customers looking for the most fire and brilliance should choose “excellent” or better.

Some Clarity on Diamond Clarity

All diamonds have internal characteristics, just like a fingerprint. Diamond clarity refers to these internal markings, also known as blemishes. Diamonds that are “eye clean” contain no blemishes that can be seen by the naked eye. These “eye clean” diamonds therefore offer customers the most value. However, these diamonds may still show markings under 10x magnification. When searching for the highest quality diamond, the best clarity rating is flawless followed by by internally flawless then very very slightly included (VVSI). Diamonds rated as slightly included are inspected by gemologists to be certain they are eye clean before they are placed into engagement rings.

four c's diamond color
Diamond color is an important aspect of the four c’s

Diamond Color

Although fancy colored diamonds are rare and valuable, most customers are after a sparkling diamond that is actually colorless. Colorless diamonds are the most rare, and therefore the most expensive. These diamonds are graded D through F. However, near colorless diamonds in the range of G to J offer great value. When mounted in a custom engagement ring, a near colorless diamond will appear virtually colorless.

The All Important Carat Weight

Carat weight refers to the actual size of the diamond. Carats are a unit of measurement equal to 200 milligrams. Additionally, each carat is divided into 100 points; this means a half-carat diamond can be referred to as a “50 pointer.” When determining which size diamond is right for your ring, consider the ring setting and diamond shape along with personal preference. Many customers find a one carat diamond is the ideal size for modest engagement ring. Customers looking for larger center stones tend to enjoy diamonds that are at least 2 carats.

For a more in depth learning experience, visit the Diamond Education center today!

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A Man’s Guide to Understanding Diamond Shapes, Part 2

Yesterday, we spent some time breaking down different diamond shapes. Today we conclude this series with part 2 of our Man’s Guide to Understanding Diamond Shapes.

oval diamondOval Diamond

Oval diamonds have a sparkle similar to round diamonds except with an elongated shape. Like other elongated diamond shapes, the oval diamond makes fingers appear slimmer. The diamond itself appears longer when mounted because of its extended silhouette.  Overall, the oval diamond contains fiery brilliance but with a unique profile which helps it stand out.

heart shaped diamondHeart Shaped Diamond

Just as it sounds, the heart shaped diamond is shaped like a heart. Starting as a pear shape, this diamond shape can only be created by the most skilled diamond cutters. While this diamond shape looks wonderful in engagement rings, it also works well with pendants, too. A primary reason many brides love their heart shaped engagement rings is because the heart symbolizes eternal love.

radiant cut diamondRadiant Cut Diamond

The radiant cut is a brilliant cut like the round diamond except with square or rectangular cut corners. This cut is a popular choice for those who enjoy clean lines but want something with more flair than the princess cut. While the radiant cut diamond is stunning on its own in a solitaire setting, this is one of the diamond shapes that truly shines when surrounding by accents which makes it an excellent choice for threestone or pave settings.

asscher cut diamondAsscher Cut Diamond

The Asscher cutwas created in 1902 by Joseph Asscher. It is very similar to the emerald cut; both are step cuts that have tiered facets and a mirror-like way of reflecting light, however the Asscher is square rather than rectangular in shape. Its geometric look was popular during the Art Deco period, and this has caused a surge in popularity in recent years. It is an excellent diamond shape to match future brides filled with flair and unique style.

Cushion Cut Diamond

Cushion Cut diamonds, also known as “candlelight diamonds,” are an antique cut that originated in the 1800’s. Cushions can be rounded squares or rectangulcushion cut diamondar shapes. Even though the cushion cut diamond is an older style, it still remains popular today because of the amount of sparkle they produce. The cushion cut looks excellent in solitaire settings, especially when the band features vintage designs.

For more information on diamonds, check out the Adiamor Diamond Education center today!