Perhaps the most wonderful thing about beautiful diamonds is that as one learns about them the more their natural beauty stirs the body. The following information will not fog your mind with unnecessary details, but rather increase your capacity for appreciation of nature’s most perfect creation.

Certain features allow us to compare and evaluate a diamonds beauty. These features are known as the 4C’s: carat weight, color, clarity and cut. The 4C’s have a legitimate place in every presentation because they do help determine the cost of a diamond. However, three of the 4C’s, carat weight, color and clarity are largely related to natural ‘rarity’.

LESSON 1: CUT

A polished diamond’s beauty lies in its complex relationship with light; (reflects & refracts) how light strikes the surface, how much light enters the diamond, and in what form light returns to your eye.
A diamonds ‘cut quality’ has three major components:

Proportions: the size and angle relationships that exist between the diamond’s facets.
Key proportions include table size, crown angle, girdle thickness, & pavilion depth

Symmetry: refers to the exactness of the shape and arrangement of facets.

Polish: The smoothness and luster (shine)of the diamond’s facet surfaces.
Polish creates scintillation – the dance of light that a diamond displays.

Some examples of diamond cuts:

SHALLOW
Light reflects through bottom
IDEAL
Light reflects through top
DEEP
Light reflects through sides
LESSON 2: CARAT WEIGHT

The term carat is the most easily understood of the 4 C’s, and is used to express the weight of a diamond. Diamond weight may also be referred to as points. A 1-carat diamond is equal to 100 ‘points’. A ¾- carat diamond equals 75 ‘points’.

LESSON 3: COLOR

The color scale extends from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). Although, many people think of gem quality diamonds as colorless, most diamonds used in jewelry are near colorless with tints of yellow or brown. Color grades are determined by comparing each diamond to a master set. Each letter grade represents a range of color, and is a measure of noticeable color. Diamonds graded D-F are the most valuable for they provide an icy-white visual appearance. However, Harold Steven’s also recommends looking at diamonds in the G-I color range because they showcase undetectable differences in beauty, but are purchased at a lower price point. The difference between one color grade and the next is very minimal; although side by side comparisons will show differences in color shades. Ultimately, color choice comes down to personal taste. At Harold Steven’s we will show you a variety of color grades next to one another, and help you uncover the wonderful options of buying a diamond that looks good to your EYE, and NOT what sounds good.

LESSON 4: CLARITY

Given that diamonds form under tremendous heat and pressure, internal and external characteristics (inclusions) are common. It is virtually impossible to find a diamond without any inclusions or ‘natural markings’. These natural fingerprints are often invisible to the naked eye, but under magnification one can begin to identify minute clouds, dark spots or crystals.
The smaller and fewer inclusions in a diamond, the more rare the diamond and the more valuable it becomes.

Keep in mind, diamond clarity is largely related to natural rarity, and in most cases have little or no effect on VISUAL BEAUTY. All diamonds are graded according to their appearance & inclusions are ranked on a scaled of perfection.

Flawless:
No internal/external flaws; very rare

IF (Internally Flawless):
Slight external blemishes, but no internal flaws

VVS1, VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included 1 & 2):
Minimal inclusions, excellent quality and cannot see inclusions to the naked eye.

SI1, SI2 (Slightly Included 1 & 2):
Visible inclusions under magnification, but cannot always be seen to the naked eye. A good clarity to be searching for.

I1, I2, I3 (Inclusions):
Inclusions visible to the naked eye.
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