The Four Cs
What are these Four Cs everyone is always talking about? What if you've never purchased a diamond? How will you know if what you are looking at is a quality stone? And how will you know the value of your stone?
The best place to start is with an American Gem Society accredited store. The AGS requires strict adherence to standards of ethics, pricing and truth in advertising. AGS trained titleholders also have achieved the highest level of training available in the industry, making them experts on gemstones and diamonds, an invaluable resource when picking out a stunning stone.
Now on to the four factors that make a diamond more than just compressed coal. But remember, the most important facet to purchasing a diamond is what you fall in love with. The perfect diamond is what looks perfect to you.
Cut refers to the angles and proportions a skilled craftsman creates in transforming a rough diamond into a polished diamond.
A well-cut diamond will reflect light internally from one mirror-like facet to another, dispersing it through the top of the stone. Cuts that are too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom, affecting the diamond's brilliance.
Diamond cutting requires great skill and training. The cutter must polish tiny surfaces known as facets onto the rough diamond. The facets, when arranged in precise proportions, will maximize the fire life and brilliance of a diamond. To cut a diamond perfectly, a craftsman will often need to cut away more than 50% of the rough diamond.
At Gasser's, we specialize in what's referred to as the "ideal cut" diamond - a stone that is cut perfectly to optimize the natural beauty of the stone. An ideal cut diamond will sparkle brilliantly in any light and is a truly breathtaking stone. Most people don't understand the allure of diamonds until they experience an ideal cut.
Most diamonds appear icy white, but many have tiny hints of color. Diamonds are graded on a color scale established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), ranging from D (colorless) to Z.
Colorless diamonds are extremely rare, and therefore very valuable. But there are no hard and fast rules for what color makes a diamond beautiful. The Incomparable, one of the world's most beautiful diamonds, contains hints of brown, smoky amber and champagne colors.
Diamonds are also sometimes found in 'fancy' colors: pink, blue, green, yellow, brown, orange and, very rarely, red. These diamonds, called 'fancies' are incredibly rare and valuable. These colors extend beyond the GIA color grading system.
Here at Gasser's, we have an extensive selection of diamonds of different color grades and a beautiful collection of fancy colored diamond jewelry.
Diamonds, like people, have natural blemishes in their make-up. These tiny faults, or inclusions, are formed by minerals or fractures while the diamond is forming in the earth.
When light enters a diamond, it is reflected and refracted out. If there is anything disrupting the flow of light in the diamond, such as an inclusion, a proportion of the light reflected will be lost.
Most inclusions are not visible to the naked eye unless magnified.
Inclusions are ranked on a scale of perfection, or clarity, which ranges from FL (No visible characteristics under magnification), to I (Characteristics visible with the naked eye). This grading method rates diamonds on the size, nature and positioning of the birthmarks and requires an expert eye to assess.
To view inclusions, trained gemologists use a magnifying loupe. This tool allows our experts to see a diamond at 10x its actual size. Even with a loupe, the birthmarks in the VVS (Very, Very Slightly Included) to VS (Very Slightly Included) range can be very difficult to find. It is only when a diamond is graded 'I' that it is possible to see the birthmarks with the naked eye.
What's the difference between VVS1 and VVS2 or SI1 and SI2? The numbers represent levels within each grade. The 1s will be cleaner (have fewer or smaller inclusions) than the 2s. This allows for more precise grading categories.
Carat is often confused with size even though it is actually a measure of weight. The cut of a diamond can make it appear much larger or smaller than its actual weight.
High carat diamonds often appear to be brighter or more brilliant than their lower carat siblings due to the prism effect of light traveling over larger distances. However, carat is merely one of the factors to take into consideration when appraising the quality of the stone.
One carat (not to be confused with Karat-the measure of purity of gold) is the equivalent of 200 milligrams. One carat can also be divided into 100 "points." A .75 carat diamond is the same as a 75-points or a 3/4 carat diamond.
It is often assumed that a 1-carat diamond costs exactly twice the price of a 1/2-carat diamond. This is not the case. Since larger diamonds are found less frequently in nature, a 1-carat diamond will cost much more than twice as much as a 1/2-carat diamond, assuming color, clarity and cut remain constant.
In store, we carry a variety of weights of diamonds to fit your needs. Our diamond experts are also experienced at finding the most brilliant stone to fit any budget.