Before you purchase a new diamond ring, anniversary ring, or engagement ring, you should have an idea of what you’re searching for, and some idea of how not to be fooled by a convincing fake! Kranich’s Jewelers would like to introduce you to the ‘Four C’s’ of diamond selection, a handy guide to valuing diamonds and telling them apart from synthetic stones!
The ‘Four C’s’ represent: color, clarity, cut, and carat weight, and these are the four value factors that professional gemologists and jewelers use to describe stones. These four factors, when taken together, provide a rough estimate of a stone’s value.
‘Color’ represents the letter value that is ascribed to the color the diamond bears before it is set. All diamonds contain microscopic discolorations that can be seen by a professional gemologist. The better the letter, the better the overall color of the gem. Values of D, E, and F are for diamonds that are virtually colorless. G, H, and I are for diamonds that are very nearly colorless, while K, L, and M represent gems with a slight tint, grades N, O, P, Q, and R being fairly tinted, usually a slight yellowish color, and lastly, grades S through Z being used for diamonds that are noticeably tinted, so much so the discoloration can be seen by the naked eye.
Cubic zirconia, moissanite, and other diamond replicas will frequently be unnaturally clear and colorless. Grown in a lab setting, these stones are not subject to the same imperfections that natural diamonds from the earth are.
‘Clarity’ represents the overall integrity of the gem, or in other words, how free of scratches, chips, interior cracks, or other flaws, all known as inclusions, it is. Most such flaws are only visible through a gemologists’ scope or other looking device such as a jewelers’ loupe. Clarity is an important factor, even if you can’t tell the difference between a clear and unclear gem at a glance, and the clearer the diamond, the more it’s worth. You should be carefully to know the flaws your diamond has, because each one is a possible weak spot on the diamond to be mindful of.
Replica or simulated diamonds will likewise be unnaturally free of such internal and external flaws. Real diamonds are created under extreme pressure and heat that leaves scars; simulants are created in laboratories under precise and controlled conditions.
‘Cut’ is possibly the most subjective to your diamond’s monetary value, but for many people it’s the most important when determining personal value. The fashion in which the diamond has been shaped is its cut, and you probably know many of them by familiar names like ‘princess’, ‘heart’, ’emerald-cut’, ‘pear’, ‘round brilliant’, ‘cushion’, ‘marquise’ and so on. While a poor cut can negatively effect the value of a diamond overall, a well-crafted shape does little to affect the price of the gem. Still, various cuts mean different things or bear different significance to different people, and has a lot of bearing on what stones are purchased or passed on. Another more important component of the cut of a diamond is it’s ability to reflect light. The more optimum the facets of a diamond are, the more sparkle and fire is generated while the light is reflected back out of the stone. It will cause the diamond to dance in the light, therefore be much more eye appealing and noticeable. Conversely, a poorly cut diamond will appear dead and lifeless.
Imitation diamonds frequently receive the same cuts as the genuine article, though a sloppy cut can be indicative of a stone of lesser value. However, this is the hardest factor by which to judge a stone on sight.
‘Carat’, lastly, is a simple expression of how much the diamond weighs. Obviously, the larger and heavier the diamond, the more monetary value it has. One carat is equal to 1/5 of a gram. Generally you will find that larger diamonds vastly out value their smaller cousins, as larger diamonds are rare and, thus, more in demand. In fact, one large diamond is frequently worth double, triple, or many times over more than its’ equivalent carat weight in smaller diamonds, and the price goes up exponentially the larger the diamonds get!
Thanks to replica stones being relatively cheap, they can be created in large sizes and sold for prices anywhere from fair to drastically overinflated, in such cases as they are being passed off as genuine. Use your common sense; if a diamond seems too big to be as cheap as it’s being sold for, chances are good it’s not a real diamond at all!
Naturally, the only way to be completely sure how much your diamond ring is worth is to take it to be valued by a certified gemologist or AGS Jeweler, who will consider all of these factors when judging the value of your stone and be able to tell you definitively if your stone is a genuine diamond. Alternatively, if you’re still looking for that perfect, gem, shop in confidence with Kranich’s Jewelers and be assured to get a clear, brilliant, well-cut diamond at a value price!
To learn more or for questions about any specific piece, please call 888.944.4575 and we will be happy to assist you.