Most of the time, men have to contend with buying the engagement ring alone to keep the elementof surprise. Sadly, the male-species often hasn’t got a clue since “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” and there’s no such thing as an engagement dog!
So guys, don’t get ripped off. Two diamonds may look alike and yet may in fact, be very different. Similarly, two diamonds of equal size can have very different values. To understand these differences, it is essential to understand the four C’s–color, clarity, cut and carat weight. The first two Cs describe what nature has done to the stone; the second two, what man might do to it. The same standards apply to most of the other gemstones.
Clarity is the first thing to look for when buying a diamond. The clarity of a diamond is determined by the presence or absence of tiny natural flaws or blemishes known as inclusions. Most inclusions are not visible to the naked eye, but only under powerful magnification. The fewer and smaller the inclusions, the higher the price. While inclusions do not generally affect the diamond’s beauty — and usually cannot be seen — their presence reduces the price.
Diamonds come naturally in every color of the rainbow. It is the colorless diamond that is most valued because it is the most rare. The difference between one color grade and another is very subtle, particularly to the untrained eye. Although increasing shades of yellow reduce the value of a diamond, they do not necessarily reduce its beauty. If a diamond is well cut, its refraction and dispersion of light will often disguise certain degrees of coloration
Many confuse cut with the shape of a diamond. Diamonds are cut into a number of shapes, depending on the nature of the rough stone. The most popular are round, marquise, oval, pear, heart and emerald; the choice is largely a matter of personal preference– so make sure that what you buy suits her taste. Every diamond regardless of its shape gets it brilliancy and scintillation by cutting and polishing the diamond facets to allow the maximum amount of light that enters through its top to be reflected and dispersed back through its top. Of all the variables affecting the value of a diamond, the cut is the most crucial.
Bigger is not necessarily better. A diamond is measured in carats and is the easiest of the 4 C’s to determine. One carat is divided into 100 points, so that a diamond of 75 points, for example, weighs .75 carats. Fine quality can be found in diamonds of all carat weights. If a diamond is cut for beauty, and not maximum yield in weight, it is more desirable than a heavier weight and lumpier stone, and will have the appearance of a larger stone.