A BRIEF TUTORIAL ON DIAMONDS AND JEWELRY
A Brief History of Diamonds
The world’s love of diamonds had its start in India, where diamonds were gathered from the country’s rivers and streams. Some historians estimate that India was trading in diamonds as early as the fourth century BC. It should come as no surprise that our western culture was not the first to be lured by the hypnotic spell the diamond casts. Consider the ancient Greeks and Romans who believed diamonds were tears of the Gods and splinters from falling stars. Then, there were the Hindus, who attributed so much power to these precious stones they went so far as to place diamonds in the eyes of some of their statues. India’s resources yielded limited quantities for an equally limited market: country’s very wealthy classes. Gradually, though, this changed. Indian diamonds found their way, along with other exotic merchandise to Western Europe in the caravans that traveled to Venice’s medieval markets. By the 1400s, diamonds had become fashionable accessories for Europe’s elite.
Today, diamonds continue to hold a deep fascination as the world’s ultimate mark of love. Diamond characterizes wealth, strength, status, and peerless quality. Not only was it believed that diamonds could bring luck and success, but also that they could counter the effects of astrological events. Some even wrote about diamonds as living beings, embodying celestial spirits. Through the centuries, rings have perpetuated the talismanic role of the diamond. In the middle Ages and Renaissance period, every ring that was set with a precious stone was not considered so much as a piece of jewelry, but more as an amulet that conveyed magical powers like fearlessness and invincibility upon the wearer. This myth laid the groundwork for monarchs to begin wearing diamonds as symbols of power.
In the present days, the diamond’s rarity and natural splendor are the characters that have contribute to making the diamond such a special and charming gift.
A crash course in diamonds
Purchase a piece of diamond jewelry is an exhilarating and unique experience. As with any significant purchase, and we all know that buying a diamond can sometimes be intimidating. But as long as you're armed with a little knowledge, it doesn’t have to be. We have prepared a step-by-step plan that will help you make your decision with lots of fun and excitement.
Many people are confused about how diamonds are priced. The best explanation is that asking for the price of a diamond is like asking for the price of a house. A real estate agent can’t quote you a price for a house without knowing its size, condition, location, etc. This process is the same one used when buying a diamond. A diamond’s beauty, rarity, and price depend on the interplay of all the 4Cs—CUT, CLARITY, CARAT, and COLOR.
The 4Cs are used throughout the world to classify the rarity of diamonds. Diamonds with the combination of the highest 4C ratings are more rare and, consequently, more expensive. No one C is more important than another in terms of beauty and it is important to note that each of the 4Cs will not diminish in value over time.
Once you have established those 4C characteristics that are most important to you, a jeweler can then begin to show you various options with quoted prices.
As you know, diamond weights are expressed in metric measurements called carats. One CARAT is equal to 200 milligrams, 1/5 of a gram, or 0.200 gram. A CARAT is pretty small: It takes 142 of them to make an ounce. In the US, that’s the weight of a first-class letter, so you could send 142 one-CARAT diamonds in an envelope with a single postage stamp.
When written, CARAT is usually abbreviated “ct”. CARAT weights are usually expressed as decimal numbers: 1.00 ct., 0.23 ct., 1.57 cts., and so on. A CARAT is the standard unit of weight for most gemstones, not just diamonds. As you learned in assignment 1, the metric CARAT is divided into 100 points. The abbreviation for point is “pt.” A diamond CARAT weight influences its value.
CLARITY represents the existence of inclusions and blemishes in a diamond.
Inclusions are normal classifying distinctiveness such as minerals or fractures, appearing while diamonds are formed in the earth. They may look like pinpoints, minute crystals, clouds, feathers or even naturals.
To view inclusions, jewelers usually use either a magnifying loupe or a microscope. These tools provide jewelers to examine a diamond at 10x or closer to its actual size. The position, size, number, nature and COLOR of inclusions can affect the value of a diamond. The rarity of flawless diamonds makes them extremely precious.
Inclusions are graded on a scale of flawlessness, known as CLARITY, which was established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in 1953. The CLARITY scale, ranging from F (Flawless) to highly Included (I3), is based on the visibility of inclusions at a magnification of 10x.
Sometimes, a mounting can hide an inclusion of a diamond. An inclusion in the center of a diamond could influence the dispersal of light, occasionally making the diamond less sparkling.
The better a diamond's CLARITY, the brighter, precious and scarce it is. Here is a chart that would help understand what each grade of CLARITY means.
Represents the measure to which a diamond is colorless. Diamonds varies in COLOR from snowy winter whites to heat up summer whites. Diamonds are graded on a COLOR scale recognized by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which ranges from D (colorless) to Z.
COLOR differences are very slight and it is very tricky to distinguish between, say, an E and an F. Therefore, colors are graded under prescribed lighting conditions and are put side by side to a master set for precision.
In fact colorless stones, graded D, precious for their rarity, are highest on the Diamond Quality Pyramid. COLOR, however, ultimately comes down to personal taste.
CUT refers to the angles and proportions of a diamond.
The way diamond is cut can affect its CLARITY and even its COLOR, CUT governs the interaction between a diamond and the light around it, and that interaction determines the diamond’s overall appearance. Based on scientific formula, a well-cut diamond will internally reflect light from one mirror-like facet to another and disperse and reflect it through the top of the stone. This results in a display of brilliance and fire, thereby placing well-cut diamonds higher on the Diamond Quality Pyramid than deep or shallow-cut diamonds. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in less brilliance and ultimately, value.
CUT also refers to shape—round, square, pear, or heart for example. Since a round diamond is symmetrical and capable of reflecting nearly all the light that enters, it is the most brilliant of all diamond shapes and follows specific proportional guidelines. Ask a jeweler to find out more about these guidelines.
Non-round shapes, also known as “fancy shapes,” will have their own guidelines to be considered well cut.
The Fifth C: Certainty
Honest jeweler is the first step to a smart diamond purchase. To find a jeweler you can trust, ask your family and friends for recommendations. Your jeweler should be honest as well as knowledgeable about diamonds and help you feel comfortable making this important purchase.
JEWERLY CARE AND CLEANING
Diamond Jewelry is one of your most precious investments of all; it becomes even more precious and memorable when it was gifted to you on a special occasion. Diamonds and diamond jewelry must be kept neat at all times, weather they are being worn or not. In order to assist you with this important matter, we have set aside some helpful guidelines for you.
Cleaning diamond jewelry at a regular period of time is also extremely important. Cleaning your diamond jewelry will,
Please feel free to give Banvari.com a call, should you have any questions regarding cleaning and caring of your diamond jewelry.
Sizing Your Finger for the Ring
Since ring size is affected by the weather, time of day, weight, diet and many other factors, the most reliable method for sizing a ring is to wear it for several months under a variety of conditions. If you do not know your ring size, you may want to pay a visit to your local jeweler. If none of these options is available, you can use the following method to determine your approximate ring size.
Important: To get the most accurate reading, make sure your hands and fingers are warm, preferably at room temperature.
How to measure your ring size?
1. Find a piece of string or strip of paper no wider than 3/4".
2. Wrap it around the base of the appropriate finger.
3. Use a pen to mark the point on the string/paper where it overlaps, forming a complete circle.
4. With a ruler, measure the length from the starting end of the string/paper to the pen mark.
5. Use this measurement and the chart on the bottom to determine your ring size.