Couture Rocks Fine Jewelry wants you to become knowledgeable about purchasing a diamond. It is our goal to provide educational information as well as the highest quality product for the best value.
The 4 C's of Diamonds
THE 4 C's OF DIAMONDS The 4 C's of diamonds Color, Cut, Clarity, and Carat Weight represent a set of jewelry industry standards for determining grade, quality and value of diamonds.
Diamonds are available in almost any color. However, most consumers request a diamond to be as colorless as possible. An absolute colorless diamond is rare and very expensive. Most diamonds have traces of yellow, brown or gray, which limits light reflection. The less color in a diamond and the more light it reflects will produce a better grade of color. Diamonds are graded by color starting with "D" and continuing through the alphabet. Grades are as follows:
Best Value in Color Grade
D, E, & F- colorless (Has no color and are treasured for its rarity and value.)
TOP QUALITY WITH NO NOTICEABLE COLOR G, H, I, & J - near colorless with a slight yellow cast (Relatively high color and lower price point.)
LOWER QUALITY K, L, & M - faint yellow to brown in color
N, O, P, Q, R - very light yellow color
S-Z - strong yellow and brown colors
After Z are the Fancy Diamond colors with True Yellows to Red, Blue, Green all the colors in the Rainbow!
Couture Rocks Fine Jewelry offers a variety of certified and non-certified diamonds. Certifications are performed by the Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.) or the European Gemological Laboratory (E.G.L.) or the American Gem Society (A.G.S.). In addition, a retail appraisal is furnished with all loose diamond purchases.
The "Cut" of Your Diamond
CUT means the geometric proportions of a diamond as opposed to shape. The cut determines the amount of sparkle in a stone. Diamonds are cut in the main following shapes:
Regardless of its shape, diamonds get their brilliance by the cut and polish of facets (the flat surfaces of a diamond). A well-cut diamond allows the maximum amount of light to reflect from one facet to another releasing fire, sparkle and brilliance. When a stone is cut too shallow or too deep, the light entering through the top refracts through the bottom or sides of the diamond and does not allow the beauty of the stone to be realized. Therefore, poorly cut diamonds have less brilliance or fire and are less valuable than well-cut diamonds.
There are four types of cut:
- Ideal Cut: Provides the maximum amount of reflected light. A brilliant or round cut diamond is the only diamond that may be graded as "ideal cut".
- Very Good Cut: Reflects back nearly all the light that enters the diamond. This is the highest cut grade available in any fancy shape diamond (oval, princess or emerald.)
- Fair Cut: The weight of the diamond is enhanced with a fair cut stone. However, the stone will loose its brilliance and fire with as little as 40 percent being reflected.
- Poor Cut: This is a cloudy, lifeless looking diamond and is not recommended for fine jewelry.
The amount and location of inclusions in a diamond determines the grade of clarity. These grades are as follows:
FL - Flawless (no internal or external inclusions - rare)
IF - Internally Flawless (no internal flaws - extremely rare)
VVS-1, VVS-2 - Very Very Slightly Included
VS-1, VS-2 - Very Slightly Included (difficult to see with 10- power magnification)
SI-1, SI-2 - Slightly Included (can see inclusions with 10- power magnification)
I-1, I-2, I-3 - Included (inclusions may be seen without 10- power magnification)
The CLARITY of a diamond is determined by two types of flaws: internal and external. These flaws, which are natural birthmarks, may also be called "inclusions". External inclusions are impurities on the surface of the diamond. Internal flaws are located in the interior of the stone. These natural imperfections affect a diamond's value. Large flaws may interfere with light reflecting through the diamond and that means less brilliance and sparkle. Therefore a diamond having large flaws is less valuable. Inclusions may include:
- Black or dark spots called "carbon" - Clouds, which are inclusions that lower the transparency of a diamond - Fractures, sometimes called "feathers", cause a breakdown in the chemical structure of a diamond.
CARAT WEIGHT-is what a diamond size is measured in. Each carat is equal to 100 points (i.e., a .50 carat diamond is the same as a 50 point or 1/2 carat diamond).
CARING FOR YOUR DIAMOND There are several ways to care for your diamond. However, we recommend the following:
THE DETERGENT SOAK Prepare a small bowl of warm suds with any mild liquid detergent. Brush diamond jewelry gently with a toothbrush while soaking in suds. Transfer to a wire strainer and rinse under warm running water. Pat dry with a soft, lint free cloth.
THE COLD WATER SOAK Make a half and half solution of cold water and household ammonia in a cup or bowl. Soak your diamond jewelry for approximately 30 minutes. Lift out and brush gently with a small brush. Dip jewelry once more in solution and drain on paper towel. No rinse is necessary.
YEARLY MAINTENANCE We advise you to take your diamond jewelry to a qualified and reputable jeweler for a check up at least every six months. Your jeweler will check for signs of wear and tear as well as test for loose stones. You may also want to request cleaning and polishing at this time.
AVOID THE FOLLOWING WHEN CARING FOR YOUR DIAMOND Do not let your diamond come in contact with chlorine bleach or other household cleaning products. Bleach and other products may damage the ring mounting.
Avoid wearing your diamond when doing rough work or washing dishes. Even though a diamond is durable, it may become chipped along its grain when subjected to a hard blow.
Diamonds are durable but should not be placed in a container with other jewelry since the stone may scratch or damage other fine jewelry.