Birthstone of April
April – the rainy month of spring accustomed to bringing life back into nature, and this month was bestowed with one of the most sought out jewels as its birthstone – the Diamond.
The word “Diamond” is said to derive from the Greek word “adamas” meaning “unconquerable” or “invincible.” With a hardness of 10 on the Mohs’ Scale, this gemstone has gained the status as the hardest mineral known to man. Because of its impeccable hardness, the diamond is a very desirable gemstone for jewelry, especially when it comes to women.
Throughout centuries the diamond has been associated with the Royal family, in fact many of the Queen’s heirlooms contain immaculate diamonds. From the crowns to tiaras to brooches, diamonds are not foreign to this family, the value on this entire collection remains a mystery but it is definitely a hefty amount.
Purchasing a diamond may seem to be an easy task, “if it looks appealing, then that’s all that matters” – wrong, there is actually a more in depth aspect when it comes to purchasing a diamond. Cut, clarity, colour and carat are the four main characteristics that play a huge role when it comes to distinguishing a high quality diamond from one of lower quality.
Cut – Out of the four C’s this is probably the most important because the brilliance of the diamond depends on the cut. It has to deliver the beauty of the gemstone in the utmost way. To judge a cut of a diamond, simply examine how the light hits its surface; the best are symmetrical cuts, where the light is reflected perfectly with no dark spots. The different kind of cuts include:
- Asscher Cut
- Cushion Cut
- Emerald Cut
- Heart Cut
- Oval Cut
- Pear Cut
- Princess Cut
- Radiant Cut
- Round Brilliant Cut
It is up to the jeweler to cut the diamond to let out its maximum potential in sparkle.
Clarity – We all know that not everything can be perceived as “perfect” and nonetheless, a diamond does not fall far from this category as well. Diamonds contain tiny internal flaws that are known as “inclusions.” Many gemstones in general contain inclusions because of its formation within the earth; one might even refer to them as “birthmarks.” Generally, it is very rare to find a diamond without inclusions, but yet these very inclusions are responsible for optical phenomena and are usually an added value.
Colour – Diamonds can be found in colours ranging from blue, green, pink, yellow and colourless; colourless being the most desirable than the others. A colourless diamond is like glass, allowing more light to pass through and thus emitting more sparkle than the others. To grade the “colourlessness” of a diamond, a majority of jewelers refer to GIA’s (Gemological Institute of America) professional scale, continuing all the way to Z:
Diamonds graded between D and F are unsurprisingly the most rare of the bunch and therefore are the most valuable and desirable; but to the untrained eye, a person can pass of lesser valuable diamonds just as brilliantly.
Carat – A carat is not a vegetable, it is a unit of measurement used to determine the weight and value of a gemstone (a karat is used to determine the purity of gold). The process by which a diamond is formed by the earth happens in rare cases, and thus only small quantities are produced. It is very rare to find a large diamond and this is why the price of a diamond varies greatly per carat depending on the size of the actual diamond.
These four C’s are at the top of the charts when it comes to purchasing a diamond, but there is also a fifth hidden C when it comes to loose diamonds – certification. Certificates are a way to tell the diamonds authenticity and its actual value. It precisely points out all individual characteristics including inclusions that can be found on the diamond. Two of the world’s highly regarded diamond laboratories that issue these certificates are GIA and AGS (American Gem Society). So, next time you look to buying a diamond, keep in mind these five C’s, because you’d want the best diamond that you can afford.