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Education – Select Diamond Imports
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The Four C`s
The Four C’s of Diamond Knowledge, Carat Weight, Colour, Clarity and Cut are a universal diamond grading system that is recognized by all diamond laboratories. The following information will hopefully answer some of your questions and clarify the mystique of the diamond.
Colour
Diamonds come in every colour of the spectrum, but the most popular gems are white. Truly colourless, icy-white diamonds are extremely rare and therefore the most costly. Stones are graded by colour and given designations dependent on how far they deviate from the purest white. Colourless stones are graded D E F (extremely rare), and nearly colourless diamonds are in the G H I J range. Colour grading continues down through the alphabet, with each letter designating a darker yellow tint. The best way to see the true colour of a diamond is by looking at it against a white surface. Although the great majority of diamonds come in shades of white, the gems also come in a spectrum of majestic colours, from red and canary yellow, to blue, green, and brown. These colourful diamonds, known as fancies, are valued for their depth of colour, just as white diamonds are valued for their lack of colour.
Cut
The cut of a diamond has a tremendous effect on its brilliance. Even if a diamond has the perfect colour and clarity, a poor cut can make a diamond look dull. When buying diamonds, Select Diamond Imports chooses exceptional cuts that present the most beautiful brilliance in the diamond to meet your budget. The cut of a diamond refers to its proportions. A diamond's ability to reflect light and display fire and brilliance is a direct result of how the diamond is cut. Of the 4 C’s, the cut is the only aspect directly influenced by people. Carat, colour, and clarity are dictated by nature. Cut has the most influence on the sparkle of the diamond. If the diamond is not a fine-cut (if it is shallow or deeply cut), light escapes through the bottom of the diamond. Even diamonds with higher colour and clarity just don't seem to have brilliance or ``life`` if they are not finely cut.
Parts of a Diamond

The cutlet is the point at the bottom of the pavilion where the lower facets come together.

Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose light because the light escapes through the side or bottom. As a result, the diamond becomes less brilliant.

The girdle is the diameter/edge of the diamond. This is where the top portion (crown) meets the bottom portion (pavilion)

The polish of the diamond assists in the overall brilliance of the diamond.

Symmetry refers to how well the facets align with each other.

The facet on the top of the diamond is called the table. The purpose of the table is to allow light into and out of the diamond. Hence, proper table proportion helps to maximize the light reflection and brilliance.

This is a “glow” that emits from some diamonds when they are subjected to an ultraviolet (UV) light. For the most part, diamonds will have fluorescence in two colours, blue and yellow. Some diamonds do not have fluorescence, while others do.
 

Diamond Shapes
Since all diamond shapes are very different, unique characteristics determine quality for each shape. Review the various diamond shapes below to learn how to recognize the most beautiful diamonds. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact Select Diamond Imports to help you find the diamond that's perfect for you.

ASSCHER

This beautifully unique shape is nearly identical to an Emerald Cut Diamond, except that it is square. Also, this shape has a pavilion that is cut with rectangular facets in the same style as the Emerald Cut Diamond. An Asscher Cut Diamond’s shape highlights the clarity of the diamond.

CUSHION

This unique shape has been popular for more than a century. Cushion Cut Diamonds (also known as “pillow-cut” diamonds) have rounded corners and larger facets to increase their brilliance. These larger facets highlight the diamond’s clarity. Cushion Cut Diamonds are available in shapes ranging from square to rectangular. To find the dimension of cushion you want, look for the length-to-width ratio in the diagram below. The length-to-width ratio will determine the diamond’s outline, or what it will look like when viewed fro the top.

EMERALD

What makes this shape different is its pavilion, which is cut with rectangular facets to create a unique optical appearance. Due to its larger, open table, this shape highlights the clarity of a diamond. Emerald Cut Diamonds can vary greatly in how rectangular they are. If you prefer an Emerald Cut with a squared outline, look for an Asscher Cut Diamond. To find the shape of Emerald you want, look for the length-to-width ratio in the diagram below. The length-to-width ratio will determine the diamond’s outline, or what it will look like when viewed from the top.

HEART

The unique look of the Heart Shaped Diamond helps make it a distinctive choice for a variety of diamond jewellery. To find the dimension of heart-shape you want, look to the length-to-width ratio diagram below. The length-to-width ratio will determine the diamond’s outline, or what it will look like when viewed from the top.

MARQUISE

The shape of a Marquise Cut Diamond can maximize carat weight, giving you a much larger-looking diamond. This brilliant-cut diamond makes fingers appear long and slender. To find the dimension of Marquise you want, look at the length-to-width ratio diagram below. The length-to-width ratio will determine the diamond’s outline, or what it will look like when viewed from the top.

OVAL

An Oval Cut Diamond has beautiful brilliance that’s similar to a Round Brilliant Cut Diamond. Oval Cut Diamonds are also very popular as their length can accentuate long, slender fingers. To find the dimension of Oval you want, look at the length-to-width ratio diagram below. The length-to-width ratio will determine the diamond’s outline, or what it will look like when viewed from the top.

PEAR

This brilliant-cut diamond is also called a teardrop for its single point and rounded end. The unique look of the Pear shape helps make it a popular choice for a variety of diamond jewellery. If you choose an elongated pear shape, the length of the diamond creates a subtle slimming effect on the fingers. To understand what the diamond will look like when viewing it from above, look at the length-to-width ratio diagram below

PRINCESS

This is the most popular non-round diamond. Its beautiful brilliance and unique cut makes it a striking diamond for an engagement ring. The Princess Cut Diamond has pointed corners and is traditionally square in shape. Princess Cut Diamonds can vary greatly in how square or rectangular they are. To find the dimension of Princess Cut you want, look at the length-to-width ratio in the diagram below. This will determine what the diamond will look like when viewing it from above.

RADIENT

Trimmed corners are the signature of this diamond, and they help make the Radiant Cut Diamond a popular and versatile choice for jewellery. Radiant Cut Diamond can vary in their degree of rectangularity. To find the dimension of Radiant you want, look for the length-to-width ratio in the diagram below. The length-to-width ratio will determine the diamond’s outline, or what it will look like when viewed from the top.

ROUND

The Round Brilliant Cut Diamond is the most popular and most researched diamond shape available today. For almost 100 years, diamond cutters have been using advanced theories of light behaviour and precise mathematical calculations to optimize the fire and brilliance in a round diamond. A Round Brilliant Cut Diamond will also typically give you more flexibility in terms of balancing cut, color, and clarity grades while still getting the fire and brilliance you want. To maximize the brilliance of a traditional Round Brilliant Cut Diamond, select one with very good proportions, symmetry & polish.

Jewellery Education
Purchasing jewellery can be an exciting and worthwhile experience. However, it is important to understand what fine metals are being used and the qualities of the precious stones being set. Therefore if you are purchasing jewellery for the first time, or are looking to brush up on your skills, our jewellery education is here to help.
Carat Weight
The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. Since larger diamonds are more rare than smaller diamonds, diamond values tend to rise exponentially with carat weight. Carat weight describes the measurement of a diamond's weight. Carat is derived from the carob seeds that were used to balance scales in ancient times. One carat is divided into 100 units called points. Some people commonly confuse carat weight with size. Although a well-cut 1.00ct round diamond measures 6.5mm in diameter, a poorly cut 1.00ct can measure more or less depending on whether the diamond is shallow or deeply cut.
Clarity
Diamonds completely free from internal flaws, or inclusions, are very rare and highly valued. Clarity is graded based on the number, location, size, and type of inclusions found in a diamond. A diamond's clarity is affected by any external irregularities and internal imperfections created by nature when the diamond was formed. A diamond's clarity affects its rarity and value. Virtually all natural diamonds contain identifying characteristics. These are nature's birthmarks, and they may look like tiny crystals, clouds, or feathers. Some inclusions may be visible to the naked eye, however the diamond grading process is performed under 10X magnification.
Diamond Jewellery Design
The four C's provide the basics for purchasing a diamond. However there are countless diamond stone styles, accent diamonds, and settings that need to be determined in order to create the ideal custom diamond jewellery.
Diamond Settings

PRONG

One of the most popular setting styles for diamonds, the Prong setting holds a diamond in place with (usually) six prongs.  A prong setting shows off the entire diamond, and allows a large amount of light to enter the stone for a dazzling effect. The downside is that you do need to inspect the prongs regularly to ensure they are not damaged, and your stone is more exposed to knocks that could damage it. Because of this a prong setting is not always suited to someone who works with their hands a lot, in these cases a bezel setting may be preferable. The prong setting is used predominantly in engagement rings, but many other pieces that showcase gorgeous diamonds also incorporate it.

FLUSH

The flush setting is similar to a bezel diamond setting, however the top (table) of the stone is the only part exposed.  Many jewelers set smaller diamonds flush in the band of a ring, creating patterns and highlights to the band, as well as the main stones. The flush diamond setting is not often used for the main stones of a ring, since it makes the diamond ‘less prominent’.

TENSION

A modern setting style, often used in decorative rings, the tension setting gives a diamond a ‘free’ appearance.  A tension setting ring will often have a band of metal that is separated and overlapping, the natural ‘spring’ in the metal will then hold the diamond in place when placed between this metal overlap. While the tension setting looks amazing, it can be easily damaged by sharp knocks, and the ring cannot be resized.

CHANNEL

Channel settings are commonly used in both the band of a ring, and in earrings.  Set between two strips of metal, channel diamonds are flush with the metal, which keeps them comfortable to wear, and safe from damage.  The channel setting is very popular in wedding rings, where it highlights the centre stone.

PAVE

The pave setting is most often used in ring bands, but can also be found on earrings and pendants. The Pave setting will generally incorporate a large number of small diamonds laid flush with the metal band, very close together but not touching.  This creates a solid layer of sparkle, which can make a whole ring sparkle!

BAR

The bar setting is also common in both rings and earrings.  Whilst it is similar to the channel setting in use, it looks very different, as the sides of the diamonds lay exposed, and the stones are held in place instead by metal bars between the stones. Many people love this look as the metal contrasts and separates each diamond.

Alloys
There are several metals used in the creation of fine jewellery. By knowing information about the different metals, their benefits compared with each other and their unique qualities you will be able to make a better and more informed decision about purchasing your jewellery. The metal types commonly used to make jewellery include Gold,White Gold, Rose Gold, Palladium, Platinum, Titanium, Sterling Silver and Stainless Steel.