Most jewelers spend time discussing the "4C's”:
Carat:, This word for the measurement of a diamonds weight is derived from the carob seeds that were used to balance scales in ancient times. A carat is equal to 200 milligrams, and there are 142 carats to an ounce. Carats are further divided into points. There are 100 points in a carat.
Color: Diamonds come in every color of the spectrum, but the most popular gems are colorless. Truly colorless, icy-white diamonds are extremely rare and therefore the most costly. Stones are graded by color and given designations dependent on how far they deviate from the purest white. Colorless stones are graded D. Color grading continues down through the alphabet, with each letter designating a yellower tint. The best way to see the true color of a diamond is by looking at it against a white surface.
Clarity: A diamonds clarity is affected by any external irregularities and internal imperfections created by nature when the diamond was formed. Imperfections such as spots, bubbles or lines are called inclusions. Although these marks make each stone unique, the fewer the inclusions, the more valuable the stone.
Cut: Each diamond is cut according to an exact mathematical formula. The most common cut, the round brilliant, has 58 facets, or small, polished planes designed to yield maximum amount of light to be reflected back to the viewer. This reflection, known as brilliance, is an extremely important factor in evaluating the quality of a diamond. A poorly cut diamond will actually loose light and appear dull.
What most jewelers over look or choose not to discuss with their clients is “Fluorescence” .Most people do not have a clue what Fluorescence is or how it effects the diamond and its value. So what is fluorescence and how does it affect a diamond?
Fluorescence, the effect ultraviolet (UV) light has on a diamond, and should be a important consideration when selecting a diamond. When UV light strikes a diamond with fluorescent properties, the stone emits a glow that is usually blue, but can also be shades of green, yellow, white, pink, orange, and red. The sources of fluorescence, boron and nitrogen, are the same mineral properties that lend to color of the diamond.
Fluorescence can enhance or detract from the beauty of a diamond. The bluish tint can improve a lower-color diamond (J-M color rated) by cancelling out the faint yellow, resulting in a colorless appearance. However, in a very high-color diamond (D-F color rated), fluorescence may have the opposite effect. One of the more common problems of the presence of strong fluorescence is that it creates a foggy, hazy, milky, or oily appearance. For this reason, very fluorescent diamonds can be valued lower than similar diamonds with fluorescent ratings of "None," "Faint," or "Medium."
Often we get people comparing prices for diamonds when shopping for their engagement rings. They will show us a quote from a jeweler and a copy of the certificate for the diamond. On some occasions the price for the diamond they are showing us is below market value or a lot less than we are offering. What we find 99% of the time is that the diamond has a strong blue Florence noted on the certificate. The client has no idea how this affects the quality and price of their diamond because the jeweler did not spend the time to discuss this important aspect about purchasing a diamond. We very rarely sell a diamond with any fluorescence in it at all. If we do sell a diamond with Fluorescence we will explain to the client about fluorescence and what it means and how it affects the current and resale value of the diamond. Talk to your local jeweler about all aspects of buying a diamond. Not just the “4 C’s” You will be amazed at what you find out when speaking to a professional.