Selecting a Diamond
SELECTING A DIAMOND
Diamond jewelry is perfect for special occasions and declarations of love. Since the times of the Renaissance, the diamond gemstone has symbolized courtship, unwavering commitment, and divine love due to its extraordinary physical properties.
Diamonds are crystals of pure carbon created through the crushing pressures and intense heat of the earth deep under its surface. They have the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any bulk material and feature a high dispersion of light which create the fiery aesthetic desirable in jewelry.
Diamonds come in a variety of shapes, colors and aesthetic features. Natural diamonds can include traditional colorless white diamonds, colored diamonds, and black diamonds. The traditional white diamonds found in classic diamond engagement rings are created through the high pressure and intense heat of carbon molecule in the core of the earth. Natural colored diamonds are created similarly, yet with the additional aspect of trapped foreign particles in the carbon stone during the crystallization process, thus accounting for its color. These wildly colored diamonds can vary from brown/red/pink diamonds, gray/blue diamonds, green diamonds, violet/purple diamonds, and orange/yellow diamonds. Each of these colors suggests the trapping of a specific and unique foreign particle in the crystallization process. It is important to note that colored diamonds can be manufactured synthetically through treatment and artificial coloring; you should always ask for the origin of the stone during a diamond jewelry purchase. While traditional white diamonds and colored diamonds can be mined in various geological regions, black diamonds have the added rarity of being geologically specific to the Brazilian diamond industry. They are unique in that they show indications of stellar origins, perhaps through supernovae explosions landed on earth. This is suggested through their trace elements of nitrogen and hydrogen, which are indicators of outer-space origin.
If you are looking to purchase jewelry with a diamond gemstone, it is important to understand the diamond grading and cut you are looking for. Juliet&Oliver is happy to assist you in your jewelry purchases involving diamonds, from design to understanding diamond anatomy. This is especially important in diamond engagement ring shopping for your special someone! Although understanding diamonds may seem overwhelming, knowing the basics of diamond grading is helpful.
While many associated a diamond’s cut with its’ shape, a diamond’s cut actually refers to its proportions, symmetry and polish. Each cut is made expertly to bring out different dimensions of the diamond’s brilliance, fire, and scintillation. Brilliance refers to the white light reflective brightness, fire refers to the flashes of color and dispersion of light within the color spectrum seen within the diamond, and scintillation refers to the sparkling spark and light flashes seen when the diamond is moved in a light source.
Virtually all diamonds are cut in one of ten geometric shapes. The most popular cuts are round, princess, oval, marquise, pear, cushion, emerald, asscher, radiant, and heart. The round cut diamonds represent approximately three quarters of all diamond shapes, while the princess cut stands as the most popular “fancy” diamond shape, especially for engagements. Each shape, however, has a unique history and is cut to express a unique luminance.
A diamond’s carat is its unit of weight. Although distinctly separate from the diamond’s cut, color, and clarity, carat weight is significant in that it communicates the rarity of the diamond. This accounts for the increased price of larger carat weight sizes, regardless of the physical size of the diamond. Though phonetically similar, carat weight is unrelated to Karat, which refers to the purity of gold metal.
A diamond’s clarity refers to the degree to which imperfections and “birthmarks” are seen and present within the stone. The formation process of diamonds beneath the earth makes “birthmark” imperfections a commonality. While common, however, these blemishes interfere with the brilliance of the stone. Therefore, the higher the clarity of the diamond, the more precious the stone is. The clarity of a diamond is scaled on an 11-point scale, with “flawless” diamonds at most valuable and “included” diamonds at least valuable.
Diamonds come in a variety of colors including pinks, blues and yellows. The most common white diamond, however, is valued according to true color rather than body color. The diamond color scale varies from “colorless” to “near” “faint” “very light” and “light” color presence. The less evident the color-tint within a white diamond, the more pure its true color and the higher its value is.
When selecting a diamond jewelry from Juliet&Oliver, you can rest assured that you have made an ethical, conflict-free diamond purchase. Blood diamonds or diamonds mined in unethical war-zone regions and sold to finance armed rebellion, have regretfully made their way into the mainstream diamond industry. Through our commitment to diamond purchases from only ethically-sourced production, we can guarantee a conflict-free diamond gemstone in your diamond jewelry purchase.