Learn the 5 C’s of buying a diamond or gemstone

 

When buying a diamond – or any gemstone for that matter, you need to know your 5 C’s – carat, cut, color, clarity, and confidence. Here at Bernard’s Jewelers, we want you to leave with the confidence you made the perfect decision.

Cut

The diamond’s cut refers to the angles and proportions of a diamond.  The cut of a diamond pertains to the exact proportions, quality of polish and the arrangement of a diamond’s facets. While nature regulates a diamond’s clarity, carat weight and color, the skills of a master craftsman is essential to bring out the diamonds’ fire and sparkle.

Cutting of a diamond takes extreme precision and patience. Perfectly cut diamonds will reflect light entering from the top or “table,” refract the light in a balanced manner throughout the diamond, and exit the light back out through the top portion of the diamond. The quality of a diamond’s cut and it’s proportions can have a significant effect on its price. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow, reduce or leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in less brilliance, fire, sparkle and value. The cut can impact the value of a diamond by as much as 35%!

To achieve an ideal or perfectly cut diamond, more of the raw material or “rough” is lost in the cutting process, which creates a higher cost for the diamond from the onset of the cutting process. This also explains why all diamonds are not perfectly cut.

Color

The color of a diamond refers to the degree to which a diamond is colorless.  The farther from colorless that a diamond’s grade is, the more common and therefore less valuable it is.  The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grade diamonds on a scale they established, which ranges from D (Colorless) to Z.

In most cases, the more colorless the diamond the more rare and valuable it is. Some diamonds come out of the ground with very vivid and well-defined colors. These diamonds are extremely rare and valuable.

Clarity

A diamond’s clarity refers to the presence of inclusions in a diamond. Inclusions are natural distinguishing characteristics such as minerals or fractures, that are created when diamonds are being formed. They may appear as tiny crystals, clouds or feathers. Inclusions are commonly viewed at 10x magnification. The position of inclusions can greatly affect the value of a diamond.  Some inclusions can be hidden by a mounting, thus having little effect on the beauty of a diamond. An inclusion in the middle or top of a diamond could affect the dispersion of light, causing the diamond to be less brilliant. Inclusions are ranked on a scale of perfection called the clarity scale. The scale ranges from F (Flawless) to I (Imperfect) and is based on the visibility of inclusions at 10X magnification.

The skilled diamond grader takes many characteristics into consideration when grading the clarity of diamonds. Every diamond is unique with distinctive internal and external characteristics. Flawless stones have no inclusions or surface blemishes and internally flawless diamonds can have minor surface blemishes that can be polished or removed to reach the flawless grade.

Carat Weight

A diamond’s weight is measured in what is known as a “carat”, which is a unit of measurement equal to 200 milligrams. Carat is not a measure of a diamond’s size, but instead is a measure of a diamond’s weight.  One carat can also be divided in 100 points.

A .75 carat diamond is the equivalent to 75 points or 3/4 carat diamond.  Larger diamonds are more valuable because they are less commonly found in nature. Therefore, the value of a 1 carat diamond will be more than twice that of a 1/2 carat diamond, assuming other qualities are similar.

The most significant thing to recall when considering a diamond’s carat weight is that it is not the only factor that influences a diamond’s value.

Confidence

Being familiar with jewelry store ‘words’ does not ensure that you will get a quality stone at a reasonable price.  When you make such an investment, you should make an informed decision and purchase from a jewelry store you trust. At Bernard’s Jewelers, not only will you receive personalized service throughout the purchase process, but that same service after the sale. We want you to leave with the utmost confidence not only in your purchase, but with us as well.

To learn more, please visit us at 23999 US Hwy. 80, Statesboro or call us at 912-764-5379.