Salderi Designs

  • What to know about diamonds

    Posted on April 3, 2011 by eric

    A diamond’s value is based on four criteria: color, cut, clarity and carat. The clarity and color of a diamond usually are graded, but scales are not uniform. A diamond can be described as “flawless” only if it has no visible surface or internal imperfections when viewed under 10-power magnification by a skilled diamond grader.

    Diamond weight usually is stated in carats and may be described in decimal or fractional parts of a carat. If the weight is given in decimal parts of a carat, the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. For example, ‘.30 carat’ could represent a diamond that weighs between .295 and .304 carat. Some retailers describe diamond weight in fractions, using the fraction to represent a range of weights: A diamond described as 1/2 carat could weigh between .47 and .54 carat. If diamond weight is stated as fractional parts of a carat, the retailer should disclose two things: that the weight is not exact, and the reasonable range of weight for each fraction or the weight tolerance being used.

    Some diamonds, like other gemstones, may be treated to improve their appearance. Since these treatments improve the clarity of the diamond, some jewelers refer to them as clarity enhancement. Fracture filling, for example, conceals cracks in diamonds by filling them with a foreign substance. This filling may not be permanent and jewelers should tell you if the diamond you’re considering has been fracture-filled.

    Lasering is a treatment that involves the use of a laser beam to improve the appearance of diamonds that have black inclusions or spots. A laser beam is aimed at the inclusion; acid is forced through the tiny tunnel made by the laser beam to remove the inclusion. Lasering is permanent and a laser-drilled stone does not require special care.

    While a laser-drilled diamond may appear as beautiful as a comparable untreated stone, it may not be as valuable. That’s because an untreated stone of the same quality is rarer. Jewelers should tell you whether the diamond you’re considering has been laser-drilled.
    Imitation diamonds, such as cubic zirconia, resemble diamonds in appearance but cost much less. Certain laboratory-created gemstones like moissanite resemble diamonds and may not be adequately detected by the instruments originally used to identify cubic zirconia. Ask your jeweler if he has the current testing equipment to distinguish between diamonds and lab-created stones.

    This post was posted in News

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