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JEWELRY EDUCATION
 
color

The word color is a bit misleading as we're actually looking for a "lack" in color (yellowness) within the diamond. The more colorless a diamond is, the rarer and more valuable it becomes as it appears whiter and brighter to the eye. Most diamonds have a slight trace of yellow, brown or gray body color. Color Grades are determined by using the letters of the alphabet. As the diamond reflects traces of yellow, the grading is reduced through the alphabet. The most respected system used today for evaluating diamond color was developed by the Gemological Institute of America, (GIA).

The GIA COLOR GRADE SCALE below, classifies diamond color into 22 grades from letter grade D (colorless) through letter grade Z (Yellow).

We recommend that you select a diamond that is between the grades of (D) and (I). Diamonds in these ranges are considered to be whiter in appearance.
 
clarity

Clarity describes the presence or absence of inclusions within the diamond and blemishes on its surface.

Most diamonds have natural identifying characteristics sometimes referred to as inclusions. These inclusions are developed in the diamond during its formation. These slight “birthmarks” make every diamond quite unique. These are in fact, nature's fingerprints and don't mar the diamond's durability. The fewer inclusions a diamond has, the more rare and valuable it is.

Many are not detectible by the naked eye, but can be seen under a jeweler's magnifying microscope.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) clarity grading scale outlined below is the most widely accepted clarity grading system in the world. GIA's clarity grading scale specifies eleven grades:
 
cut

What is the proportion of the diamond? Round brilliant diamonds are commonly cut with 58 facets. The better proportioned these facets are on the diamond, the more light will be reflected back to the viewer's eye. This is extremely important. When cut properly, the diamond will sparkle more. Diamond cuts are measured by the table percentage, so always ask for it. A good table percentage is between 55-60%. Cut also refers to the shape such as: round, pear, and oval.

If you are having a diamond mounted, write down the measurements of your stone. Measurements never change. Measure the stone after it is mounted and verify that it matches the appraisal and/or certificate.
 
carat

How big is the diamond? Larger diamonds often cost more per carat due to their size. There are 100 points to a carat. Hence a 50 point diamond is 1/2 a carat. (There are 5 carats to a gram.) Always get the actual point size of a diamond rather than a fractional weight. Sometimes jewelers will try to sell a .90 diamond as a 1 carat diamond. A .90 diamond should be substantially less expensive.
 
diamond care

Your diamond holds a lifetime of dreams. So of course you’ll want it to always radiate as brilliantly as the first day you slip it on. Fortunately, the task of caring for your diamond is quite simple.

Protecting Your Diamonds
Even though diamonds are the hardest substance known to man, a diamond will scratch another diamond. So it is important that jewelry not be stored together since it can be scratched or tangled. Also, diamond jewelry should never be worn while doing heavy work. Points are vulnerable to chipping and even everyday activity can loosen a setting. This is why it’s important to visit a professional jeweler every six months to have your diamond’s mountings and settings checked.
 
Cleaning Your Diamonds
To be sure your diamonds always sparkle, it is important to clean them periodically. Here are some recommended methods.
 
1. Professional Cleaning
This is the best option. It’s also important to have your jewelry checked occasionally to make sure prongs haven’t bent or weakened.
2. Mild Liquid Detergent
Soak your jewelry in a small bowl warm, sudsy water made with any mild liquid detergent. Gently brush the diamond jewelry with a soft toothbrush while it is in the
suds. Then, rinse each piece under warm running water. Pat dry with a soft, lint-free cloth. Make sure to always stopper your sink.
3. Household Ammonia
Place the jewelry in a small bowl containing a half-and-half solution of ammonia and cold water for thirty minutes. Lift out and gently tap around the front and back of
the mounting with a small soft brush. Swish in the solution a second time, rinse and drain on tissue paper.
4. Jewelry Cleaners
Use any brand name liquid jewelry cleaner and follow the instruction given on the label.
5. Vodka on the Rocks
No one is sure how it was actually discovered, but it is safe to say that at some point someone took the idea of a "vodka on the rocks" literally and discovered an
imaginative way to clean their precious diamonds. Simply let the diamond soak in a glass of vodka. Preferably one you do not intend to imbibe.
 
 

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