Our Four C's of Diamonds guide can help you decide on the most important factors when shopping for a diamond.
The Carat Weight
The word carat derives from the word carob, a Mediterranean seed, which has an extremely consistent weight for measuring. The greater the carat weight, the rarer, and more valuable the diamond becomes. Five metric carats weighs exactly 1 gram.
Some people want the largest diamond possible. If size is a priority, we at Carroll's Jewelers can help you classify the proper cut, color and clarity to fit your budget economically, and fit your jewelry beautifully. Many of our engagement rings can fit diamonds up to 5.00 carats, but each ring has different size constraints based on its size and the type of setting. Prong settings can be manipulated to fit virtually any size diamond, but tension-set diamonds and bezel set diamonds have more limitations on size.
The true definition of cut is the quality of the proportions and symmetry of the diamond. Your diamond's proportions make a vast difference on how brightly your diamond shines. An 'ideal cut' diamond is one that allows the maximum amount of light to return through the top of the diamond, which takes into consideration the depth, table size, crown height and angle, girdle thickness and more. Our diamond professionals will be happy to assist you in selecting the best diamond cut.
After a rough diamond is mined, it is evaluated to determine its best possible cut, in order to maintain the maximum clarity, color, and carat weight. The term 'cut' is often confused with diamond 'shape', such as round brilliant or princess cut.
This is the rarest cut grade and reflects the most light.
This cut grade reflects nearly as much light as an Excellent cut grade, but for a lower price.
This cut grade reflects most of the light that enters the diamond, but not as much as a Very Good cut grade.
This cut grade may appear dull or even glassy, and is very inexpensive.
This cut grade is not carried by Carroll's Jewelers and is typically not recommended.
Color is one of the more noticeable attributes of a diamond and has a heavy impact on the price of the stone. Diamonds range from colorless to yellow or light brown, and are sometimes found in a spectrum of fancy colors, including yellow, blue, and even red diamonds. The less color, the rarer the diamond. After 'Z' on the color scale, diamonds become fancy yellow, which cost more because of their rarity.
Diamonds are composed of mostly carbon. During the heating process, other elements become trapped inside, giving each diamond its own unique fingerprint. These inclusions help identify the clarity of your diamond. All diamonds are viewed through a 10x magnification lens by diamond graders.
No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader.
No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader.
Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see.
Inclusions are clearly visible but can be characterized as minor.
Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader.
Inclusions are obvious and may affect transparency and brilliance.
Grown diamonds are REAL diamonds. They have the same physical, chemical and optical properties as mined diamonds. The main differences between two are where the originate and the cost.
There is no visual difference between grown and mined diamonds - even a trained gemologist cannot tell the difference by without equipment. Carbon is the main element in both mined and grown diamonds. The only chemical difference between the two is that most mined stones contain tiny amounts of nitrogen while lab stones do not. This lack of nitrogen is one way gemologists can identify one versus the other. Laser inscription can be another identifier.
Grown diamond rough is cut just like mined rough and the resulting stones are graded for cut, color and clarity using the same industry standards as mined. Grown diamonds come in a variety of carat weights and shapes just like mined stones and can have an accompanying industry grading report detailing the 4 C’s of diamond grading.
Grown diamonds are created by using two gem-quality diamond creation processes: High Pressure - High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Depostion (CVD). It can take between a week and a few months to “grow” the diamond crystal rough depending upon the method.
In the HPHT method, natural graphite is placed into a machine that crushes it with extreme pressure and high temperature turning the graphite to diamond - exactly how the earth does it over the course of millions of years.
For the CVD method, During the processes, a small diamond “seed crystal” is placed in a chamber filled with common gases. When the gases are heated, they begin to form layer upon layer of carbon onto the seed crystal making it grow.
This is a widely debated topic inside and outside the diamond industry. While it’s true grown diamonds eliminate the need to dig into the earth’s core, helping to minimize scarring of the landscape, the machines that produce grown diamonds require constant energy to run the massive microwave heat generators. Therefore, applying terms like “Green”, “Carbon Neutral”, “Sustainable” and “Ethical” to grown diamonds can be misleading.
Grown diamonds cost significantly less than mined diamonds mainly due to the fact that what used to take millions of years to produce can now be done in a matter of weeks/months. Still considered fairly new in the market, there are not nearly as many lab diamonds in the market as there are earth mined. When comparing grown versus mined diamonds of similar size, cut, color and clarity, the price of a grown diamond is approximately 30-50% less.
It’s whatever works best for you and your budget.
Some people are drawn to mined diamonds for their natural beauty and the fact they own something so incredibly rare that came directly from the earth.
Those that choose a grown option do so, more often than not, because of price. For many, a grown stone makes it possible for them to get a larger stone without sacrificing quality or budget.Call or stop in and let us help you determine which option is best for you.