Everyone talks about Carats when discussing gemstones, and most understand that it relates to the size of the gemstone. But there's more to "Carat" than size alone.
*According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and to put it simply, diamond carat weight measures how much a diamond, or any other gemstone for that matter, weighs. And while carat is specifically about weight, it logically follows that the more a diamond or gemstone weighs, the larger the gemstone. Here we'll discuss carat relative to diamonds.
A metric “carat” is defined as 200 milligrams. Each carat is subdivided into 100 ‘points.’ This allows very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place. A jeweler may describe the weight of a diamond below one carat by its ‘points’ alone. For instance, the jeweler may refer to a diamond that weighs 0.25 carat as a ‘twenty-five pointer.’ Diamond weights greater than one carat are expressed in carats and decimals. A 1.08 carat stone would be described as ‘one point oh eight carats.’
All else being equal, diamond price increases with diamond carat weight because larger diamonds are rarer and more desirable. However, two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values (and prices) depending on three other factors of the diamond 4Cs: Color, Clarity, and Cut.
While now you know what carat means, it’s also important to remember that a diamond’s value is determined using all of the 4Cs, and not just carat weight.
We mentioned that this discussion is about the carat weight of diamonds. While it's true that the carat is used to weigh other gemstones as well, it's important to understand that a 1-carat diamond may be larger or smaller than a 1-carat sapphire, emerald, or ruby because of the difference in chemical composition and density. Too, other colored gemstones have their "equivalent" of the 4Cs, those two of defined differently for different gemstones.
*Thanks to GIA for their definition of carat from their website.
A lot of great questions of late. The simplest answer is that an inclusion is "anything" visible on the interior or exterior of a Diamond (or other gemstone). In a "Perfect" Diamond there is no trace of color. It is, in fact, colorless. There are no blemishes of any kind whatsoever on the exterior of the diamond. Not even microscopically. The same for the interior of the Diamond. Flawless - not even a microscopic blip.
Unfortunately 99.99% of all diamonds have some flaw, some blemish, some spot. These are known, overall, as "Inclusions." Identification of the type of inclusion and its impact on the "Perfectness" of the gemstone is the basis for determining the Clarity of the gem. There are many, many types of inclusions. Below are the most common:
There are times that a small crystal can add character to a diamond. A diamond with a tiny garnet inside would be a conversation piece—and an excellent personal choice for someone whose birthstone is garnet.
Small cracks that are not visible when a diamond is viewed in a table-up (face up) position do not seriously affect clarity ratings.
Don't be intimidated by inclusions. Most buyers are looking for an eye-clean diamond that presents well in its chosen setting, and has minimal color tint. These are the types of Diamonds most commonly purchased, and those representing the best value to the buyer.
Most people have been browsing the newspaper, or see a commercial while watching television, where One-Carat Diamonds are advertised for $500.00. While that sounds great and many take advantage of these sales, all too many of those buyers eventually come to rue the day they made that fateful decision.
The bread-and-butter for large jewelry retailers is customer traffic. Get the customer in the store and you're likely to make a sale. At least statistics suggest as much. To attract the customers these large businesses advertise large Diamonds at very low prices. The only problem is - these are really, really, really, terrible Diamonds.
Promotional Diamonds are the bottom of the barrel. I3 or worse. They have but one purpose, get the customer into the store so that, hopefully, they will purchase a more expensive Diamond.
Aloha Estate Jewelry does not sell "Promotional" Diamonds. If by happenstance we acquire a single item, within a larger group of jewelry items, that has "Promotional" grade Diamond, that piece of jewelry usually goes to the "Scrap Bag" to eventually be sold for only its gold content.
Really a great question. But one with a complicated answer. The shortest answer is that while we are not Gemalogical Institute of America (GIA) certified appraisers, we do possess 30+ years of experience in fine jewelry. When evaluating Diamonds jewelry for acquisition we look for Diamonds in the color range of G - L, and the clarity ranges of SI or better. Accordingly, pricing of two Diamond solitaires of the same Carat weight may differ greatly because of better Color or better Clarity.
Now for the lengthier, more detailed answer. Many have heard of the "4-Cs" of Diamonds. The 4-Cs are Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat. Of these, Color and Clarity speak to quality.
Diamonds are divided generally into two categories, Colorless Diamonds and Colored Diamonds. Among the most common colored Diamonds can be steel gray, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink to purple, brown, and black. Colorless Diamonds are often referred to as white Diamonds. The GIA scale for white or colorless Diamonds runs from D - "Colorless" to Z - "Light Yellow." D, E, and F colors are very rare, and typically increase the cost of a Diamond exponentially. The most common color grades of Diamonds purchased are G - L. In this color range is is very, very difficult for the untrained eye to discern a color difference. Grades M - Z show a distinct to dramatic shift to yellow. In terms of Clarity Diamonds are typically graded in a range from F - Flawless to Included - I3. Here are the clarity grading distinctions:
-Less than 1% of all Diamonds are graded Flawless.
-IF Diamonds have no inclusions within the stone, only surface characteristics
-VVS clarity is rare and results in an eye clean appearance
-If eye clean, SI Diamonds are often the best value
-SI2 inclusions may be detectable to a keen unaided eye, especially when viewed from the side
-SI range of clarity represents the most frequently/commonly purchased Diamond
-Aloha Estate Jewelry's policy is to avoid acquiring I-Clarity Diamonds whenever possible.
We want you to be absolutely thrilled with your selection from Aloha Estate Jewelry. So regardless of the selection, you have 2 weeks, 14-days, to seek a second opinion, or a separate appraisal, to appreciate the value of your purchase. And if not completely thrilled, we are happy for you to return the item to us for a full refund at anytime within the 2-weeks.
Our Jewelry Blog
Use the Search Box to search our Blog for articles of interest.
Let's Talk Jewelry
Have a question that you would like us to answer about Estate Jewelry? Drop us a note using the form on our "Contact" page with your question and we'll do our best to post your question and our answer here.