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Diamond Education

Whether Octavia Elizabeth is your first stop or last, we know that shopping for a diamond can be overwhelming. We can help bring transparency, honesty and excitement to the process.

The below is a great place to start.

DIAMOND BASICS

First, it is important to understand that no two diamonds are alike. Whether we are sourcing a lab grown or mined diamond the qualities we depend on to grade our stones are known as the 4 C's. The Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) is the globally accepted standard for describing diamonds and every mined diamond that Octavia Elizabeth buys is certified through GIA. 

THE 4 Cs  

CUT

The "cut" is the most crucial component to a stone’s overall beauty and value. The Cut is an objective measure of a diamond’s light performance or “sparkle”.  In an ideally cut stone, the light entering the diamond reflects internally from facet to facet, and is reflected back out only through the top of the stone (called the table), thus creating the fire and brilliance of the stone. If a diamond is cut too shallow or too deep, light leaks out the bottom or the sides of the stone, causing the stone to appear dark. 

The Cut should not be confused with the “shape” of a diamond. 

Image result for a sketch shapes of diamonds

The “shape” of a diamond refers to the overall outline of the stone.  There is no right or wrong when it comes to the shape of a stone.  The beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder and a personal preference.

 

COLOR 

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A diamond’s color grade refers to the lack of color in the stone. GIA grades diamond color on a scale beginning with D, which represents "colorless", and continues to Z as the presence of color increases. Diamonds in the D-to-F range are considered "Colorless" and therefore are the most expensive.  Diamonds in the G-to-I range are considered "Near Colorless" and are often considerably less expensive.  Beyond the I-grade, diamonds are considered to have "Noticeable color."

 

CLARITY 

A diamond’s Clarity grade is based on the number, size, and location of the imperfections that occur in almost every diamond.  The internal imperfections in a diamond are called “inclusions” and the external imperfections are referred to as “blemishes”.  Most imperfections tend to be microscopic and generally do not affect the overall beauty of a stone. When selecting a diamond, the buyer will determine if he or she is comfortable with the imperfections in a particular stone. I encourage a buyer to choose an “eye clean” stone, which means that to the naked eye you cannot see any imperfections. These stones are usually VS1, VS2 or SI1. The imperfection in those stones will only be seen under magnification. Keep in mind that depending on the location of an inclusion, once mounted in a ring, it is very possible that an inclusion will be hidden all-together by the ring setting.

 

CARAT WEIGHT

The diamond Carat weight is a literal measurement of how much a diamond weighs.  Each carat is divided into 100 "points."  For example, a half-Carat stone is considered a "50 point diamond."  All else being equal, diamond price increases with Carat weight because larger diamonds are more rare, and thus more expensive.

 

TIPS FOR DIAMOND BUYING

When selecting a diamond one must consider all of the 4 Cs.  Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • The sparkle of a well-Cut diamond can make it appear larger than the actual carat weight might suggest.
  • The human eye tends to detect sparkle before color, which is why Color is generally considered the second most important characteristic of diamond, after Cut.
  • As diamond size increases, Color becomes more visible.
  • In general, one will not notice a difference in Color without jumping two color grades.  When considering an "H" versus an "I" where all other factors are similar, the lower color grade might be worth the savings.
  • The type and color of the ring setting can affect the appearance of the diamond to a degree.

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