Engagement. Anniversary. Birthday. New Mom. Retirement.
Don’t put off investing in the perfect piece to celebrate your big moment. We’re about to decode the 4Cs of diamond shopping so that you can feel confident in buying your next piece of diamond jewelry.
Here we go!
Diamonds: Knowing Your Carats
Diamonds are graded in carats (c). The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) developed this global standard for describing and valuing diamonds. In this system, diamonds are rated based on the 4Cs of quality: color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.
Evaluating Diamonds: Get the Grade
Finding an amazing piece of diamond jewelry should be stress-free. Remember, the 4Cs are here to help you choose a quality diamond. But ultimately, you’re looking to strike a balance between falling in love with the perfect piece of jewelry and getting a quality diamond.
Color. The less color, the higher the grade. Grades range from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). The most common grades of diamonds used in jewelry are in the range of G through J or ‘near colorless.’
Clarity. The clarity of a diamond is a rating that’s determined based on the number of inclusions and blemishes on the inside and outside of the diamond. This rating follows a scale from FL (flawless) to I3 (included). The closer to flawless the better, but many of these characteristics are simply too small to be seen by anyone other than a trained gemologist.
Cut. This rating is not on the cut type (princess, oval, round, emerald, etc.) rather the way the cuts or facets interact with light. The rating takes into three primary factors: face-up appearance, design, and craftsmanship. This is the most complex and difficult to one to analyze.
Carat Weight. Diamonds are measured in milligrams to the hundredth decimal place. Diamonds weighing 100 milligrams are called 1 carat or 1.00ct.
Traditionally, the larger the carat, the more rare and desirable, and expensive. However, other factors (color, clarity, and cut) will play an important role in determining it’s value. A smaller carat diamond may be of higher quality than a larger diamond based on the other Cs.
Feeling Overwhelmed? Don’t!
The 4Cs were developed by trained professionals. While it’s important to know the basics, most people aren’t shopping with a loupe (a magnification device used by trained gemologists). So here’s what we recommend.
Focus on selecting a piece of jewelry or diamond that has great color and clarity. Look for diamonds with less color and those that don’t show blemishes or inclusions to the naked eye.
Seek out pieces that you find beautiful and convey your personal style. Jewelry, especially diamonds, is a very personal choice often selected to mark an important moment in your life. There’s no rating that can compare to the confidence and happiness you or your loved one will exude when wearing the perfect piece. So, be mindful of the 4Cs, but above everything else, choose the diamond that will bring the most joy for many years to come.
Latest Styles. On-Site Jeweler. Protection Programs.
Did you know that American Jewelry and Loan carries all of the latest styles, can create a custom piece for you with our in-house jeweler, and offers a phenomenal protection program? It’s exactly what the industry doesn’t want you to know. Get the very best and an amazing price.
Don’t forget, it’s also an investment that brings you cash when you need it. Your high-value jewelry can be used for pawn over and over again.
That makes it a solid investment in style- and peace of mind!