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Diamonds: A Primer

“A Diamond is forever”. Over the last century, diamonds have been the preeminent symbol of love, romance, and longevity. The idea behind the diamond wedding ring was that because diamonds are the hardest substance (famously rated 10 on the “Mohs Hardness Scale”) on earth and form over billions of years, they are as eternal as the love between newlyweds. 

 

Diamonds are graded based on the “4 C’s”, the diamond grading standard established by the Gemological Institute of America in 1953. These “4 C’s” consist of “Cut”, “Color”, “Clarity” and “Carat”.

Cut is defined as the brilliance and symmetry of a round diamond, though it can also be used to define shape – such as pear or oval cut.

Color, interestingly enough, is defined as an absence of color – therefore, the whiter and purer a stone’s color, the higher the color grade.

Clarity grade is based on the inclusions (or lack thereof) inside the diamond, with the highest grade being Internally Flawless, meaning the diamond is free of inclusions.

Carat is the measure of a diamond's weight, where 1 carat weighs 0.2 grams. 

 

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Round-Brilliant Cut Diamonds are the most mainstream, though there are several prominent diamond cuts, such as Pear Shape and Heart Shape. These are known as “Fancy Cut” or “Fancy Shape” diamonds.

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While Diamonds are typically associated with high price tags, the reality is that diamonds are valuable – not expensive.

Diamonds– among other gemstones and precious metals– have been considered a storage of value for thousands of years due to their status as a natural, rare and finite material (such as gold). Diamond and other gemstone jewelry is often passed down not only because the jewel contains sentimental value, but also because of its inherent dollar value!

Diamonds routinely sell for millions of dollars at auction, with gems the size of beans worth several times more than luxury cars. Due to their small size, high value and portability, they are a favorite in the world of luxury.