Test your diamond knowledge!
So, you’ve been reading Beyond4cs.com and diligently doing your research on buying a diamond engagement ring. Having read countless articles and referencing real-life diamond examples, you might find your attention span wavering and start to miss out on minute details.
Well, there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you have the gist of the content in your head. Before you enter the jewelry store or hit the buy button at your favorite online store, here’s a short quiz to test your diamond knowledge and how much you know.
The correct answer (with explanations) is found at the bottom of each question (simply click on the questions to reveal the answers). The topics are mixed up in random order to make sure you can dig up information at the back of your mind. Remember, don’t cheat!
Out of these four, clarity and color describe the diamond’s material properties. Cut describes the quality of work that a diamond cutter had put into polishing the stone and carat represents the metric weight of the diamond (a carat equals two hundred milligrams).
The two highest clarity grades for diamonds are FL (flawless) and IF (internally flawless). Because of their rarity, diamonds with these grades don’t come cheap. The much more consumer friendly categories are VVS1, VVS2 (very very slightly included) and VS1, VS2 (very slightly included).
If you are on a tight budget, you might want to consider buying a diamond graded at SI1 or SI2 (slightly included) clarity. Make sure you view images or videos of the diamond before committing to a purchase. My word of advice is to avoid buying I1, I2, I3 (included) diamonds unless you totally know what you are doing.
Included diamonds are a minefield for consumers looking for good deals as they aren’t usually “eye clean” and have durability issues. I’m sure you don’t want to see visible inclusions while enjoying the look of your diamond jewelry and neither would you want the additional risks of damaging your diamond because of low clarity grades.
A blood diamond – or “war diamond”, “converted diamond”, “hot diamond” – is one that has been mined under controversial circumstances in a war zone. These diamonds are sold in order to finance the ongoing insurgency or to finance the needs of the warlord.
Blood diamonds originate from countries in Africa (mainly Angola, Ivory Coast or Liberia) and the commercialization of such diamonds had been banned in the United States and European Union. Due to trade laws and strict regulations, these diamonds don’t have the proper paperwork to trace their origins and are often transacted in illegal smuggling and underhand dealings.
You can avoid buying blood diamonds by asking for a written guarantee and proof that the rough diamond was mined in accordance with the Kimberly Process.
There is nothing wrong with having a natural level of skepticism when purchasing items that cost thousands of dollars online. In today’s modern world, I’m sure most of us have had some experience with electronic commerce at some point in time. You do see actual books being delivered after making a purchase at an online bookstore. Even fragile and expensive items like a laptop can be bought online with no apparent issues.
Diamond businesses are no different. Sure, there are bad eggs which tarnish the name of the industry but there are also plenty of great places to buy high quality diamond rings too!
Did you know that many renowned online diamond vendors have come a long way since the Internet hit the world? Some of them have been around for almost two decades and have been used by millions of people since. The simple fact that they are still in business and have tons of positive consumer reviews are a testament that they are trustworthy entities and not some fly-by-night business.
FYI: The term carat is historically used by traders in ancient times before metric units like grams or milligrams were introduced. Till date, the industry has kept the tradition of using “carats” to describe a diamond’s weight.
Carat weight represents the weight of a single gemstone denoted in carats. On the other hand, carat total weight represents the weight summation of ALL gemstones found in a piece of jewelry. The important thing to know when purchasing rings or settings with CTW descriptions is that prices do not necessarily increase with their weight linearly.
When multiple diamonds (of possibly different qualities) are featured in a piece of jewelry, the value placed on the carat total weight might be misleading and misrepresented by unethical jewelers.
Here’s a reality check: a 2.00 CTW proposal ring might sound impressive but it would likely cost less than the price for a 1.00 carat solitaire diamond engagement ring. Always read the details of the ring description carefully!
It depends. “Eye clean” diamonds can exist and span across different clarity grades. Just because you cannot see inclusions with your naked eye doesn’t mean that the diamond is “flawless” or the inclusions won’t pose a serious issue. Take note – minute inclusions which can affect the diamond’s brilliance may sometimes not be visible to the unaided eye.
For example, if you are buying an SI2 diamond with a comment “Clarity grade based on clouds not shown” in the grading report, you better think twice. That comment is the unholy stamp of death for a diamond’s brilliance and is a sign for you to be extra cautious. More details can be found here: https://beyond4cs.com/grading/other-comments/.
In most scenarios, diamonds with inclusions in less visible areas or can only be seen under a 10X loupe offer the best value for consumers. As long as the diamond is eye-clean, a VS2 or SI1 diamond can look just as good as an IF diamond. After all, I don’t think people would go around inspecting someone else’s ring with a loupe in real life.
No. The most common method used in clarity enhancement is to drill a small hole into the diamond using a laser beam. This laser drilled hole becomes a pathway for chemicals to bleach away foreign material residing within the diamond. The end result of this is a better looking diamond which looks more appealing to the eye after treatment.
Even though the diamond’s perceived clarity is probably going to improve, its mechanical strength will become less from a mechanical viewpoint. By drilling a hole, the integrity of the diamond’s structure is somewhat compromised to a certain extent. With that said, this process is typically not detrimental to the diamond’s mechanical structure when performed correctly.
Depending on the diamond’s cut and shape, some are more susceptible to damage than others. With some common sense and a proper setting, your diamond is probably not going to be damaged even if you wear it on a daily basis.
The most important routine check you can do is to make sure the setting is sound and secure. If anything is, prongs are the biggest enemies of a diamond. Why so? In the event the prongs get bent or broken, the chances of losing your diamond entirely is much higher than the risk of chipping it. For regularly worn jewelry, it is best to have them checked by a professional on an annual basis.
For a more detailed read, check out this section of the website to refresh your knowledge: https://beyond4cs.com/care-and-maintenance/
If you had understood the key concepts about buying diamonds, these are questions you should be able to answer easily. If you can’t, you should probably review the answers and read up a little more at Beyond4Cs.com.