Diamonds For Dummies: The Crash Course You Need From Tiffany & Co.
Elegance, timeless design, exceptional diamonds, and fine craftsmanship have been at the center of the Tiffany & Co. brand for decades. This jewelry landmark is everyone's prime destination for out of this world diamonds and precious gem stones with innovative design. “If you’re buying a piece of jewelry from Tiffany, you’re buying a piece of artwork,” said Paul Domiciano, model maker at the iconic American luxury brand.
And so, we're trusting the team over at Tiffany & Co. to teach us how to get a better understanding of the world's favorite metals: diamonds. Click through this quick crash course that will help you know what you're exactly looking for the next time you're in a diamond-purchasing mood. Happy learning!
First, the questions to ask
Tiffany & Co’s diamonds are crafted to be the most vibrant and bright, and though they are a trusted source to purchase diamonds from, how well do you know your diamonds? Do you know what you should be looking for when you set out to buy them?
Importance of the 4 C’s
Every diamond, much like the human fingerprint, has it’s own distinguishing characteristics, and to determine the quality of a diamond, the 4 C’s are imperative – Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat and this breakdown of them by Tiffany & Co. should help you along the way when it comes to acquiring your diamonds…
The most important of the 4Cs—cut—refers to how a diamond’s facets interact with light. It is determined by symmetry, proportion and polish. More than any other factor, cut determines the beauty of the stone. If a diamond is cut poorly, it will appear dull even if it has a high color and clarity grade.
Cut is also the only one of the 4Cs that is affected by human hands and is responsible for the quality and degree of a diamond’s sparkle.
Color refers to the natural tint inherent in white diamonds. In nature, most white diamonds have a slight tint of yellow and the closer to being “colorless” a diamond is, the rarer it is. The industry standard for grading color is to evaluate each stone against a master set and assign a letter grade from “D” (colorless) to “Z” (light yellow).
Color is the second most important of the 4C’s because the color grade directly affects the stone’s appearance. Diamonds with a poor color grade can appear slightly yellow instead of the desired brilliant white.
Diamond clarity is a measure of the purity and rarity of the stone, graded by the visibility of these characteristics under 10-power magnification. A stone is graded as flawless if, under 10-power magnification, no inclusions (internal flaws) and no blemishes (external imperfections) are visible. Diamond inclusions are internal flaws and the gemological standards in this section refer only to individually registered engagement diamonds set in certain ring styles.
FL diamonds are Flawless
IF diamonds are Internally Flawless
VVS diamonds (1 and 2) are Very, Very Slightly Included
VS diamonds (1 and 2) are Very Slightly Included
SI diamonds (1 and 2) are Slightly Included
I1 I2 I3
I diamonds (1, 2 and 3) are Imperfect
A diamond with a poor clarity grade has multiple inclusions, which directly affects sparkle. Because inclusions hinder the refraction and return of light, the lower the clarity grade, the cloudier the diamond will appear. “If anything takes away from the beauty of the stone, we won’t accept it,” said Hannah Jee, diamond grader at Tiffany & Co.
Carat denotes the weight of a diamond, not the size. Carat weight can appear differently across different diamond shapes such as round brilliant, princess, pear, oval, cushion, marquise, emerald, radiant or heart. A diamond may have a higher carat weight without appearing larger and two diamonds of the same carat weight can vary in size if one is cut deeper than the other. In other words, it is important to note that carat weight does not necessarily denote size. Taken by itself, carat weight does not determine a diamond’s value. For example, two one-carat stones can vary widely in price when clarity, color and cut are taken into consideration. When that is understood, it is clear that large diamonds of peerless quality are rare.
Voilà, we hope you learned a thing or two!