Purchasing Diamonds Doesn’t Have to be Complicated

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Throughout history, diamonds have been associated with royalty. They have also been often been associated with healing, magic and protection. Today, they are commonly used as symbols of status, wealth and power.

The modern name for this gemstone comes from the Greek word adamao, which roughly translates as “I control” or “I subdue”. The Greek adjective adamas means “unconquerable” and was used to describe the hardest substance known to man in ancient times. Some believe this substance was originally corundum, as it is believed that diamonds weren’t recognized and chronicled until much later on.

How To Buy

Many people can become intimidated when they face the task of buying their first diamond. This is due in large part to the variety of prices they see out there in the marketplace; none of which seem particularly inexpensive!

However, armed with a bit of information, you too can make a wise purchase when it comes to diamonds. To do this, you’ll need to know a bit about how they are graded and priced. Let’s take a look at that now.

Purchasing Diamonds Doesnt Have to be Complicated

The Four Cs

The four cs are used throughout the world in grading stones. They are:

  • Carat Weight
  • Cut
  • Color
  • Clarity

With colored gemstones, one of the “cs” (color) is by far the most important attribute of a stone. However, in the case of diamonds, all of the “cs” are of equal importance.

Put into simple terms, stones possessing the best combination of the four cs are considered the rarest and most valuable.

Carat Weight

This refers to the weight of the stone, which is measured in carats. One carat is further divided into 100 points. So, for example, a stone weighing .50 carats can also be described as a 50-point stone or a ½-carat stone.

It’s also important to note that when stones reach 1 carat and above, their price goes up considerably. As with all gemstones, larger stones occur less often in nature and are rarer. Therefore, a one-carat diamond will be priced much higher than two ½-carat stones of equal quality.


This refers to the angles and proportions in a stone. The true brilliance and fire of a stone can only be revealed by someone who has mastered the art of gemstone cutting.

One can use common sense when it comes to knowing if a stone has been cut well or not. Ask yourself; “Does the gem appear dull and lifeless, or brilliant and sparkly?” A well-cut stone will sparkle and shine, while a poorly-cut one may appear somewhat dull.

Cut also refers to the shape of the stone. Since there are cuts that create more wasted material or take more skill to do, there will be a difference reflected in the price.


White (colorless) diamonds remain the most popular choice for jewelry today. They are graded on a color scale developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The scale ranges from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow in color).

Color differences can be very subtle, so grading is done under very specific lighting conditions with a master set of stones used for strict comparison.


Clarity refers to how many internal flaws a stone has. The clarity scale, like the color scale, was developed by the GIA. It ranges from FL (Flawless) to I3 (very included). It is based on the visibility of inclusions under a 10x magnification loupe.

So that you can better understand it, here is a brief summary of the clarity scale:

Flawless (FL)-Stones that have absolutely no inclusions or blemishes visible under 10x magnification.

Internally Flawless (IF)-Stones that have no visible inner inclusions, and only insignificant blemishes, when viewed under 10x magnification.

Very, Very Slightly Imperfect (VVS1-VVS2)-Stones with small inclusions that are very, very difficult to see under 10x magnification.

Very Slightly Imperfect (VS1-VS2)-Stones with small inclusions that are only somewhat visible under 10x magnification.

Slightly Imperfect (SI1-SI2)-Stones with inclusions fairly easy to see under 10x magnification.

Imperfect (I1-I3)-Stones with inclusions that range from slightly eye visible to very easily seen by the naked eye.