They are a girl’s best friend, they are forever and they are utterly dazzling in their beauty. Diamonds, of course and as Christmas approaches it might not hurt spouses to remember that there is nothing quite like marking an occasion with your very own sparkler!
Whether you are giving or receiving a diamond, or whether you already have a collection of beautiful gems in your jewellery box at home, our non-nonsense guide will tell you exactly what to look for in the perfect diamond and, critically, how to look after your amazing stone.
What is a Diamond?
Everyone knows what a beautiful diamond looks like, but what exactly is it? Well, it is a crystalline form of pure carbon and the planet’s hardest naturally occurring substance. Rare and exquisite to look at, all these factors have combined to make diamonds the most sought-after precious stones for many centuries.
The diamond, due to its rarity and stunning beauty, its transparency and durability has long come to symbolize purity and love without guile, plus fidelity and lasting devotion. It also symbolizing a willingness to embrace true strength of character and ethics for one oneself and others. Little wonder that lovers through the ages have chosen to give their adored one a diamond. The diamond, to this day, is the by far the most popular stone for engagement rings and eternity rings.
The diamond says:
“I loved you then, I love you now, I’ll love you forever.”
How to Select a Diamond The Four C’s
Choosing a diamond can at first seem like a complicated task to the uninitiated. The beauty of a true gem seems shrouded in mystery and yet it is possible to assess your diamond if you use the
Carat weight is the only objective measure within the Four Cs, with one carat equaling 1/5 of a gram, or .007 of an ounce. Carat weight and diamond size are not the same thing since size may be greatly affected by cut.
Magic size refers to 0.5, 0.75, and 1 carat stones and reaching these optimal numbers make the stone more valuable. Note that a well cut diamond may sparkle more and appear bigger than more expensive diamonds of higher carat weight.
Less is more in this instance, as the value of a diamond usually increases as color decreases.
The clearer the diamond, the more colors are reflected back to the eye, the greater its brilliance. Diamond color is secondary to cut when grading the gemstones. Most natural diamonds have tints of yellow or brown and perfectly colorless diamonds are very rare and valuable. However a ‘fancy color’ diamond, i.e. pink or blue, may be very valuable.
Diamond color is graded on a scale from D to Z, with D being truly colorless. Anything up to J is colorless to the naked eye.
Clarity means clearness and natural diamonds are rarely perfectly clear. There can be blemishes, inclusions, and imperfections seen when viewed under magnification. The grades of clarity range from FL ‘flawless’ to I3 ‘included’. A flawless diamond is incredibly rare. Most imperfections are invisible to the naked eye, so clarity has the least impact on a diamonds beauty.
Cut is probably the most important diamond characteristic as well as the most difficult to evaluate. The cut is what makes diamonds sparkle and that is what dazzles us. Two diamonds of equal carat weight could differ in value by as much as 50% due solely to the quality of the cut. Diamond cut has three basic characteristics: brightness, fire and scintillation and cut is rated on a five-tier scale from Excellent to Poor.
How to Look After your Diamonds
A diamond can last for centuries, as long as you look after it, which is why we are offering some excellent tips for diamond care.
1. Protect it from chipping and scratches
Even though diamonds are notoriously hard, they can still be chipped if mistreated. Never wear them whilst doing heavy work and store them individually, very carefully, wrapped in fabric, tissue or a jewellery pouch, so that they cannot be scratched by other items of jewellery.
2. Keep it free from chemicals
Avoid exposing your precious stone to the many oils, sprays and creams we use daily. Do not over-handle it as even the natural oils in our fingertips can dull its shine. Never, ever use bleaches or abrasives on it.
3. Learn how to clean it
Soak your diamond in an ammonia-based household cleaner overnight, every week. In the morning, brush it all over with a soft, clean toothbrush to remove any dirt. An ultrasonic cleaner can also be used to remove encrusted dirt on diamonds, although this is best used by a professional jeweller. You should note that some diamond retailers, like Tiffany’s, offer free, lifelong cleaning and care for your diamond, so you can relax knowing it’s brilliance is being maintained by the professionals who crafted your beautiful jewellery.
4. Check the condition regularly
Every year, treat your diamond to a thorough clean and check-up with a professional jeweller. They will ensure that it is at peak brilliance and that it is not working loose from the setting. It is an investment worth making to keep your precious stone in tip-top condition.
5. Careful where you place it
It might sound obvious, but a remarkable number of diamonds, particularly those in rings, are lost when treated too casually by their owner. You may mean well, but never, for example, leave it resting on the side of the sink when cleaning since an awful lot of rings get lost down the drain. Best to get into the strict habit of placing it straight into its box or pouch every single time you take it off. With very little time and effort, your diamond will remain as beautiful and exceptional as when you bought it.
Enjoy Your Diamonds
The real pleasure in owning a diamond will always come from wearing it. Diamonds refract the light and give the skin, of all complexions, a beautiful radiance. They life the spirits and make sensible ladies –and some men feel like royalty. Never underestimate the unparalleled power of diamonds. Love yours and it will love you right back, for a lifetime.