DIAMONDS, as the saying goes ARE A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND. This quote from famous Hollywood actress, Zsa Zsa Gabor sums up a woman’s passion for the most precious gemstone of them all,” I NEVER HATED A MAN ENOUGH TO GIVE HIM HIS DIAMONDS BACK.”
Derived from the Greek word “adamas” meaning invincible; the diamonds is the ultimate stone of love. These sparkling gems continue to have a strong hypnotic quality that constantly mesmerizes women.
The reasons for buying a diamond are as diverse as the people who love, admire and desire them.
Diamonds are durable. A diamond is the hardest substance known. They do not deteriorate and you can rest assured that the diamond you purchase today, will shine as brilliantly when you great-grandchildren wear it, eons from now.
WHAT DO I LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A DIAMOND?
Two diamonds may at first glance, look alike but in fact they are very different. Although they may be of equal size, they many have very different values.
There are four characteristics to understand that will help when purchasing a diamond. They are known as the 4 C’s – cut, colour, clarity and carat weight. The combination of these factors determines the quality and value of a diamond.
CUT: The quality of the cut determines the brilliance of the diamond. The skill of the cutter is vitally important in unlocking the natural fire and beauty of the diamond. It is imperative that the angles are cut precisely. A diamond that is well cut will reflect light from one facet to another and back through the top of the diamond. A well-cut diamond will hold sparkle and brilliance and your reputable jeweller will be able to advise you on the quality purchase.
Some popular cut diamonds:
This is an illustration of how light reflects from the basic round cuts.
COLOUR: Most diamonds when viewed alone may appear white but most have a hint of colour, mainly yellow. Diamonds with no trace of colour all are extremely rare and the closer they are to no colour, the more rare and valuable they will be. Also rare are diamonds with a strong pure colour that are termed “fancies” are very valuable.
Diamonds are graded according their inner body hue using a white to yellow scale and essentially the whiter the diamond, the more rare and valuable the stone.
CLARITY: Diamonds were formed trillions of years ago, deep within the earth under enormous heat and pressure. As a result, most diamonds contain tiny marks known as inclusions, which make each stone unique. The inclusions don’t necessarily weaken the diamond and when they don’t interfere with the passage of light, they do not affect its beauty. The fewer and smaller the inclusions may be, the more valuable a diamond is.
|F||Flawless – No visible inclusions under 10 power magnification|
|IF||Internally Flawless – No internal inclusions|
|VVS1||Very very slightly included 1|
|VVS2||Very very slightly included 2|
|VS1||Very slightly included 1|
|VS2||Very slightly included 2|
|SI1||Slightly included 1|
|SI2||Slightly included 2|
|SI3||Slightly included 3 – Between SI3 and I1 you could start seeing inclusions with the naked eye|
CARAT: A diamond’s weight is the simplest of its characteristics to measure. For early times, it was used to calculate a diamond’s value. Diamonds weight is measured in carats, and each carat is divided into 100 points. A carat is equal to one-fifth of a gram. The higher the weight, the more rare the diamond however this factor is determined by the other three characteristics.
When purchasing your diamond larger than 0.35ct, you may request it to be presented with a certificate and accompanying valuation praised of the criteria’s of the diamond in question. It is interesting to know that each diamond comes with its unique certified number from its institution and can be tracked nationally and internationally should it be required. For me, this secures peace of mind and a sound investment.
In closing diamonds are beautiful sparkles of nature. They are formed trillions of years ago and have stood the test of time with its fire and brilliance that is irreplaceable and unquenchable. Diamonds are rare. For every carat of rough diamonds recovered, more than 250 tons of ore has to be blasted, crushed and processed. Only 20% will be gem quality.
CONFLICT FREE DIAMONDS
Diamonds sold to fund weapons of war used against recognised governments are known as conflict diamonds.
In 2002, 52 governments from around the world ratified and adopted the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in order to fully combat the scourge of conflict diamonds.
The total number of governments involved today is 74. In essence, these countries have agreed that they will only allow the import and export of rough diamonds if they come from or are been exported to another Kimberley Process participant. South Africa is one of the participants.
In order to strengthen the credibility of the Kimberley Process agreement, a System of Warranties for diamonds has been implemented. Under this system, all buyers and sellers of both rough and polished diamonds must insert a clause on all invoices, stating that the diamonds they have invoiced have been purchased from legitimate sources in compliance with United Nations resolutions.
As members of the Jewellery Council, we only sell conflict free diamonds and have adopted the principles to trade only with companies that include warranty declarations on their invoices.