For ages, diamonds have been associated with the rich and the powerful. In fact, in the 13th century, King Louis IX of France established a law that only the king could own diamonds! Nonetheless, within a century diamonds were popular gems among the moneyed upper-class and by the 15th century, they had begun to be used in wedding rings. The popularity of diamonds rose continually as new cuts that enhanced the diamond's visual appeal were developed. To this day the craze for diamonds has continued unabated in all classes of society as their cost becomes within reach.
Popular Diamond Cuts
Diamonds are cut into many shapes and sizes. However, the most popular shapes that have retained their aesthetic value since times immemorial are listed below:
- Round Cut – This is cut like a circle. The not-so-modern appearance cut looks good on rings as it is elegant and simple
- Marquise Cut – This cut is a slender striking cut that creates a feeling that the diamond is bigger than it really is. Its length is twice as big as its width
- Pear Cut – This cut is round in the base and extends itself to a point. If you need a longer look, this fancy cut will suffice
- Princess Cut – This is a modern diamond cut which has a square shape. It has an refined and classic appearance
- Heart Cut – This cut holds emotional value as it is shaped like a heart. It often begins as a pear shape that has an inclusion within the rounded end
- Oval Cut – This cut brings out the shine and sparkles in diamonds and is good for rings with a wide band or with long rows of stones
- Emerald Cut – This cut is not a brilliant cut, but is called a step cut which means it has rows of facets that act like mirrors and resemble a staircase
- Baguette Cut – This type of diamond is octagonal shaped. This cut is generally used for smaller rectangular diamonds and features rows of step-like facets
- Trillion Cut – Trillions are basically triangular in shape, usually with truncated corners, with a variety of facets
With these and many more various shapes, you can use your eye to measure the overall effects of these cuts and pick the one that's just right for you…
Popular Diamond Colors
White diamonds is considered the world's most beautiful diamond. White diamonds are produced by mines all over the world in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and are easily available.
Champagne diamonds are naturally colored diamonds that are produced in a wide range of colors from light straw to rich cognac. Champagne diamonds are the haute couture of diamond jewelry.
Pink diamonds are commercially rare, highly valued, and greatly admired. It comes in hues ranging from deep orange pink to intense pink; pinkish purple to vivid pink.
Fancy blue diamonds are available in a wide range of shades, from the blue of the sky to a more "steely" color than sapphire. Blue is one of the rarest and most desirable colors in a diamond
Fancy green diamonds range from light pastel green color "fancy light green diamonds" and "fancy green diamonds" to the rarer "intense green" and "vivid green" diamonds frequently sought after by collectors.
Natural fancy yellow diamonds come in a broad range of shades ranging from light yellow to a rich canary color. Natural yellow diamonds are extremely rare and expensive.
Must Know 4Cs of Diamonds
Acquiring knowledge of the 4Cs is crucial before purchasing any diamond. If you understand each diamond characteristic and know which questions to ask when purchasing a diamond, you will be rest assured that you are making a good diamond investment. The four most important factors used to measure diamond quality are:
Color: Color is the most important consideration to look into when buying a diamond. A diamond's color is graded on an alphabetical scale from D-Z, with D being absolutely colorless and Z being light yellow. Beyond "Z", a diamond is considered to be an exotic or "Fancy" color.
Clarity: All diamonds have inclusions such as tiny crystals, feathers or clouds. Grading clarity is done as FL (Flawless) – IF (Internally Flawless), VVS1 – VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included), VS1 – VS2 (Very Slightly Included), SI1 – SI3 (Slightly Included) and I1 – I3 (Included)
Carat: Often confused with size even though it is a measure of weight, one carat is the equivalent of 200 milligrams. One carat can be divided into 100 "points". A .75 carat diamond is the same as 75 points. The value of diamond rises exponentially with carat weight.
Cut: This actually refers to two aspects of a diamond. The first is its shape (round, marquise, etc) the second is how well the cutting has been executed. A diamond must be cut in a geometrically precise manner to maximize its brilliance.
When you buy diamonds either for your diamond engagement ring, diamond stud earrings, diamond bracelets or any other diamond jewelry, ensure that the diamonds you choose best suit that type of jewelry application.
Investing in Diamonds
The old adage that diamonds are forever is very true indeed…they are passed down the generations as family heirlooms. Hence, be prudent while investing in diamonds. It is always better to buy a diamond that comes with a grading report from a reputable laboratory. This is called a certified diamond. On the contrary, a non-certified diamond is not necessarily better or worse than a certified one; the only difference is that the non-certified diamond's grading is not fully known.
When you invest in diamonds, choose diamonds that can be resold. Round diamonds are make good investment as they are the easiest to sell. Don't purchase inferior quality of diamonds as they hardly have any resale value although they might look good in your jewelry. The rarer the diamond, the better the investment it will be.
Caring For Your Diamonds
Diamonds need special care so that they shine brilliantly all the time. They need to be cleaned on a regular basis to get rid of the dullness that crops on it due to by skin oils, soap or cosmetics.
You can clean your diamond jewelry by taking a mild liquid detergent in a small bowl of warm water and gently brushing with an old tooth brush. Run it under warm running water and dry it gently with a soft, clean cloth.
The detergent bath is performed with a small bowl of warm suds using any mild liquid detergent. Immerse jewelry pieces in the suds and brush gently with a tooth brush. Rinse under warm running water and pat dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
Do remember not to wear diamond jewelry while doing rough chores. When storing jewelry, try to store them individually so that they do not scratch each other. Lastly, take your jewelry to the jewelers at least once a year to ensure that there is no loose setting or signs of wear and tear.