The value of a diamond is determined by the Four Cs: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat weight.
I1-I2-I3 (Imperfect): Inclusions visible to the unaided eye
Carat is the standard unit of measurement used to determine a diamond’s weight. One carat consists of 100 points, so a 50-point diamond equals a half carat, or 0.50ct. It is important to remember that although two diamonds may have the same carat weight, their color and clarity may be different, thus determining each individual stone’s value. Additionally, since larger diamonds are more rare than smaller diamonds, diamond value tends to rise exponentially with carat weight. A 2.00ct diamond is more valuable than two 1.00ct diamonds.
More About Diamonds
The most precious of all gems, diamonds have an incredible rarity factor. It takes a minimum of one million diamonds to be mined in order to find a 1.00ct gem-quality diamond, so each 1.00ct quality diamond is literally one in a million. Making them even more incredible, the mining of diamonds requires moving and sifting 250 tons of the Earth’s crust to find just one diamond. Mining companies literally move mountains to find diamonds.
Diamonds have the longest endurance of any substance known on Earth. Carbon dating has established that diamonds, on the average, are 3.4 billion years of age. They consist of pure carbon and there is no chemical difference between them and carbon powder (the lead pencil center). Obviously, however, the physical difference between carbon powder and a diamond is fascinating. Diamonds are created from a basketball-sized piece of pure carbon that becomes white-hot. It is squeezed to the size of a small pearl, turning from black to clear in the process and becoming the hardest material known to humans, ranking a 10.0 on the Mohs Scale . Because they are so hard, diamonds can only be ground and polished by using diamond dust that has been ground from other diamonds.
Diamonds are found in a rainbow of colors. The value of a fancy-colored stone depends largely on the rarity of its color (reds and greens are rarer than yellows and browns), the saturation of the color (from faint to vivid), and the purity of the color (whether it is bright and clear or clouded by other underlying colors). Probably the most famous colored diamond is the Hope, which features a deep-blue color and weighs an amazing 45.52ct. It can be seen at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
With diamonds found all over the world, America has a couple small producing diamonds mines, but it only produces industrial grades with non-gem grade material. These black and brown industrial-grade diamonds are widely used as cutting and grinding tools in various industries, such as oil drilling and stone carving.
Diamonds have come to symbolize the ultimate gift of love and romance and, in the United States, are traditionally used in engagement and wedding rings. The tradition of the diamond solitaire engagement ring may have started in 1477, when the Archduke of Austria gave a large solitaire diamond to Mary of Burgundy for her hand in marriage. Amidst this tradition of romance, the diamond is also the birthstone for April and given as 10th, 30th, 60th and 75th anniversary gifts.
Diamonds have been the pride of empires throughout time. Ancient Hindu followers believed diamonds were created by thunderbolts striking the ground. Ancient Greeks believed that diamonds were teardrops of the gods and splinters of stars that had fallen to Earth. The stones were believed to possess magical qualities and have powers far beyond the understanding of common man. Even the name stems from “adamas,” the Greek word for “unconquerable” and “indestructible.”
The diamond is considered the most magical of all gems. When worn, it promotes spirituality, even ecstasy, and is often utilized in meditation. The diamond promotes self-confidence in relations with the opposite sex and is often worn to conquer infertility. The diamond is the stone of love and is worn to ensure fidelity. Owing to its sparkling and flashing nature, it has long been regarded as a stone of protection and peace. It can be worn today for courage and strength, and represents fearlessness and invincibility.
Since only diamonds can scratch other diamonds, it is important to wrap and store your diamond jewelry pieces separately so they do not touch one another. To clean jewelry at home, soak diamonds in warm, sudsy water made with any mild liquid detergent. Brush with a soft toothbrush and rinse and pat dry with a soft, lint-free cloth. Other effective cleaning methods include soaking diamonds in household ammonia, brand-name liquid jewelry cleaners, or even a glass of vodka.
Analog-Digital Display (ana-digi): Watch that shows the time by means of hour and minute hands (analog display) as well as by numbers (digital display).
Arabic Numerals: Popular counterpart to Roman numerals consisting of 1,2,3, etc; Became popular during the 18th century and typically allow for more space on the dial for complications.
ATM: Commonly used measurement in water resistance; Stands for "atmospheres" or the amount of pressure a watch can withstand before leaking; One atmosphere is equal to 10 meters of water pressure.
Automatic Movement: Type of movement where the mainspring is wound via the movement of one’s own arm; Movement of the arm causes the rotor to rotate, which in turn winds the mainspring; Similar to mechanical movements, except winding is not manual.
Bezel: Retaining ring surrounding the case and securing the crystal; Sometimes incorporates unidirectional or ratcheting movements, as well as additional benefits such as chapter markers.
Case: Timepiece’s container; Protects the movement from dust, dampness and injury; Common case shapes are round, tonneau, rectangular and square.
Chronograph: Timepiece capable of both timekeeping and stopwatch functions; Chronographs are a unique and valued complication due to their ability to measure increments of time.
Chronometer: High-precision timepiece that has been tested and is certified to meet precision standards; Chronometer watches often come with certificates indicating their certified status.
Complication: Any feature added to the timepiece that does not indicate hours, minutes or seconds. Popular complications include chronographs, tachymeters, date windows and exhibition backs.
Crown: Small, cap-like device located on the side of a case that allows the user to set time or manually wind watch.
Crystal: Transparent cover on a watch face that gives view of the dial; Sapphire and mineral are the most common crystals used today.
Date Window: Reveals the numeric day of a given month.
Deployant: Type of clasp that keeps the closing mechanism hidden, creating an uninterrupted look for your bracelet or strap.
Dial: Plate beneath the crystal showcasing the timepiece’s features; Sometimes referred to as the face of a timepiece, the dial indicates hours, minutes and seconds, as well as complications such as date windows and sub-dials.
Dual Deployant: Similar to a deployant clasp, except it uses two hinges to fasten or open, as opposed to one.
Dual Time Zone: Timepiece that simultaneously gives time in two time zones.
Exhibition case: Unique complication wherein a crystal is implemented into the case back, allowing view of the timepiece's movement.
Greenwich Mean Time: Refers to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England where mean time is kept; Located at the prime meridian of the world, GMT is thought of as "the world's time".
Jewels: International term referring to the rubies, sapphires or other gemstones used as bearings in a watch movement; These bearings are set to reduce friction in a movement and help the delicate parts of the movement work smoothly and with great precision.
Mechanical Movement: Type of movement where the winding crown is used to power the movement; Needs to be manually wound after an elapsed period of time; Sometimes accompanied by a exhibition back to display its old-fashioned sensibilities.
Mineral Crystal: Technical term for glass; Standard crystal used in timepieces today.
Minute Repeater: Timepiece that sounds hours, quarters and minutes as requested.
Moon Phase: Complication on a timepiece that displays the various stages of the moon; Stages include new moon, first quarter, full moon and last quarter.
Mother-of-Pearl: Dial material that has been cultivated from the inside of certain shells; Provides an iridescent surface and gives timepieces a rich aesthetic.
Movement: Assembly making up the principal elements and mechanisms of a watch or clock; Includes the winding and setting mechanism, the mainspring, the train, the escapement and the regulating elements.
Perpetual Calendar: Complication that exhibits the days in a Gregorian calendar, the most common calendar used today; Automatically adjusts to months with different amounts of days in them.
Power Reserve: Time a watch will continue running based on the movement's residual winding of its mainspring; In quartz and digital watches, this can also refer to the amount of energy left in the battery.
Push Button Dual Deployant: Similar to deployant clasps, with the addition of two small hidden push buttons that spring your clasp open.
Quartz Movement: Most common type of movement used in modern timepieces; Vibrating at a high frequency and placed under an electric current, quartz movements provide accurate time without the need to wind.
Repeater: Complex watch mechanism that sounds hours, quarters or minutes, or repeats them on request; Originally designed to help the wearer to tell the time in the dark.
Retrograde: Hour, minute, second or calendar hand that moves across a scale and resets to zero at the end of its cycle.
Sapphire Crystal: High-end crystal that adds greater value to a timepiece; The only natural substance able to harm a sapphire crystal is a diamond.
Skeletonization: Cutting away unnecessary metal from the movement to allow the wearer to actually see through the movement; Any part that is not needed is carved out, leaving only the movement's skeleton.
Subdial: Smaller dials located on the main dial of a timepiece; Used to measure seconds, minutes or days.
Tachymeter: Popular complication that measures distance based on speed; Typically located along the outer rim of a dial.
Water resistant: Watches described as simply "water resistant" can handle light moisture, such as a rainstorm or splashes from a sink, but they should not be completely submerged in water for any length of time; A commonly used measurement in water resistance is ATM, which stands for "atmospheres" or the amount of pressure a watch can withstand before leaking.
Contrary to rumors and misconceptions, ceramic has incredible hardness and durability. The extremely high temperature at which it's baked makes it almost impossible to crack or break, nearly matching sapphire for scratch resistance. Ceramic has the added benefit of retaining its look over time, as it will not lose its luster or color.