The factors that determine the final value of a diamond include the cut, color, clarity and carat weight – these are referred to as the 4Cs and are fundamentals of gemstone shopping. Each of these factors are highlighted and defined below:
A diamond’s cut enhances the shine and beauty of the stone and makes it look brilliant and fiery. Cutting adds to the value of the diamond; while flaws in cutting can render a stone less valuable. Cutting can enhance the look and feel of the diamond and even make it appear larger than it is; a diamond in the skilled hands of an expert cutter will become all it can be. Diamonds that are cut will have several different properties:
Scintillation: The colors that are reflected when the diamond is moved Brilliance: The light that reflects from a diamond’s surface Dispersion: The ability of the stone to reflect color and light
All these factors combine to highlight the beauty of a properly cut stone.
How clear is the diamond, and are there any visible flaws? You should not be able to see any inclusions when you view the stone with your naked eye. Clarity impacts the beauty of your diamond and should be balanced with other factors to get the best possible stone.
The weight and size of the diamond is expressed in Carats; this measurement impacts the overall cost and value of your stone. The carat of your diamond will depend on your budget and your preferences and will impact the cost of the final piece.
Stones with the least amount of visible color are generally considered the most valuable; the color of a diamond can range from truly colorless to faintly colored. Color is rated by letter; with colorless stones in the D-F range considered the most valuable. Other colors rank as follows:
Colorless: D-F stones how no color and are the most valuable diamonds; a skilled gemologist can detect some color in an F grade stone in the right conditions. Near colorless: G-J stones don’t show color from the face but may show color from the back or sides. Most people can’t detect color at all in these stones. Faint Color: K stones have hints of color when viewed face up and may even delight owners who like a bit of color. Yellows to browns are the predominant colors in this category.
Diamond Cleaning - The Do's and Don'ts
Bridal jewelry, such as engagement rings and wedding bands are typically worn daily, and can appear like they've lost their sparkle if not cleaned on a regular basis. Lotions put film on diamonds and reduce their shininess. Don't wear diamond jewelry while doing rough work. Avoid chlorinated pools and hot tubs. Avoid touching diamonds with your fingers, as smudges can affect a diamond's luster and fire.
If you have questions, feel free to contact one of our diamond experts at Rick Murphey The Jeweler, and we will be happy to provide all the information you need to help you keep your diamonds in great shape.
Storing your Jewelry
Because of the high value and rarity of certain jewelry, some people like to store their jewelry in a safe when not in use. If you have individual gemstones, a soft pouch is good for keeping them from coming in contact with other hard surfaces. Store silver jewelry in a cool, dry place, preferably in a soft piece of felt or cloth. Ask one of our sales representatives about getting a jewelry box for all your valued treasures. If you would like to have your jewelry professionally cleaned, bring it in to Rick Murphey The Jeweler and we will have your jewelry looking shiny and new!
Cleaning Your Jewelry
Be careful using ultrasonic cleaners, as only certain gemstones can handle the ultrasonic vibrations. Diamond cleaners usually contain ammonia and water. Using a soft brush you can remove dust or dirt from under the setting. Silver jewelry can be cleaned with a silver polishing cloth, with or without special silver cleaning solution.
Our Anniversary Guide can help you find that perfect piece of jewelry for your loved one.
Need Ideas for an Anniversary Gift?
Our list contains both traditional and modern gifts for each year of your anniversary. But it doesn't always have to be a special occasion to give the gift of jewelry. Not sure what to get? Ask our staff at Rick Murphey the Jeweler for some great gift ideas! Contact us today.
|Year||Jewelry Gift||Traditional Gift||Modern Gift|
|3rd||Pearls||Leather||Crystal or Glass|
|4th||Blue Topaz||Fruit or Flowers||Appliances|
|6th||Amethyst||Candy or Iron||Wood|
|7th||Onyx||Wool or Copper||Desk Sets|
|8th||Tourmaline||Bronze||Linens or Lace|
|10th||Diamond Jewelry||Tin or Aluminum||Diamond Jewelry|
Below are definitions to some common jewelry terms. If there is a word that is not on this list, and you would like to learn its definition, please contact us.
The mixture of two or more metals which strengthens the metal, and/or enhances its appearance.
A bracelet that is rigid and slides over the hand. Bangle bracelets sometimes don't have a clasp.
Diamonds or color gemstones are set evenly with the surface of the metal, and secured by bead-like prongs between the stones.
A diamond or gemstone is wrapped with the metal, where only the crown and table can be seen.
An imperfection on the surface of a diamond.
The amount of sparkle or shine which is reflected from the diamond.
A gemstone cut which is polished into a smooth, rounded dome-like surface, instead of having facets.
A diamond's measurement for weight, which is equal to 0.2 grams, as described in the four Cs of diamonds.
A setting that has cathedral-like arches on each side of the diamond or gemstone.
Diamonds or color gemstones are arranged adjacent to one another in a channel, with no metal between each stone.
A device which is used to fasten the end of chains, necklaces, bracelets and watches.
Cracks, openings, or fractures in diamonds or color gemstones.
Diamonds or color gemstones are grouped together, which can be arranged to look like one large stone.
The upper part of a diamond or gemstone, beneath the table and above the girdle.
The small facet on the bottom point of a diamond, beneath the pavilion. Not all diamonds have a culet.
The flat surface on a diamond or color gemstones. The arrangement of a gemstone's facets determine its cut and return of light.
The flashes of color that can be seen when a diamond or gemstone is moved or rotated.
The highest grading on the diamond clarity scale, which has no visible inclusions or blemishes under 10x magnification.
A hole is created in the metal surface, and a diamond or gemstone is placed inside, where its table is evenly set with the surface of the metal.
The four characteristics of a diamond - color, clarity, cut and carat weight - which are used to establish the quality and value of diamonds.
The middle section of a diamond or gemstone, which can be polished or faceted on a diamond, and typically unpolished on color gemstones.
The ability of a diamond or gemstone to resist scratches, which is measured using the Moh's scale of hardness from 1-10, with 10 being the hardest.
An ideal cut diamond has the highest quality of proportions, symmetry and polish, and returns the maximum amount of light from the top of the diamond.
The natural unique \"fingerprints\" within a diamond or gemstone, which consist of other elements such as minerals, gases, or other substances.
Diamonds or color gemstones are set flush within the surface of the metal, where a part of the metal setting is cut away and replaced by the stone.
A diamond or gemstone is set in an arrangement where the metal cannot be seen, making it appear as there is no setting behind the stone.
The standard measurement for gold, where 24 karats is pure gold. 14-karat or 18-karat gold is mixed with other metal alloys to strengthen it, and to enhance its appearance.
The scale which is used to measure the hardness of a diamond or gemstone, or its resistance to scratches, ranging from 1-10, with 10 being the hardest.
Small diamonds or color gemstones are held in place by small handcrafted prongs, where all the tables of the stones are set evenly with the metal surface.
The bottom portion of a diamond, between the girdle and the culet.
Pink gold is created when pure gold is combined with more copper than other alloys, and is sometimes called rose gold.
The amount of smoothness, or shininess on a metal's surface. The more polished, the more light reflects off a metal's surface.
Play of Color
The spectral colors that can be seen in an opal when it is rotated or moved.
A diamond or gemstone is mounted to the metal with prongs that wrap around its girdle, and are usually secured to the crown of the stone.
The relationship of a diamond's parts to one another, such as crown angle, crown height and table percentage, which ultimately determine a stone's brilliance.
The flashes of light that can be seen in a diamond when rotated under a natural or artificial light source.
Rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets, or necklaces that feature one diamond in its setting.
The precision of the alignment of a diamond's facets. The more symmetrical, the better the return of light.
The flat surface on the top of a diamond or gemstone.
A diamond or gemstone is suspended inside the metal setting, where most of the diamond is exposed.
The ability for a diamond or gemstone to resist breakage (or fracturing) from impact.
Made by combining pure gold with copper, zinc and nickel (or palladium) alloy, such as rhodium.
Gold that retains its natural yellow color. Pure gold is typically combined with copper and silver alloys to enhance its durability.