The LMJ Diamond Buying Guide Vol. 1 | Diamonds
Liza here. Diamonds can be intimidating, whether you're looking for an engagement ring, a fabulous pair of earrings or anything in between. There are diamond alternatives, lab grown diamonds, and heck- you may not even want a diamond or any of its look-a-likes! So I'm here to break. it. down.
This week we're starting with the diamond. The toughest mineral on earth. April baby's birth stone. The lasting and enduring symbol of love and commitment (according to DeBeers).
So, when choosing a diamond there are the Four C's to consider- cut, clarity, color and carat.
1. Cut refers to the shape of the stone (I have some examples below) There are two main categories of diamond shapes as I see it- rose-cut and full-cut. Full cut stones are your typical faceted stones- they have a bottom point (called the culet). Rose-cut stones have a faceted top but the bottom is flat. Rose-cuts are really popular these days and I use them a lot in my work. Here's a handy chart of diamond shapes (these also relate to any other gemstone cuts).
2. Clarity refers to whether the stone has any inclusions (tiny bits of other minerals or crystal structures that can be visible to the naked eye).
3. Color refers to....color. Diamonds come in lot of different colors, and color can impact the price greatly. Pink diamonds are the most rare and therefore demand a big price. When looking for a colorless diamond, the clearer the pricier, with less expensive options tinted a bit yellow.
4. Carat refers to the weight of the diamond. 1 carat is equal to .2 grams. The bigger the carat weight the more expensive the stone.
The handy dandy chart below from the Gemological Institute of America helps clarify some of that.
You may have noticed that I also use 'natural diamonds' in my work. Disclaimer- all the diamonds I use are 'natural' and this is a bit of a misnomer. When you see 'natural' diamond it means that the stone has many inclusions, and comes in an array of colors, translucencies, and typically in my work they're rose cut. They are sourced and cut not for the Four C's, but for their unique properties, colors, and inclusions. Here's some examples:
Now, with all that in mind there are some other really important things to consider when purchasing diamonds. Origin is a big one. We all know of the famous film "Blood Diamond" starring our favorite Leonardo DiCaprio. Its true, the illegal diamond trade has been financing wars, child soldiers, and a whole slew of awful for a while now. Which is why there's the Kimberley Process (KP). The short of it is this: the KP exists and was started in 2003 to remove conflict (ahem, blood) diamonds from the global supply chain. Basically anyone and everyone who mines, sells, buys, and trades diamonds has to adhere to the KP and certify that their diamonds in no way finance wars against governments around the world.
In addition to working ONLY with conflict free diamonds, I also strive to work with recycled or eco-friendly diamonds as well. I have a wonderful source for both Canadian and Harmony diamonds. Diamonds mined in Canada adhere to some of the strictest standards, ensuring the protection of the Arctic environment, mine workers and local employees. Harmony diamonds are the most eco-friendly in that they are recycled and not newly mined. Diamonds previously set in jewelry are removed and reintroduced into the supply chain.
On top of all that, most of the larger center diamonds I source also come with GIA certification upon request. This document details the stones information and ensures its authenticity and quality.
WHEW! Okay I know that was a lot of info. I would love to hear some of the questions you have regarding diamonds, so please comment below!
Next week I'll be talking about lab grown diamonds- so if you have any questions about those prior to next weeks installments get those in and I'll be sure to address them!