are drops of eternity, some older than the stars in the sky. No two
diamonds are the same and each stone has a unique story. These beautiful
jewels, once believed to be magical talismans, were formed billions
of years ago, close to the earth’s
core under conditions of extreme heat and pressure. First unearthed
in India, diamonds quickly became coveted commodities. To the ancient
Hindus, they offered protection against evil, disease, and theft. In
other cultures, emperors wore diamonds on the battlefield to ensure
their glorious victories, while queens and concubines desired them
as tokens of power. The Greeks saw diamonds as teardrops of the gods.
The Romans thought the sparkly objects had splintered from the constellations.
Today, these precious gems are universally recognized
as symbols of romance, commitment, undying love, wealth and exclusivity,
(King Louis IX of France once pronounced that only persons of royal
lineage could wear them) but few know the secrets behind choosing the
perfect diamond. Before you go shopping for one, be sure to check out
to the world of ice.
There are four keys ("4Cs") to selecting
the perfect diamond: (C)ut, (C)arat, (C)olor, and (C)larity. According
to De Beers (which is the single largest source of diamonds in the world),
the 4Cs are used to clarify the rarity of diamonds. As it turns out, “diamonds
with the combination of the highest 4C ratings are rarer, and consequently,
more expensive.” People often speculate as to which one of these
criteria is more important than the rest. The answer is none. The customer's
budget, reason for buying and preferred setting combine to determine
the most appropriate 4C combination(s) under those circumstances.
A beautifully executed cut will bring out the natural
fire burning within the diamond. The light entering the stone will bounce
off the facets, eventually bursting out as radiant luster. When comparing
different pieces, hold them to the light and watch how the light dances
inside the gem. The right diamond must reflect the colors of the rainbow.
When choosing a jewel look at various cuts like, emerald, round, oval,
princess, and marquis, and try to pick one that shines with natural luminosity.
Many mistakenly believe that the word carat refers
to a gemstone’s dimensions. To the contrary, carat is a measure
of weight. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. Since sizable stones
are rare in nature, they are also expensive. For example, a two-carat
diamond is always more costly than two one-carat diamonds of comparable
cut, color, and clarity. Depending on its cut, a sparkler can look larger
or smaller than its mass, so make sure to consider multiple variables
before making a purchase.
Diamonds come in a rainbow of colors (ranging
from pink to amber), but the white ones are by far the most popular.
In the category of white diamonds, there are approximately 20 different
shades of color, categorized alphabetically between the letters D and
Z -- in descending order of desirability. Though discriminating the
subtle differences between these classifications without a magnifier
is exceptionally difficult, color certainly plays into the gem’s
Though diamonds are icons of perfection, stones
are rarely flawless. Small imperfections, caused by minute minerals
trapped inside, significantly reduce the value of a gem. These flaws
are often invisible to the naked eye, so before saying ‘I do’ ask
your jeweler about the clarity of
the stone you are considering. When doing so, remember that FI/IF denotes
an immaculate formation, while the VVS1 and VVS2 stamps indicate the
existence of microscopic spots. Following these classifications are (in
descending order of cachet), VS1-VS2, SI1-SI2, and I1-I2-I3.
The price of a diamond is determined by a complex equation with 4 variables,
but ultimately the value of a jewel that was created by God to outlast
Father Time can not be measured by a mere price tag. Like the individual
wearing it, each diamond has a unique character, story and destiny, so
carry it proudly.
Remember, if a diamond is forever, then forever is a diamond.