Clarity denotes what is going on inside and on the surface of the diamond. I prefer to simplify clarity in this way: What does it look like with the naked eye? First, study it hard without any aid of magnification. Do you see any distinguishing characteristics that distract from the brilliance of the diamond? That’s the most important thing. After all, how often will you or your friends be magnifying your diamond? Then study it with magnification. A loupe is what is commonly used at the sales counter. Think about your kitchen window. You can focus your eyes on the window to see the fingerprints and spots on the window or you can look through the window to see who’s in the yard. Do the same thing
to the diamond. Look through the windows. Look to see if you see any identifying characteristics or what I call birthmarks. I never use the word flaws . They aren’t flaws. Sometimes it’s little white lines sometimes it’s clouds. You might see little black spots. Did you know that those little black spots are called included crystals and that if you magnified them they would reveal themselves as tiny diamonds or garnets trapped inside your diamond? Two for one! The grading scale of clarity refers more to how noticeable these characteristics are than to how many are inside the diamond. Again, this is a rarity issue. However, if the diamond is too included, it will decrease the brilliance and beauty of a diamond.
THERE’S ANOTHER C THAT ISN’T MENTIONED VERY OFTEN — CONFIDENCE — CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF AND CONFIDENCE IN YOUR ABILITY TO RECOGNIZE WHAT YOU FIND BEAUTIFUL.
What size is best? That’s strictly a personal decision. For some, a larger stone is the dream, and they might be willing to give up a little on color or clarity to stay on budget. To others, the color, cut, and clarity trump size. There is no right answer. Beyond the 4 Cs, many other questions have come across our sales counters. A popular topic is shape. What shape is the most expensive? The answer isn’t so simple. In larger diamonds, all things being equal, the round brilliant is still king. It’s timeless. It’s the most brilliant and in highest demand. As fancy shapes such as princess, emerald, marquise, and pear float in and out of demand, prices, though stable, may fluctuate based on their popularity. Another C relates to diamond grading reports, commonly called certs. This is actually an incorrect term, as they are not certifications but reports. There are a variety of diamond grading labs that produce these reports — AGS, GIA, GCAL, EGL, IGI, etc. These are used to give the consumer an independent opinion and description of the diamond. The important word here is opinion. Each gem lab, even though they might use a common alphabet,
has a different language or set of standards for their reports. Not all reports are the same between companies. This can cause confusion, not only to the consumer but also to the sales professional. To prove this point, we have sent the same stone to several labs only to get different opinions of color and clarity. This is why I stress that you trust your own eye, not a piece of paper. I was once told that choosing a diamond by searching through a pile of diamond reports was like choosing your fiancé from a stack of driver’s licenses. Every diamond is unique. You have to see it and experience it. There’s another C that isn’t mentioned very often — confidence — confidence in yourself and confidence in your ability to recognize what you find beautiful. You don’t need someone else to tell you what is beautiful. You need a jeweler that will help you by answering questions so you can make an informed decision. Ultimately, no one can tell you what you like or what your preferences should be. Just ask yourself these things: Do I love it? Does the diamond do what the diamond is supposed to do? Will I ultimately be thrilled with my decision? If so, then relax — you’ve got this.
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