Diamond Rings & Jewelry
From the dawn of history, humans have been fascinated by diamonds. Men and women have created diamond jewelry, diamond rings, diamond necklaces, or diamond earrings and have treasured them and used them as family heirlooms. Studied them,stolen them, fought wars over them, and invented legends about them. We need not look far to find the reasons:
Diamonds are Beautiful
The fire, brilliance and transparency of diamonds produce a splendor unrivaled by any other gem.
Diamonds are Durable
Given reasonable care, their beauty lasts forever. By the time they reach you, they are already 3.4 billion years old. Many diamonds have documented histories spanning centuries.
Diamonds are Rare
And like other rare things of beauty, diamonds symbolize attainment.
Diamond Earrings, Diamond Necklaces and Diamond Ring Measurements
Diamonds, a rare and wonderful gift from nature, are the hardest of all gemstones known to man and simplest in its composition. They are comprised of common carbon and yet they have a melting point two and a half times greater than the melting point of steel. Diamonds are formed under intense pressure and heat in the earth’s core. They are brought to the outer layers of the earth via molten lava during volcanic eruption.
Those that make it to the surface are recovered through surface mining. The remainder of the diamonds are recovered through underground pipe mining. To recover one carat polished diamond of gem quality, approximately 250 tons of ore must be mined and processed. Diamonds are judged by five distinct factors. In addition to the shape of the diamond, there are the 4 C’s: Carat, Clarity, Color, and Cut.
The shape you select is a matter of individual taste for your diamond ring, diamond necklace, or diamond earrings, and today your choice is only limited by the skill and imagination of the craftsman. The round brilliant is the most popular shape, but there is a wide variety of others that range from the more traditional marquise, pear, emerald, oval Baguette, square or heart to the more fanciful and creative.
Diamond Carat Weight
Diamonds are weighed by a unit of measurement termed a metric carat. The word carat comes from the Greek name for the carob, or locust tree. The dried seed of this tree was used by ancient gem traders as the unit for weighing gems. One metric carat equals 0.200 grams, or 200 milligrams. A carat is divided into 100 points. 100 points equaling 1 carat is expressed as 1.00. 50 points equal ½ of a carat expressed as .50 carats.
Clarity is the term that is used to indicate the extent to which the diamond is free of any growth patterns or small characteristics. Almost all diamonds contain traces of non-crystallized carbon or non-diamond crystals that make up the characteristics. Most of these require magnification to become visible to the naked eye. The amount, size, and position of these growth patterns in a diamond determine the clarity grade. Those diamonds having less prominent characteristics receive a higher clarity grade.
The grading system used by Sather’s is the international standard set by the Gemological Institute of America. This grading system is the most commonly used and respected system in the diamond industry:
Flawless – Internally Flawless
VVS1-Very Very Slight Inclusions
VVS2-Very Very Slight Inclusions
VS1- Very Slight Inclusions
VS2- Very Slight Inclusions
SI1- Slight Inclusions
SI2- Slight Inclusions
Diamonds are the only gemstone which the absence of body color usually makes it more valuable. Although diamonds range from colorless to almost every hue, the majority exhibit tints of light yellow, brown, or gray; thus, diamond color grading usually is a comparison of stones having these tints. The exception would be a few rare colors such as blue, pink, and violet.
Of all the factors affecting the value of the diamond, color is the most subjective, yet this does not diminish its importance in the diamond evaluation. The differences in diamond color grades are so subtle that expertly trained and experienced graders are best in determining color.
GIA Color Grading Scale
Last and certainly not least is the cut of the diamond. Cut is commonly confused with the shape of the diamond, i.e. Oval, Pear, or Marquise. It is actually how well the diamond is proportioned. The beauty of a diamond depends on the way it reflects and refracts light, which is directly related to the exactness of its proportions. When a diamond is cut to good proportions, it allows light to reflect from one facet to another and then disperse it through the top, or crown, of the diamond.
At Sather’s we consider this to be the most important of the 4 C’s. All three of the other C’s can be at the top of the chart, but if the diamond is mis-cut, it has very little beauty. For that reason, the diamond industry places 65% of the value of a diamond on cut. Diamonds that are cut to exact proportions are called “Ideal Cut” diamonds. Less than 1% of all diamonds cut are cut to these proportions.
At Sather’s of Fort Collins you will find a large inventory of diamond jewelry, diamond rings, diamond necklaces and diamond earrings in all shapes and sizes. Our sales staff is extensively trained by The Gemological Institute of America and The Diamond Council of America to help you in one of the most important decisions you will ever make.