Diamond Education

How to Buy Diamonds

Many people are confused about how diamonds are priced. There are many factors that affect a diamond's price; but mainly 4 main factors. Those are the 4C's to diamond buying. 

What are the 4Cs?
A diamond's beauty, rarity, and price depend on the interplay of all the 4Cs—carat, cut, color, and clarity. No one C is more important than another in terms of beauty. Knowing the 4Cs will help you buy a diamond. 

This refers to the weight of the diamond. Many people confuse carat weight with size and that's not true. There are diamonds that weigh 1.0 carat but look smaller than a 0.75 carat diamond. It is important to understand carat is the weight of the diamond not the size. 
One important feature of a diamond is the cut. This refers to the angles and proportions of a diamond. A well-cut diamond will internally reflect light from one mirror-like facet to another, disperse, and reflect it through the top of the stone. A well cut diamond will shine and emit the most brilliance. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in less brilliance and ultimately, value. 
Cut also refers to shape—round, square, pear, or heart are all examples of the cut of a diamond. The most popular cut of diamond are round, princess, oval, emerald, asscher, and cushion. A diamond can be cut into many different shapes. A round diamond is symmetrical and capable of reflecting nearly all the light that enters. It is the most brilliant of all diamond shapes and follows specific proportional guidelines. Non-round shapes, also known as "fancy shapes," will have their own guidelines to be considered well-cut. 

This refers to the degree to which a diamond is colorless. It is an important factor because it is what the naked eye sees. Colors are graded under controlled lighting conditions and are compared to a master set for accuracy. Truly colorless stones, graded D, treasured for their rarity, are the highest on the Diamond Quality Pyramid. Diamonds are graded on a color scale which ranges from D (colorless) to Z. 
Warmer colored diamonds (K-Z) are particularly desirable when set in yellow gold or some prefer a warmer color diamond. Icy winter whites (D-J) look stunning set in any metal, more so in white gold or platinum. 

Diamonds, also, come in other colors such as fancy yellow, blue, green, pink, purple, red, and orange. These color diamonds are rarer in nature. Other color diamonds include brown and black diamonds which are not as rare. 

Most diamonds have natural flaws except those that are flawless. The clarity refers to the presence of inclusions in a diamond. Inclusions are natural identifying characteristics such as minerals of fractures, appearing while diamonds are formed in the earth. Inclusions may look like tiny crystals, clouds or feathers. There are very few flawless diamonds found in nature, thus these diamonds are much more valuable. The position of inclusions can affect the value of a diamond. These inclusions are ranked on a scale of perfection. The clarity scale, ranging from F (flawless) to I3 (Included), is based on the visibility of inclusions at a magnification of 10x. 
It is preferred to buy diamonds that do not show flaws with the naked eye. And you can find diamonds that have natural flaws but look absolutely beautiful to the naked eye. At Princess Jewelry, we carry diamonds that range in all clarities. We prefer t o sell diamonds with inclusions not found to the naked eye. Some inclusions can be hidden by a mounting, thus having little effect on the beauty of a diamond. This gives off more sparkle to the diamond and durability. An inclusion in the middle or top of a diamond could impact the dispersion of light, sometimes making the diamond less brilliant. 

What to Spend
When you start to think about buying a diamond—and the love it will symbolize—you naturally want the best you can afford and a beautiful stone you will treasure forever. Diamonds can be found in a range of price that suits your taste and what you plan to spend. Stop in or call us and we would be happy to guide you through the diamond buying process. All our representatives are experienced in the knowledge of diamonds.

Conflict-Free Diamonds

Diamonds symbolize love, happiness, and wealth to many people. To others, diamonds symbolize conflict, misery and poverty. At Princess Jewelry, we pride ourselves on selling conflict-free diamonds. We believe in "Fair Trade Diamonds" that help symbolize love and happiness and not conflict. 

Conflict Diamonds
Africa produces the majority of the world's diamonds. In the 1990s, international attention was focused on blood diamonds after non-governmental organizations raised concerns about human rights violations against civilians in the Civil War in Sierra Leone. Rebel forces of the Revolutionary United Front used the resources produced by their trade in rough diamonds to acquire weapons. UN sanctions sought to put an end to this conflict. Blood diamonds account for approximately four percent of the international diamond trade, but this has had an extremely profound impact on communities in the west and parts of southwest Africa. 

Kimberley Process
Many voluntary initiatives were welcome, but not enough. The United Nation resolutions and sanctions stimulated the international community and the industry to act; which insures each diamond is fairly traded and not from conflict or illegal trade. That process came to be called the Kimberley Process. On December 1, 2000; the United Nations General Assembly adopted, unanimously, a resolution on the role of diamonds, breaking the link between the illegitimate operation of rough diamonds and armed conflict. 

The Kimberley Process is open to all willing and able to implement the requirements. So far, 54 participants that represent 80 countries, including the United States, follow the Kimberley Process. At Princess Jewelry, we deal with diamond dealers that follow and provide diamonds under the Kimberley Process. 

Princess Jewelry—Fair Trade Diamonds
A process has been put in place that every diamond traded fairly has proper documentation showing that it has followed the Kimberley Process. These diamonds are carefully scrutinized to guarantee they originate from legitimate sources, wages are paid, and a fair amount of benefit is restored to the community. All diamonds sold at Princess Jewelry are under the Kimberley Process and we deal with suppliers who follow and provide this assurance to this process. It helps us, Princess Jewelry, work ethically and feel good about selling diamonds that were properly brought into the market. We pride ourselves on doing business ethically.