"At a point in nearly every man's life, there comes a time when his heart knows it's time to give a diamond to the woman he loves. A symbol of feelings deeper than words can convey, a diamond speaks of a man's need to honor and delight one very special person."
nature's perfect gemstones
Quality in diamonds is as meaningful as it is in every other aspect of life. How can you recognize a high-quality diamond? It's the one with more sparkle, more fiery brilliance, more depth-more of what characterize your relationship.
While there are many diamonds of quality, rare diamonds are even more valuable. Use this booklet to understand what makes a diamond rare and special. On the following pages you'll find information on the 4Cs, spending guidelines, what to expect from a jeweler, and why adiamond is the most heartfelt gift a woman can receive.
the elements that reveal a diamond's rarity
The 4Cs are the four distinct characteristics that combine to determine a diamond's value. Since no two diamonds you look at are exactly alike, you'll want to examine each of the 4Cs in order to find a stone that offers the best combination of qualities-which is the same way the experts arrive at a diamond's rarity and value.
a diamond's weight
A diamond's size is measured in carat weight, and each carat is equal to 100 points. For example, a 75-point diamond can also be defined as a .75 or a 3/4 carat stone.
The size you choose is, of course, a matter of personal taste. It's important to know that large diamonds are more rare in nature than small ones, and a bigger diamond shows off a fine stone's dazzling cut and color to its best advantage.
Diamonds of the same size may vary widely in value, depending on their qualities of color, clarity, and cut. If you place one size diamond next to another, the one that has better color and is more pure and sparkling will be worth more.
the purity of a diamond
IF (internally flawless)
VVS1 VVS2 (very, very small inclusions)
VS1 VS2 (very small inclusions)
SI1 SI2 SI3 (small inclusions)
I1 I2 I3 (visible inclusions)
Virtually all diamonds contain identifying characteristics, yet most are invisible to the naked eye. Under the scrutiny of a jeweler's 10x-magnifying loupe, natural phenomena-called inclusions-may appear to look like tiny crystals, clouds, or feathers. They're nature's fingerprint.
The number, color, type, size, and position of inclusions as well as surface blemishes affect a diamond's clarity. Major inclusions can interfere with the path of light that travels through a diamond. So the greater a stone's clarity, the more brilliant, valuable, and rare it is.
Diamonds categorized as flawless reveal no inclusions or imperfections under a loupe. However, truly flawless stones-which can only be identified with a gemologist's powerful microscope-are the most unique of all.
a diamond's whiteness
D E FColorless
G HIJNear Colorless
K LMFaint Yellow
N OPQRVery Light Yellow
S TUVWXYZLight Yellow
Colorless diamonds -- the ideal -- are treasured for their rarity. The closer to colorless a diamond is, the more vividly it can reflect light and glorious flashes of the rainbow spectrum.
While most diamonds appear colorless, many actually have subtle yellow or brown tones that can be detected by a trained eye. Color grades range from totally colorless to light yellow, and a single color upgrade will increase the value of a diamond significantly.
"Fancy" diamonds-in well-defined colors than include red, pink, blue, green, and canary yellow-are highly prized and as rare as truly colorless stones.
a diamond's brilliance
A properly cut diamond, regardless of its shape, scintillates with fire and light-offering maximum appeal, durability, and value.
While nature determines a diamond's color, clarity, and carat weight, the hand of a craftsman is necessary to release its sparkle and beauty.
A master cutter devotes hundreds of hours to carving a stone that makes optimal use of light. When a diamond is cut to proper proportions, light will bounce from one mirror-like facet to another and disperse through the top of the stone.
Diamonds which are cut too deep or too shallow lose light that spills through the side or bottom. As a result, an improperly cut diamond will be less brilliant and beautiful-and certainly less rare.
a diamond's silhouette
Today diamonds are available in a number of beautiful shapes, and the one you choose is purely a matter of personal taste.
After studying the dimensions of a rough stone, a cutter applies his art and imagination to produce a distinctive shape. These include Brilliant Round (the most popular choice), Oval, Pear, Emerald, Marquise, Square Princess, and Heart shapes.
WHAT TO SPEND
diamond buyer's guide
Diamonds are available in a range of prices. Spend wisely, and you'll be rewarded with a gem of maximum quality and value.
If you're planning to buy a diamond engagement ring-which after 500 years remains the No. 1 choice as the gift that seals a vow-you may want to use the commonly accepted guideline of two months' salary.
How can you be sure to choose the perfect diamond for her? She may already have dropped hints by admiring a picture or someone else's. If not, ask what she likes. Take her diamond shopping. Share your knowledge of rarity with her. Later, surprise her with the ultimate gift of love.
When it comes to other types of diamond jewelry, such as a diamond solitaire necklace or anniversary band, purchase the highest-quality you can afford. As a symbol of love's affirmation, rare diamonds fully capture the magic of a lifetime shared.
the 5th C: confidence
HOW A JEWELER CAN HELP
A jeweler who's a diamond expert can help you to select the right diamond. Trustworthy jewelers take pride in finding quality stones for discerning customers. They're knowledgeable, accessible, and able to explain the 4Cs as well as show you a selection of diamonds in a range of prices.
Only by comparing one stone to another will you be able to appreciate what makes one diamond more rare and valuable than another-and why the most brilliant and sparkling example is truly the finest. Do keep in mind that are no "bargain" diamonds; there are only diamonds of less value, weight, and brilliance than others.
Your jeweler can also present a range of precious-metal settings, from the traditional to the cutting-edge, to accentuate the special diamond you choose.
an occasion worth celebrating
WHEN YOU FIND THE RIGHT DIAMOND
Now that you know what makes a bigger and better diamond rare and valuable, you're ready to give the gift of a lifetime. Let the magic of its incomparable fire, sparkle, and brilliance beautifully say how much you feel for the woman you love. The moment, along with the diamond, will be something you both treasure forever.