People are flocking to jewelry stores around the country to buy that special someone something that sparkles. So what makes one diamond more valuable than another? Ask any diamond and jewelry professional, and they will tell you the factors that influence the value of diamonds are much more complicated than the commonly referred to 4 c’s: Clarity, Color, Cut, and Carat Weight.
But, the 4 c’s are really just the beginning of the factors that make up the value of a diamond. I call the remaining considerations ‘Characteristics,’ making a fifth c if you will. Characteristics include any properties that may affect the overall value of the stone, such as the construction of the diamond, the nature of imperfections, as well as natural or man made characteristics.
- Proper Ratio of Depth and Table Percentages – Depth and table percentages will affect the value of a diamond because they are an indication of a well-proportioned stone. If a depth percentage is too big or small, it can change the amount of light reflected back to the human eye. Table percentages act in very much the same way. If a table percentage is too large, light will not reflect well. If a table percentage is too small, the diamond will appear smaller than its weight.
- Fluorescence – Fluorescence has become a big factor when valuing a diamond. Stones showing medium fluorescence are discounted, and those with strong or very strong blue fluorescence are discounted to a much larger extent.
- Graining – Diamonds are grown and occur in nature. In some diamonds, the presence of graining can affect the light reflection from the stone and give the diamond a hazy and cloudy look.
- The Girdle – The girdle is the waist of the stone. It forms the border between the top and bottom of the diamond. When buying a diamond, ideally one would want to stay away from the term “very” when describing the girdle.
- Carat Weight – I advise all my clients to avoid buying a diamond that has an even carat weight of .00. If a diamond with an even carat of weight of say 2.00 is bruised or chipped, in order to repair it, the diamond would weigh in at a lower weight category. The weight change from 2.00 carats to 1.99 can have a tremendous affect on the value of the diamond.
- The Bottom of the Diamond – The culet or bottom of the diamond can also affect its look and value. The ideal measurement of a culet is none or the absence of the culet.
- The Proportion – The proportion of the diamond is also very important. Round diamonds should be as close to a perfect circle as they can be. Emerald cuts should be symmetrical; ovals, marquise and pear shapes should be graceful.
The 4 c’s are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to diamond knowledge. So when you’re buying a diamond this Valentine’s Day, keep in mind that various aspects of a diamond can affect appearance, beauty and value, whether the diamond is being purchased or sold.
I often explain to my clients the many factors that affect the value of their diamond. Our purpose is to get our clients the best possible price for their jewelry, but also to answer all of their questions and guide them through the process to make it as seamless as possible.
Andrew Fabrikant, Partner of Andrew & Peter Fabrikant, a nationwide leader in diamond and estate jewelry buying, specializes in signed and unsigned estate jewelry (pre-owned jewelry), diamonds, watches, gold and other fine jewelry from anywhere in the United States. With four generations and more than 100 years in the jewelry trade, they have an established name of assessing each item of jewelry not only for its intrinsic worth, but its aesthetic value, its market desirability and history. Andrew & Peter Fabrikant will guarantee any and all purchases for quality and price. For more information call 1-800-570-Gems or visit http://fabon5th.com.