Diamond Quality Explained by a St. Louis Jewelry Store
If you’ve been through many St. Louis diamond stores to look at diamonds, you might have gotten confused. Some salespeople throw around industry jargon and show you stones that look alike but have completely different price tags. Diamonds aren’t complicated or confusing, and buying one doesn’t have to be stressful if you follow two basic rules.
1. Buy What You Like From a Good Store
One of the easiest ways to find a quality diamond is to limit your shopping choices to high quality St. Louis diamond stores. The leading retailers — like Clarkson Jewelers — stock good quality pieces and have pricing that closely tracks the real value of the jewelry they sell. This eliminates the chance that you’ll buy a bad diamond or that you’ll pay an unreasonable price. Then, the process is very simple. Find a piece that you — or the person that you’ll be giving it to — love. Then purchase it. While a professional sales person can guide you and help you narrow the choices to just pieces that meet your criteria, only you or your intended recipient really know what you like.
2. Understand the Differences
Of course, if you would like to get a deeper understanding of what you are purchasing, you can also go a little bit deeper into the process and learn more about diamonds. St. Louis diamond stores typically use the industry-standard 4C system to describe each stone. Those 4 C’s are relatively simple:
A diamond’s size is measured in carats. A one carat diamond weighs approximately 200 milligrams. This means that you need five one-carat diamonds to equal the weight of a paperclip or a feather. The effect of this is that, while there is a noticeable difference between a 1.5 carat diamond and a 2 carat stone, you probably don’t need to worry much about whether a stone is 1.57 or 1.59 carats. As long as it generally looks right, the caratage is less important.
A diamond’s clarity measures how many internal imperfections it has. Most diamonds have some imperfections but, as long as they aren’t very large, they have little or no effect on the stone’s appearance to the naked eye. The finest St. Louis diamond stores have a trained staff that can show you a stone’s imperfections under magnification so you can understand what you are purchasing. Remember, though, that diamonds get worn — not inspected.
Diamond colors are rated with letters. D diamonds are close to colorless as is possible in nature, H diamonds are usually more than close enough and, as you move up the alphabet, the stone has more and more color. As with caratage, small changes in color — like from G to H — usually don’t make a visible difference.
Diamonds are beautiful for two reasons. Some of their beauty is built into the stone by the immense geological forces that created them. Much of it comes from how they are cut. To get maximum brilliance and beauty, the diamond cutter has to follow a strict pattern of how many facets to cut and where to place them. As you can imagine, it’s hard to do this perfectly. The closer to perfect that the diamond is cut, the more brilliance it will have. Fine St. Louis diamond stores should have enough stones that you can compare the impact of differing quality cuts and see which one meets your expectations. Take the next step and come see us, or download a copy of our Clarkson Jewelers Diamond Buying Guide to learn more about the ins and outs of picking the diamond perfect for you.