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A Beginners Guide to Diamonds
We put this guide together for the purpose of aiding our clients in their purchases of diamond jewelry.
To jump to the section on gold and gold jewelry follow this link.
In order to help you understand what your jeweler or jewelry salesman is saying here are some basic diamond definitions
- Brilliance: Total amount of white light returned to the eye from a gem material as a result
internal and external reflections
- Carat: Unit of weight for gems. Equal to 200 milligrams
- Clean: Free from noticeable flaws
- Crown: The part of the gemstone above the girdle
- Facet: One of the plane, polished surfaces placed upon a gemstone, fashioned as brilliant cut, step cut, etc.
- Feather: Almost any flaw inside a stone
- Flaw: An inclusion of another substance, cleavage or fracture
- Fracture: A break or chip in any direction
- Inclusion: Any optically detectable irregularity of a gem material
- Melee: Small round faceted diamonds, approximately .18 carats or less
- Pavilion: That portion of a faceted diamond or other material below the girdle
- Gemology: The study of gemstones and their identification, grading, appraisal, symbols etc
The difference between a Diamond
Certificate and an Appraisal:
A Diamond Certificate is
a document that describes the physical characteristics of a loose
Diamond and is issued by a Gemological Laboratory.
A Diamond Certificate issues a "grade"
indicating the physical properties
of the Diamond "at the time of evaluation",
and remains valid as long as the Diamond is not chipped or otherwise altered.
An appraisal can be
performed on a loose Diamond, a mounted stone, or jewelry. If the
stone is not loose, the physical properties are estimated using
various estimation techniques. Most importantly, an appraisal
indicates the Dollar Value of the piece under consideration.
Obviously, the Dollar Value can easily change considerably over a
relatively short period of time. Appraisals are most often used for
Diamond clarity can be improved, but not all enhancement techniques are permanent.
The two most popular treatments are:
A laser is used to remove some types of inclusions.
An experienced jeweler can usually see the trail left by the laser. Laser treatments are permanent.
Tiny cracks in a diamond are filled with a colorless substance.
Fracture filling is not considered permanent. In fact, many times when a ring is cleaned in an ultrasonic bath
the flaw becomes very apparent.
Treatments are not inherently bad, they allow us to own a diamond that appears to be of a higher clarity than it truly is.
But treated diamonds should cost less, so it's important to do business with a jeweler you trust, one who evaluates and discloses any type of enhancement that's been performed.
Then there are four items that when combined give the appearance and value
of every diamond.
These are the four "C's", Cut, Clarity, Carat Weight, and Color
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Pioneer Loan and Jewelry
520 N. Eastern Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Office hours are from 9am to 8:00pm Monday through Saturday
and 10am to 5pm Sundays
Phone: (702) 384-2970 or (800)-943-1100
FAX: (702) 384-2465