About The Five C's
When shopping for a diamond, it is important to understand how they are classified. Take a few moments to read over these brief descriptions regarding: carat weight, cut, color, clarity and cost.
The Carat is a unit of weight for precious stones equal to 200 milligrams, 1/5 of a gram or 1/142 of an ounce. Price is exponential and is based on size. A 1-carat diamond could cost 10 times that of a 1/4 carat due to the rarity of its size.
Cutting of a diamond takes extreme precision and patience. Perfectly cut diamonds will reflect light entering from the top or "table," refract the light in a balanced manner throughout the diamond, and exit the light back out through the top portion of the diamond. The quality of a diamonds cut and it's proportions can have a significant effect on its price.
To achieve an ideal or perfectly cut diamond, more of the raw material or "rough" is lost in the cutting process, which creates a higher cost for the diamond from the onset of the cutting process. This also explains why all diamonds are not perfectly cut.
In most cases, the more colorless the diamond the more rare and valuable it is. Some diamonds come out of the ground with very vivid and well-defined colors. These diamonds are extremely rare and valuable.
The skilled diamond grader takes many characteristics into consideration when grading the clarity of diamonds. Every diamond is unique with distinctive internal and external characteristics.
For all grades except I1, I2 and I3, a 10 power magnification microscope or loupe (pronounced "loop") is used to observe the diamond. Flawless stones have no inclusions or surface blemishes. Internally flawless diamond can have minor surface blemishes that can be polished or removed to reach the flawless grade.
Inclusions are internal markings ranging from fractures or "feathers," black or dark carbon spots, or clouds which lower the transparency and decrease the amount of light that can be transmitted through the diamond.
Many dealers pay more for their diamonds because they buy on credit, they do not import them directly, or are unable to buy large quantities. Most diamond dealers maintain higher mark-ups because of a lower volume of sales.
At The Jewelry Exchange, we import complete site holder boxes of diamonds, the cheapest and most direct way of acquiring diamonds. Because of the huge cost of these boxes, only a handful of importers have the financial ability to do this.
And because of our huge volume, we are able to work on much lower mark-ups, or "margins." Compare our prices to others... We believe no one sells for less!