Diamonds are made up of the mineral Carbon, which is also the same mineral that pencil lead comes from. Carbon under certain temperatures and pressures determine which substance is formed. When Carbon is placed under highly extreme pressure and temperature, it forms the very sought after gem: the Diamond.

Diamonds are first formed from deep within the earth’s crust and mined in many different countries across the globe. Once mined, the rough diamonds are sent to “cutting centers” around the world where these rocks are cut, faceted, and sent to the distributors and wholesalers which then are sold to companies like Zander’s Jewelry (“the dealers”).

There are 4 value factors which Diamonds are based upon which are referred to as the “4 C's”:

CUT, COLOR, CLARITY, AND CARAT (WEIGHT)

CUT is determined by its shape. The traditional “Round Cut”, also known as the “brilliant cut”, is the most well known diamond shape. It has been named the brilliant cut because of all the different shapes or cuts of diamonds, the Round Cut reflects the whitest light back to your eye which is referred to as "sparkle". Other shapes are called “Fancy Shapes” which include the “Princess Cut”, the “Marquise”, the “Oval”, and the “Pear Shape” to name a few.

COLOR is based on a letter scale beginning with the letter D and ranging through the letter Z. D color is considered completely colorless. As slight to more noticeable shades of yellow are present in the stone, the diamond loses value and is graded accordingly down the scale. A color stone would have enough yellowish tints for someone to clearly see there is yellow present in the diamond.

A Z color stone is considered "Fancy Yellow" which is similar to the primary color yellow and is popular in today's market. Natural Fancy Yellow diamonds demand a higher price as do other natural colored diamonds. Diamonds come in other colors like pink and blue and are considered more valuable since they are rare.

CLARITY is graded on an 11 grade scale determined by how many inclusions or imperfections there are in the stone. These inclusions happen when the diamond is being formed in the earth and sometimes when they stone is being cut.

The scale is as follows:

F = Flawless
IF = Internally Flawless
VVS1-VVS2 = very, very slightly included
VS1-VS2 = very slightly included
SI1-SI2 = slightly included
I1, I2 and I3 = included

Most diamonds you see on the market fall between the VS1 clarity grade to the I1 clarity grade. A trained professional or a company like G.I.A. or E.G.L. can determine the color and clarity grades to a diamond.

CARAT WEIGHT is the last of the 4 C's. Carat is the measuring scale by which diamonds are weighed. In a 1.00 carat diamond there are 100 points. Therefore if a diamond weighs 1/2 carat or .50 ct there are 50 points to it.

In the world of Gemology there are numerous stoned that are mined from the earth and are considered Gems. In today's market some are more common and well known than others. There are 2 categories of colored stones: Precious and Semi-Precious.

Precious stones include Diamond, Ruby, Emerald and Sapphire. In their finest quality these gems demand the highest prices.

Semi- Precious gems include all others. To name a few common faceted colored stones we see are Tanzanite, Garnet, Amethyst, Opal, Topaz, and Tourmaline. Colored Stones are also designated as birthstones for children born in certain months of the year. They are:

* January - Garnet
* February - Amethyst
* March - Aquamarine
* April - Diamond
* May - Emerald
* June - Alexandrite
* July - Ruby
* August - Peridot
* September - Sapphire
* October - Rose Zircon
* November - Topaz
* December - Blue Zircon

 

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