Diamond jewelry will always be in a league of
it's own. Men will continue to swear love by it. A diamond ring will always
be part of a woman's heart that she will keep on her finger. The brilliance
of diamonds has dazzled mankind for centuries. Engagement rings and wedding
rings usually have diamonds embedded in them.
The 4 Cs of diamonds
Cut: The cut of the diamond determines its brilliance. A stone
that is poorly cut will lose light through the sides and bottom and result
in reduced radiance. A well-cut diamond will internally reflect light
from the mirror-like facet to another and disperse as well as reflect
it through the top. The result is a brilliance that is unmatched. A round
diamond generally reflects all the light that enters it on account of
Color: You can find diamonds from icy whites to warm whites, from
subtle pinks to various hues of blue and green. The color scale established
by the GIA ranges from D (colorless) to Z. Warm colored diamonds fall
in the range of (K-Z) whereas the icy stones fall in the (D-J) range.
The true color of a diamond can be gauged under controlled lighting conditions.
Truly colorless stones are rare and therefore highly priced. There are
many factors that affect the color of a diamond. Presence of trace elements
gives some diamonds a different tinge and shade. The presence of nitrogen
can impart a yellowish tinge to a diamond.
Certain settings can work wonders
on some stones. A stone that is slightly yellow can be made to appear
colorless by mounting it in a white-gold setting. The lighting conditions
have a role to play in determining the color of a diamond. HPHT (high pressure/ high temperature) processing can change the color of some diamonds.
Clarity: The most precious diamonds are the clearest. Most diamonds
have natural identifying characteristics such as minerals or fractures
and these are known as 'inclusions'. The Gemological Institute of America
(GIA) has established a scale of perfection known as clarity. The range
can vary from F (Flawless) to Included (I). The imperfections can be studied
by a jeweler with the help of a magnifying loupe.
Carat: This refers to the weight of the diamond. Consequently
stones of higher carat value are more expensive. One carat is equivalent
to 200 milligrams.
Diamond settings and shapes
There are different types of diamond settings - bar, channel, invisible,
pavé and prong. Each setting style has its own beauty and charm.
A bezel setting is more secure than the others. It includes a rim encircling
the diamond and makes it appear larger. A pavé setting is made
up of small diamonds set side by side into little holes giving an appearance
of a continuous surface of diamonds. Elongated diamonds such as oval,
pear and marquise appear larger than round diamonds of the same weight.
A round diamond continues to remain an all-time favorite.
Care of diamond jewelry
Your precious diamond jewelry is best stored in individual jewelry
cases or cloth pouches. Products such as lotions, soaps, perfumes and
powders and hair sprays can affect the brilliance of the diamonds by leaving
a film on them. Diamond has the property of repelling water but readily
accepts wax and grease.
This causes it to get greasy and soiled. The diamond
jewelry needs to be cleaned with care. Soaking the jewelry for a short
while in a solution of liquid dishwashing and following it with a mild
and gentle scrubbing can do wonders for your precious ice stones. The
jewelry can be patted dry with a lint-free cloth. You can get your diamond
jewelry professionally cleaned once a year or so.
Do not wear your diamond
rings or ear studs when participating in sports and swimming. Though diamonds
are one of the hardest materials known to man, they can be chipped by
hard impact. A little care can go a long way in maintaining the brilliance
of these icy stones.