Diamonds are one of the most coveted gemstones in the world, and people that are born in April are lucky enough to declare these lustrous masterpieces their birthstone.
The origin of birthstones are somewhat uncertain; however, it is hypothesized that they date back to biblical times when a priest adorned his breastplate with a dozen different-colored gems. Each of the 12 gems eventually became associated with the zodiac, which led to one stone being assigned for each month.
According to the Gemological Institute of America and other grading institutions, a diamond’s quality is evaluated based on the 4 Cs: color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.
Color refers to the absence of color (usually referring to yellow or brown tints) in a white diamond. The less color in the stone, the whiter its appearance and the more desirable and valuable it is. There are, however, diamonds that are valuable because of their intensity of color, such as fancy yellow, pink, blue, black, and others.
Clarity measures the amount, size and placement of internal “inclusions” and external blemishes. Inclusions are bits of crystals, minerals, or even other diamonds that were captured inside the diamond while it was forming. Clarity grades run from Flawless, containing no visible imperfections under 10-power magnification, to Included, containing a number of eye-visible imperfections.
Cut refers to the proportion and arrangement of the diamond’s facets and the quality of workmanship. The amount of brilliance, sparkle and fire in a diamond is mainly determined by cut.
Carat weight refers to a diamond’s weight. Generally speaking, the heavier the diamond, the larger it appears in size. A diamond’s price is partly determined by weight (number of carats times the price per carat). The price per carat varies according to the other quality factors of color, clarity, and cut.
Vintage and antique diamond engagement rings are popular with people of all ages because the vintage price for a diamond is generally lower than the new retail price for a similar diamond. Buying vintage also helps to save the environment because no new diamonds were mined to create the ring.
Antique Diamond Engagement Ring from the Edwardian Era
Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers in San Diego, California specializes in new, vintage, and antique diamond engagement rings. To browse just a sample of the jewelry and watches that are available in our showroom, please visit www.LeoHamel.com.