Diamonds Frequently Asked Questions
The diamond is a miraculous and mesmerizing natural wonder that is unparalleled in brilliance. Their reputation precedes them, which can be intimidating to first-time owners. As such, we receive many questions about these sublime stones. Here are some of the most common. If you have a query that isn’t listed, don’t hesitate to contact us.
What Exactly Are Diamonds?
Diamonds are brilliant gemstones. More specifically, they are crystalline structures made of pure carbon. Their rigid and geometrically stable nature makes them peerlessly robust and long-lasting. In fact, diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. They possess a distinct beauty and glamor, as well as a few practical properties that make them unique and perfect for jewelry.
These stones are formed many miles underground. Intense heat and pressure pull carbon particles together, creating tiny diamonds. This process takes millions, even billions, of years. Over time, more carbon naturally accumulates on the stone, making it grow in size. Flaws and impurities are an inherent part of the process. Some of these impurities result in a complete color change, resulting in pink, yellow, and other hues.
Finally, diamonds are pushed to the surface via volcanic activity, where they are subsequently mined in countries like Canada, Botswana, and Australia.
How Are Diamonds Graded?
Diamonds and other gemstones are graded by professionally trained gemologists. They use a criterion called the “four Cs.” These four Cs are cut, clarity, color, and carat.
Cut refers to the stone’s shape. While diamonds are naturally beautiful, it takes a gem cutter to reveal their best qualities. The art of gem cutting is centuries old, allowing for diversity in shapes and styles. Some cuts are more desirable than others, such as round cuts, but they are each marvelous in their own way.
Clarity indicates the number of flaws and blemishes in a gemstone. Generally, the fewer, the better. 80 percent of diamonds have too many imperfections to be used for jewelry, so flawless diamonds are quite rare.
Color indicates a diamond’s hue. While the colorless diamond is the most iconic and valuable, most diamonds actually have a yellow-brown tint. There are several stones that have a deeper tint, however. While this can subtract from the gem’s value, they are still stunning and are more appealing to some. Shades like blue and pink are extremely rare and valuable.
Carat measures the stone’s size. Not to be confused with karats, carat size is essential when determining a gemstone’s value. The bigger, the more expensive. For engagement rings, the average diamond size is 1.5 carats.
How Can I Tell If A Diamond is Fake?
Diamonds are quite valuable; as a result, there are many imitators. Sometimes called simulants, they seek to emulate the radiance of a diamond. The two most common simulants are cubic zirconium and moissanite.
Cubic zirconium may resemble a diamond, but it certainly is not the real thing. Diamonds have a radiant, white light display while cubic zirconium has a more colorful light. This rainbow-like spectacle is sometimes called “fire.” In addition, cubic zirconium can have distinctive inclusions, notably gas bubbles. While difficult to know at first glance, cubic zirconium tends to fade in brilliance and beauty after two years.
Moissanite is a high-end simulant but is a simulant nonetheless. It is almost as robust as diamonds but possesses many qualities akin to cubic zirconium. The stone has the same fiery brilliance with a colorful light spectacle. Unlike diamonds or cubic zirconium, it has a slight yellow-green hue.
What Are Lab-Grown Diamonds?
Laboratory-grown diamonds are identical to natural diamonds. Gemologists can’t tell natural and lab-grown diamonds apart simply because they are structurally the same stone. The only difference is their origins. Lab-grown diamonds are created in a controlled environment, which makes them less expensive. It also means they are less valuable, but the lower upfront cost can make them more suitable for some people.
Lab-grown diamonds are made in one of two ways. In the first, tiny diamonds are placed in a high-tech chamber. Next, hot carbon gas is pumped into the chamber. Layer by layer, carbon accumulates on the gemstone over a few weeks. The tiny diamonds’ geometric shape gives the carbon a shape to build on, allowing the gem to grow. This method creates perfectly clean and pure diamonds.
The second method is more straightforward. High pressures and temperatures are pushed on a carbon slab by industrial machines. The end result is a black stone with a diamond in the middle. Due to the presence of this black stone, metal can sometimes get into the diamond, producing more inclusions. However, they can’t usually be seen by the naked eye.
How Much Should I Spend On A Diamond?
Ultimately, it depends on your priorities. While tradition dictates that one should spend three months’ salary on a diamond, this belief derives from a marketing campaign by a well-known diamond company. It is better to spend as much as you can justify on a diamond without making yourself financially uncomfortable. Want to have an exceptional wedding, a house, or a honeymoon? Appropriate your funds according to what you and your partner value most.
If you can’t afford your dream diamond, why not wait? When you have the resources, you can easily get a small, low-quality diamond and swap it for a higher-quality gem.
Shop Diamonds at Frank Adams Jewelers
Find Albany’s most brilliant diamonds at Frank Adams Jewelers. Our Albany, New York jewelry store offers a marvelous selection of diamonds in all shapes and sizes, as well as many beautiful engagement rings to put them in. We also have wedding bands and other accessories to ensure every visitor receives an unforgettable and unmistakable accent to any ensemble. Full of fine and fantastic jewelry, diamonds, and timepieces, your visit to our showroom will be the perfect shopping experience. We also offer professional jewelry repair, appraisals, and other essential services. Call (518) 435-0075 to speak with our staff for the answers to any other questions.