Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Diamonds are Forever

Everything else in this world come and go, but diamonds are forever. People die, animals die, feelings die too, all else can disappear, but stones stay in existence as long as the earth is still around.

Diamonds makes women happy in many ways. It gives meaning to a relationship. When a man proposes with diamonds to show his love to a lady, she will appreciate it even more. However, diamond also is the roots of evil in many of us. It generates feelings of envy and greed or in other words, it brings the worst out of people. In 'Blood Diamond' acted by Leonardo D'Caprio, we learned the true scenario of diamonds in Africa. It leaves a great impact to my whole perspective of diamonds.

I never had a real diamond ever in my life but recently. I don't know what to make out of it, whether I should be happy or melancholic. It was a joke on April Fool 2008 to make me feel better. Ironically, in the end, the whole thing itself, and the relationship that I had, translated into a big joke of my life. I don't even know what it represents. Happiness or tragedy. See... diamond has its pros and cons. It can either fix you or break you. No matter what, being a woman, I had great interest on these diamonds.

A small diamond ring, will not be my last diamond. I am looking forward for more to come. Speaking from a woman point of view, I like my diamonds to be from men, not that I myself had to buy it. Even when I can afford it (which I can), it's just meaningless to buy it myself. It has to be special, it has to be with reasons and it has to be at the right moment.

They talk about 4C. What are they? How do we value a diamond and so forth. It's very interesting, isn't it. Here are some of the compilation research of diamonds:

What Diamonds made of?
It is made of hardened carbon same like in pencils and coals but the atoms bond are stronger. That is why diamonds are the hardest stone on earth. Only a diamond can cut a diamond.

What are 4Cs?
A diamond's beauty, rarity and price depend on the interplay of the 4Cs, i.e. Cut, Carat, Clarity and Colour. Diamonds with the highest combination of 4Cs will be valued more and consequently be more expensive. No one C is less important than the other and each beauty will not be diminished throughout time.

CARAT refers to the weight of a diamond.

1 carat is equivalent to 200 miligrams. 1 carat can also be divided into 100 points. A .75 carat is the same as 75-points or 3/4 carat diamond. However, 1 carat diamond is not valued twice as 1/2 carat diamond because larger diamonds are very rare, so 1 carat diamond can be more expensive than twice 1/2 carat diamond (provided cut, colour and clarity remain constant).

CLARITY refers to presence of the inclusion in the diamond.

Every diamond is unique as also the person who will wear it one day. Inclusions are natural identifying characteristics such as minerals or features, appearing while diamonds are formed in the earth. They may look like tiny crystals, clouds or feathers.

To identify inclusion, jewelllers use a magnifying loupe. This tool allows jewellers to see a diamond at 10 times its actual size so that inclusions are easier to see. There are very few flawless diamonds found in nature, thus these diamonds are much more valuable.

Inclusions are ranked on a scale of perfection, known as clarity, which was established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The clarity scale, ranging from F (Flawless) to Included (I), is based on the visibility of inclusions at a magnification of 10 times. The greater a diamond's clarity, the more brilliant, valuable and rate it is.

COLOUR refers to the degree to which a diamond is colourless.

Diamonds can be found in any colour of the rainbow, not just clear coloured as most popular. It is graded on a colour scale established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) which ranges from D (colourless) to Z. Colour differences are very subtle and it is very difficult to see the difference, therefore it is graded under controlled lighting conditions and are compared to a master set for accuracy.

Truly colourless stones, graded D, are treasured for their rarity. Colour however, ultimately comes down to personal taste. Diamonds with intense shade of blue, green, yellow, orange, pink or rarest red are called coloured fancies and are extremely rare and highly treasured.

CUT refers to the angles and proportions of a diamond.

Nature determines so much about a diamond, but it takes a master cutter to reveal the stone's true brilliance, fire and ultimate beauty. Based on scientific formulas, a well-cut diamond will internally reflect light from one mirror-like facet to another and disperse and reflect it through the top of the stone. This results in a display of brilliance and fire. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom results in brilliance and ultimately, value.

Non-round shapes, also known as "fancy shapes", will have their own guidelines to be considered well-cut.

There you go, all about the understanding of basic 4Cs to know the quality, beauty and rarity of a diamond. I am not yet done with diamonds. To be continued in the next posting :)

"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without" - Confucius

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