Learn About Diamonds and Gold
Diamond Certification – The 4 C’s
Diamonds are one of the most highly traded commodities in the world. As such, there is a system for grading or rating them known as the 4 C’s. The 4 C’s are Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat.
A perfect diamond is totally colorless. A colorless diamond has a color rating of D, which means it is free from any color. Color ratings range from D (colorless) to K (colored). Diamonds with a color rating of E or F typically have a very slight trace of color that is only visible to diamond experts using special viewing equipment.
Every diamond that you find in a store has been cut from mined ore. The term “cut” describes the manner in which a diamond has been shaped and polished. This is really a description of the quality or workmanship put into the preparation of the diamond. Diamond cutting is like any trade that requires specialized tools and skills, there are some people who do it better than others. There are mathematically precise angles and facets that can be used when cutting a stone to produce the maximum amount of light reflection possible. Stones that are cut well will display a greater brilliance and “sparkle” over stones that are not cut as well.
Diamonds come from deep within our home planet. They come up out of the ground in the form of an ore. After they are cut, they main contain blemishes or imperfections. Some of these imperfections of nearly invisible while some may be visible to the naked eye. The term clarity is used to rate imperfections in a diamond. Things such as foreign matter, cracks and their related visibility and size all factor into the clarity rating of a diamond. Needless to say, the higher the clarity of a diamond the more expensive it will be due to the rarity of very clear diamonds. In fact, only about 20% of all of the diamonds mined are suitable for use in jewelry due to the numerous imperfections that are commonly found.
Carat is the term used to measure the physical weight of a diamond. One carat is defined as 200 milligrams. The price of any given diamond is partially determined by it’s weight. As diamonds get larger, and therefore heavier, their price increases exponentially due to their rarity. The larger a diamond, the more rare it is by comparison to smaller diamonds.
Historically, gold has been used as money and to demonstrate wealth. It earned it’s reputation as a valuable substance due to its rarity and beauty. Today, gold is extensively in jewelry and as an investment.
Gold is measure by troy weight and by grams.
Gold is a very soft material. Therefore it is commonly mixed with other harder metals before it is used in products such as jewelry. The proportion of gold in an alloy is measured by karat (k) where 24 karats is pure gold. A the karat rating gets lower, there is less gold in the alloy.
Golds primary use is in jewelry and coinage. Gold is also used in electronics due to its conduction abilities and resistance to corrosion. It can also be found in medicine and cuisine.
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