Buying diamond jewelry is an experience unlike anything else and nothing tops buying a diamond engagement ring. It is easily the most significant and romantic diamond purchase. That being said, you may ask what exactly a diamond is and what makes it so special? Different people have different answers: its beauty, its symbol of love and commitment, its durability, or its rarity. When buying a diamond for your special someone it is a combination of all of the above.
Diamonds are one of nature's miracles. They are minerals made out of carbon atoms. The carbon atoms form diamond crystals with a combination of the right temperature and pressure conditions in the earth's upper mantle. These specific formation conditions are what give diamonds its supreme hardness, durability, and its beautiful optical properties.
Diamonds are mined in many locations throughout the world. The amount of diamonds that a single mine will produce is limited. The quality of the diamonds mined across the globe also varies; an estimate of only 15% of the world's production of diamond rough has a high enough quality to be cut and used in jewelry. This small percentage is then sent to a cutter, where it is planned and cut to maximize brilliance and beauty.
Once diamonds are cut, they are sent anonymously to a gemological laboratory where they are graded by multiple, trained graders. The grades are recorded on the diamond certificate along with a plot of the diamond. The certificate includes a grade for the four Cs: Clarity: which is graded from Flawless to Included3, Color: graded D to Z (with D being the most colorless), Cut: graded Excellent to Poor, and Carat Weight: the actual weight of the diamond rounded to the nearest hundredth of a Carat, along with other grades. It is extremely important that the gemological laboratory that is grading and certifying your diamond is reputable, consistent, and dependable. Not only is the gemological laboratory extremely important, but also having a jeweler that you can trust is as equally important. While one grade difference might not seem like much to the consumer, it can actually equal a difference of thousands of dollars in price as well as have a large impact on the diamond's beauty.
So what does all this mean? The combination of the grades states the diamond's quality, which determines its rarity and its value, and ultimately what makes a diamond so special. But at the end of the day, the most important factor of your diamond engagement ring, is not the Carat Weight or whether its Clarity is graded Very Slightly Included1 instead of Flawless, it is the fact that you are going to spend the rest of your life with the one person you love the most in the world forever.