Education - Diamond Shopping and Attributes of Diamond Jewelry
Diamond Facts and Myths
•   A diamond is forever.
Diamonds are not forever. Diamonds can chip, fracture or break under certain circumstances. If that doesn’t depress you, wait until you read this. Diamonds are made up of carbon molecules. When diamonds leave the intense heat and pressure deep under ground, the carbon molecules begin to revert back to the stable form of carbon… graphite. Fortunately, this process is very, very slow.
•   Diamonds are very rare.
Nope! Diamonds may seem rare because the distribution of the number of diamonds released to the market is highly regulated. If all the diamonds in the world were to be released, there would be enough to give each man, woman and child in the United States a cup full of them.
•   Women are more size conscious than quality conscious.
This might have been true in the past, but now women, and men, are better educated about the qualities of diamonds thanks to the many books and other gem educational websites such as ours.
•   Diamonds are the most expensive gemstone.
Actually, there are other gemstones out there that are more expensive than diamonds. A top-quality ruby for example, could be worth over $32,000 per carat.
•   Larger diamonds are always more valuable than a smaller diamond.
Size is only one variable that determines a diamond’s value. A small, high-clarity, high-color diamond can cost more than a large, low-clarity, low-color diamond.
•   After a diamond has been cut, little diamonds can be made from the shavings.
Actually, when a diamond is cut (shaped and polished), it is grounded down. The only thing that comes off the diamond is dust.
•   A fancy shaped diamond is more difficult to cut than a round diamond.
All diamonds are difficult to cut. Very large diamonds take more time and effort than smaller ones, but the shape of the diamond doesn’t make it any more or less difficult.
•   Diamonds are a good investment.
This is only true if the diamond will be resold. Since most people only buy diamonds to be worn, used and passed on, diamonds don’t make good investments. With proper education and training, diamonds could be good investment items, but for the average person, buying a diamond for personal enjoyment, fulfillment and prestige is perfectly fine.
•   Diamonds are a bad investment.
Diamonds may not be a good investment to the average person, but they aren’t bad either. Just like any investing, if a diamond is purchased at the right price, it will most likely retain its value. Since the diamond crash of 1979, when a D flawless diamond fell from $75,000 to under $15,000, the price of diamonds has been increasing.
•   Diamonds should be bought strictly on its visual appearance. “If it looks good, get it.”
Many people think that “what I can’t see can’t hurt me.” This can lead to disaster. Jewelers spend a lot of money on spotlights to make their merchandise sparkle. Unless you plan to do the same, you’d better read up on the 4 C’s or you might end up buying a diamond that looks great in a jewelry store, but terrible everywhere else.
•   An emerald cut is the most expensive diamond shape.
This is absolutely not true. The emerald cut is the least expensive of all the shapes. Because the emerald shape is closest to the natural shape of diamonds, less work needs to be done on it with less waste during the cutting process.
•   No diamond is perfect.
A perfect diamond would simply be a diamond free of inclusions and blemishes when viewed under a 10x loupe (flawless), with no trace of color (D color), and perfectly proportioned. Even though they’re rare, they do exist. One such diamond came up in auction in 2003. Read the article An Evening at Sotheby's.
•   It is difficult to tell the difference between a cubic zirconia (CZ) and the real thing.
Any good jeweler can tell the difference immediately. A CZ has a plastic look to it. CZ has a light-blue cast throughout the entire stone. Another way of telling the difference is by weight. A CZ will weight about 65% more than an actual diamond.
•   Diamonds are expensive.
Some are, some aren’t. It all depends on the quality. It’s possible to get a 1 carat diamond for about $300 if the quality is low.
•   Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.
This is entirely based on opinion and the popular song “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” from the hit Broadway show and film, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” Some women love diamonds, others don’t.
•   Cushion-shaped diamonds are not as bright as round brilliants.
If you're talking about Old Mine Cuts, then yes, they are not as brilliant, but they have more fire (color play) than modern round brilliants. Modern cushion cut diamonds rival modern round brilliants in brightness.
•   Diamond clarity doesn't matter as much when it comes to fancy colored diamonds, especially if they are irradiated.
Diamond clarity always matters, whether a diamond is irradiated or not. This myth may have originated from some jewelers assuming irradiated diamonds were “less of a diamond”, down at the level of semi-precious stones like the heat-treated stone blue topaz. Diamonds, even irradiated ones, have significant value compared to most gemstones.
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