Carat - This is the unit of weight used for diamonds, a word derived from carob seeds used to balance scales in ancient times.
A carat is equal to 200 milligrams and there are 142 carats to an ounce. Carats are further subdivided into points. There are 100 points to a carat. For example, a 45-point diamond weighs a little less than half a carat. Because larger diamonds are quite rare, they have a greater value per carat.
Color - Although a diamond may be any color of the spectrum, grading a cut stone for color means deciding the amount by which it deviates from the whitest possible (truly colorless). Completely colorless, icy-white diamonds are rare, and therefore, more valuable. The best way to see the true color of a diamond is looking at it against a white surface. Although most diamonds are a shade of white, they do come in all colors - pale yellow, canary, pink, red, green, blue and brown. These are called "fancies," and they are valued for their depth of color, just as white diamonds are valued for their lack of color. The famous Hope Diamond is blue, and the well-known Tiffany Diamond is canary.
Clarity - A diamond's clarity is determined by taking into account the number, size, placement, color and nature of any internal "inclusions" or external surface irregularities. Inclusions are Nature's birthmarks - imperfections such as spots, bubbles or lines - included in the stone when it was crystallized from carbon millions of years ago. These marks make each stone unique, for no two diamonds have the same inclusions in the same places. When inclusions do not interfere materially with the passage of light through the stone, they do not affect its beauty. However, the fewer the inclusions, the more valuable the diamond. Under Federal Trade Commission rules, a diamond can be called "flawless" only when no imperfections are visible to a trained eye under 10 power magnification and in good light. Gemological Institute of America's (GIA) quality analysis system is the most widely used for grading gemstones in the United States. Clarity is graded according to the relative position of the diamonds on the Flawless-to-Imperfect scale.
Cut - Diamonds are cut according to an exact mathematical formula. A finished diamond has 58 "facets," which are the small, flat polished planes cut into a diamond, so that the maximum amount of light is reflected back to the viewer's eye. This reflection is called "brilliance," and is extremely important in evaluating the quality of a diamond. The widest circumference of a diamond is the "girdle." Above the girdle are 32 facets plus the "table," the largest and topmost facet. Below the girdle there are 24 facets plus the "culet," or point. Cut also deals with the shape of the diamond. Traditional shapes are round, emerald, marquise, pear, oval and heart.
Houston Jewelry's Unique Lifetime Diamond Jewelry Trade In Policy
Here at Houston Jewelry we pride ourselves on excellent customer service. And so, all diamond jewelry sold by us may be traded in for 100% of original purchase price, against any item priced minimum double the original purchase. Many of our competitors only offer a trade up value for the principle diamond, not a piece of diamond jewelry. We are so confident in our diamonds and diamond jewelry that we offer our trade in policy for all diamonds and diamond jewelry that we sell. Think about it, what other item can you purchase, enjoy the full use of the item, and then sometimes decades later trade that item in and get the full value of your original purchase? The answer is nothing. Try that with a fine suit, or dinning room table....
The reasons for buying diamonds are as different as the people who desire them. Through the years, diamonds have provided fulfillment for emotional and practical needs. They are sought after as gifts, status symbols, tokens of romance and even as long-term investments.
Diamonds are beautiful: Their exquisite beauty and mystique provides us with an outward expression of love for "that special one." They create an aura of success and inspire feelings of pride.
Diamonds are durable: A diamond is the hardest substance known to man. Because of this fact, it is resistant to deterioration or deformity and its beauty will be enjoyed for many generations.
Diamonds are rare: Although there have been new discoveries of gem diamond resources, the supply is still limited. It is a fact that larger diamonds are increasingly harder to come by; when 250 tons of ore are blasted, crushed and processed, chances are there will only be one carat of rough diamonds recovered. And, only 20 percent of all rough diamonds are suitable for cutting into gem diamonds.
Diamonds are a store of value: While diamond prices may fluctuate with economic conditions, even after years of being worn and enjoyed, a diamond remains an historic store of value as the most concentrated form of wealth in history.
Diamonds get smudged and soiled and dusty. Lotions, powders, soaps, even the natural skin oils, put a film on diamonds and cut down their brilliance. Chemicals in the air can discolor the mountings of precious fine jewelry. So, clean your diamonds regularly.
The best method for cleaning diamonds is a fine jeweler's polishing cloth. Commercial jewelry cleaner, mild detergent, or a mix of ammonia and water will also do the job well. Dip the fine jewelry in the solution, then scrub gently with a soft brush. (Be sure to brush between and underneath the prongs.) Rinse in clear water and dry with a lint-free cloth. Also, there are many ultrasonic cleaners on the market that will clean any piece of fine jewelry that can be dunked in a liquid in a matter of minutes. A high frequency turbulence creates the cleaning action.
Don't jumble your diamond pieces in a drawer or jewelry case, because diamonds can scratch other fine jewelry - and even scratch each other.
Don't wear your diamond engagement ring while doing rough work. Even though a diamond is durable, it can be chipped by a hard blow.
Don't let your diamond come in contact with chlorine bleach when doing chores. It can pit and discolor the mounting.
Do keep your precious fine jewelry pieces in a fabric-lined jewel case or a box with compartments or dividers.
Do see your jeweler at least once a year and have your fine jewelry checked for loose prongs and wear of mountings. Your jeweler can also give them a professional "shine up" at the same time.
Because every diamond has its own characteristics, and no two stones are exactly alike, knowledge of the diamond industry and the nature of diamonds requires years of extensive study. Consequently, it is absolutely vital that you purchase your diamond from a local jeweler whom you know and trust, one who is established in the community and has earned an excellent reputation for integrity, service and reliability. Know the firm you are dealing with. Ask questions: Can you return for service and advice in the future? A reputable jeweler can explain why diamonds that appear to be virtually identical may show a wide range of value. Let your jeweler become your counselor - much as your doctor, lawyer or accountant. Our jewelers can help you to find the perfect GIA certified diamonds for your ring setting.
The unique beauty of a diamond can only be appreciated in the eye of the beholder. Diamond grading is an art and not a science. Highly respected national grading laboratories use proprietary grading systems, but ultimately grading is an opinion of the individual grading a diamond. Any given jeweler and an independent laboratory may grade the same diamond differently when grading it at different times. In light of that uncertainty, Houston Jewelry strongly encourages all clients to visually inspect all diamonds. Said visual inspection should be undertaken with the aid of an industry standard gemological stereo microscope with dark field illumination at 10 power magnification, instead of a hand loupe. Individuals purchasing diamonds sight unseen based solely on the diamond certificates often have an unsatifactory experience. We have seen two diamonds with the same grading specifications, from the same well respected national laboratory, which have vastly different visual properties,which can result in one looking far superior to the other. In the past, we have had multiple diamonds graded by one prominent laboratory and then sent those same diamonds to another prestigious laboratory, with a reputation of having a more stringent grading system and have been pleasantly surprised to receive a more favorable report from the "harder" laboratory. In short, we strongly encourage our clients to view diamonds in person, with the proper gemological equipment and to use the independent grading report just as a reference tool. As such we make the following disclosure:
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER & LIMITATION OF LIABILITY REGARDING DIAMOND LABORATORY GRADING REPORTS
A Diamond Laboratory Grading Report (“Report”) is an independent third-party opinion regarding the quality of a diamond. While such Reports are based upon quantifiable standards, a certain level of subjectivity is always inherent in the diamond grading process. Moreover, the standards that the various diamond laboratories use are not uniform. Accordingly, Houston Jewelry, Inc.’s transmittal or use of any such Report should not and does not imply Houston Jewelry’s agreement with or endorsement thereof.
Furthermore, Houston Jewelry makes no representation or express warranty, & disclaims all implied warranties, with respect to the independent diamond laboratory grading reports accompanying or applicable to the diamonds that it sells, or the accuracy thereof in regard to the proprietary grading systems that the independent grading laboratories us in relation to other independent laboratories grading systems. In no event shall Houston Jewelry Inc be liable to a client or any other third party for any loss, damage or expense or any consequential, incidental, indirect, exemplary, statutory, special or punitive damages, resulting from an error in or omission from, or the issuace of, use of, or reliance upon, such independent laboratory report, regardless of whether or not the client or such other third party was advised of the possibility of such damages.
We are a multi-time Better Business Bureau's Awards for Excellence Winner