How To Buy Diamonds
Optical beauty is the single most important factor in the selection and purchase of a diamond. The lighting conditions and display techniques used in typical jewelry stores artificially enhance the appearance of optical beauty in diamonds. Therefore, it is impossible to accurately evaluate the optical beauty of a diamond in a typical jewelry store.
IN ORDER TO ACCURATELY EVALUATE THE TRUE OPTICAL BEAUTY OF A DIAMOND IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU VIEW THE DIAMOND LOOSE AND IN A DISTORTION-FREE ENVIRONMENT.
The following is a list of viewing considerations:
1. LIGHTING CONDITIONS: 5000 Kelvin tubular fluorescent color corrected daylight bulbs are the recommended lighting source for distortion-free viewing of diamonds. The viewing environment should be as free as possible of any and all other lighting sources (including sunlight).
2. LIGHTING ANGLE: The light source should be focused directly on the diamond. The more indirect and diffused the light source, the more the optical characteristics of the diamond will be artificially enhanced. Viewing the diamond in a small room with a low ceiling reduces indirect and diffused light and, therefore, is a more distortion-free viewing environment than a large room with a high ceiling.
3. COLOR GRADING: The diamond should be placed in a white color grading tray and viewed through its side to accurately evaluate its color.
4. CLARITY GRADING: The diamond should be viewed in its face-up and reverse positions under either a 10X jeweler's loupe or under a 10X binocular microscope to accurately evaluate its clarity. The 10X jeweler's loupe is considerably easier to use and provides more flexibility and control than the 10X binocular microscope.
5. VIEWING THE DIAMOND IN ITS FACE-UP POSITION WITH YOUR NAKED EYE: The diamond should be viewed in its face-up position with your naked eye from a variety of overhead angles. Some diamonds appear very brilliant when viewed from directly overhead but rapidly lose their brilliance when viewed from increasingly steep angles.
Always remember that BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER. What is the most important factor to you in defining optical beauty? Is it size, brilliance, fire, sparkle, clarity, color or some other factor or combination of factors? The best diamond for you is the diamond that best matches your own personal definition of optical beauty. The best way to determine what characteristics are the most important to you is to view many diamonds, compare them side by side, keep an open mind and see what characteristics you find to be most appealing. Beauty comes in many forms.
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