Posted on April 11 2016
Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local Lead Generation, and we're here with Sheetal Gupta of Maharani Jewels in Vancouver. She's the diamond lady. How are you doing today, Sheetal?
Sheetal: I'm doing really well, thank you so much, Mark.
Mark: So buying a diamond is a pretty daunting experience when you don't know, really, what you're doing — other than they look nice. There's a lot of factors to consider, we've all have heard about colour, cut, clarity and carat. So how do we mix that up on a budget — how do we pick the one characteristic that's the most important.
Sheetal: That's a great question, Mark. A lot of my clients have asked me which is the most important of the 4 C's. The best way I like to explain this is by firstly talking a little bit about the 4 C's actually mean, and sharing a little bit of my expertise and providing you with a little bit of advice. So firstly, let's talk about the 4 C's actually mean. The 4 C's were created by GIA, which is the Gemological Institute of America. The 4 C's stand for: Carat, Clarity, Cut, and Colour. It's a combination of the 4 C's that determines a diamond's value. That's why it's incredibly important that we understand what each C actually represents.
Sheetal: So let's start with carat. Carat is usually the easiest to understand, carat is basically a measure of weight. So point 2 grams equals 1 carat. The way carats are measured is 100 points equal 1 carat. When we're talking about carats, when someone says they're out looking for a 50 point diamond, that means a half a carat. When they say three quarters of a carat, that is 75 points.
Sheetal: So the next piece would be clarity. A diamond is formed hundreds of thousands of years ago, under just the right amount of heat and pressure. Naturally, during the formation process, there are certain characteristics that the diamond takes on. These characteristics are known as clarity characteristics. The more of these characteristics that you have, the less rare or less valuable a diamond is. When a diamond is completely free of these characteristics, it is known as a flawless diamond. Flawless diamonds are extremely valuable and extremely rare.
Sheetal: Next you have something called colour. Typically people think that all diamonds are colourless, when in fact, colourless diamonds are actually incredibly rare. So to find a diamond that lacks complete colour is known as a colourless diamond and it's extremely rare and therefore valuable. So most of the jewelry that you see out there has diamonds which have a little bit of a tinge of yellow or brown in them, or near colourless as opposed to completely colourless. There are diamonds which are known as fancy colour diamonds (which could be red, purple, yellow diamonds that you hear of) and those fall into fancy colour diamonds which are part of a completely different diamond grading scale. So we're just referring to diamonds which fall into the D-Z range, which are known to be the colourless or the white diamonds.
Sheetal: The 4th C that you have is the cut. To me, the cut is the most important of the 4 C's. Cut as seen as two different aspects: You've got the shape of a diamond. Diamonds can be cut into virtually any shape. The most common is round, known as the round, brilliant cut diamond. Then you have other shapes such as square shapes, you've got cushion shapes, you've got heart shapes, you've got oval shapes. When we're talking about round shapes, GIA actually assigns a cut grade for round diamonds, that goes from poor all the way to excellent cut. An excellent cut diamond by GIA standard represents less than 2% of diamonds in the world. The majority of diamonds that you see out there are actually cut very poorly. With regards to fancy cut diamonds, such as emerald and cushion shapes, those are little more complex and have a slightly different cut system. Today I'd like to talk more about the round cut diamonds. With regards to the round, the reason why I find cut so important is that it's the cut of the diamond that gives it that fire, the brightness and scintillation. I like it that the 'bling' factor. And women, when they see and compare each other's diamond rings, they often notice this sparkle. They notice the brilliance of a diamond. When a diamond is poorly cut, you don't see that sparkle or that 'bling' factor — you may see that the diamond is rather dull.
Sheetal: A lot of clients ask me, "Why aren't all diamonds cut as excellently-cut diamonds? If cutters have mastered this way of cutting, why aren't all diamonds the perfect cut?" The answer to that is, that when diamonds come out of the earth, their rough crystal is usually oblong in shape. And as cutters, they're trying to maximize their profit. So when you look at this rough diamond, you're trying to see, "What is the maximum amount of profit that I can make, therefore, what is the maximum number of diamonds I can cut out of this?" Typically, you can cut 10 diamonds that are poor or good cut, and that may only yield 3 or 4 excellent cut diamonds. So that obviously is a profit analysis for the cutters. What you see out there in the market is very mediocre cut diamonds — when you do see that excellent cut, GIA-certified diamond — again, remember that diamond is going to have a lot of life, a lot of lustre, and it will have that play of fire and brilliance that makes it so beautiful.
Sheetal: So lastly what I think I want to talk about is that everyone comes in with a specific investment range in mind. A lot of people may say that they want the largest diamond, or they want the diamond that is the most flawless. I think, at the end of the day, balance is the most important. So of course I talked about the importance of cut, but to have a well-balanced diamond you want a balance of size and carat, of clarity, of colour, that is also well cut. I think that can be achieved if we're able to better understand which attribute is more important. There will be different people who focus on different attributes, but I think that if we can find a diamond that is well-balanced, it will ultimately be the most beautiful diamond.
Sheetal: At the end of it, I think buying a diamond should be incredibly enjoyable, it should be a beautiful time in someone's life. Allow the jeweller to educate you on the 4 C's and what the various attributes are, so you can focus on what's so symbolic about the diamond, and the romance behind the whole process.
Sheetal: Thank you so much, Mark.
Mark: So if you're looking for an excellent diamond, the person to go see is Sheetal. She's a certified gemologist, the owner and founder of Maharani Jewels in Vancouver. Check out their website, http://maharanijewels.com, or give her a call (604) 727-0149 and book your appointment. Thanks, Sheetal.
Sheetal: Thanks so much, Mark.
Visit www.maharanijewels.com for diamond education and information on jewelry Vancouver.