Diamond Basics: How to Pick the Perfect Diamond

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Before you start diamond shopping, you want to have an understanding of what you are buying. This guide simplifies the Four C's of diamonds: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight, so you can select your diamond based on the same criteria professional jewelers use to grade them. After reading through this guide, you'll be ready to choose a quality diamond that's right for you.

 Harris Michael Jewelry carries only the highest grade of diamond cut, color, and clarity, and many sizes to go with any budget. Harris Michael Jewelry can halp you:
 - Learn how to choose the right diamond cut with the most brilliance for your budget
 - Learn how to choose a diamond with no color noticeable to the unaided eye
 - Learn how to choose the right grade of clarity for your diamond
 - Learn how to balance diamond quality with the size of your diamond
The cut of a diamond has the greatest effect on its brilliance, or sparkle. Sometimes cut is confused with shape, but the cutting grade is determined by the effort to minimize the refraction of light during every stage of the fashioning process. Shape is simply a matter of taste and does not effect quality. The most brilliant or fancy cut is made of 58 carefully angled surfaces, called facets, whose placement will effect the fire, brilliance, and ultimate beauty of your diamond. Even if the diamond has perfect color and clarity, a poor cut can make it look dull. Harris Michael Jewelry carries only the highest grades of diamond cut for the most sparkle.

A little color can diminish a diamond's brilliance; diamonds with very little color are the most highly valued and are priced accordingly. Color grading is standardized using the GIA color grading system: the scale begins with D and ends with Z, for white stones. Color in a diamond is more accurately describes as "lack of color." Most diamonds occur in nature having impurities causing them to have a slightly yellowish cast. To help you choose the most brilliant diamond, Harris Michael Jewelry offers diamonds with the highest grades of color.

Diamonds with few flaws, or inclusions, are very rare and highly valued. Inclusions effect the clarity, or the way that light is reflected through the stone. An inclusion can be a bubble, spot, or line which occurred while the diamond was being formed deep in the earth, though most inclusions are not visible to the naked eye. Clarity is graded based on the number, location, size, how visible the inclusions are, and type of inclusions found in the diamond, from "imperfect" to "flawless." Harris Michael Jewelry has some of the clearest diamonds available.

Carat Weight
The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. The word "carat" is derived from "carob," the tree whose seeds became the standard for measuring diamonds. One carat equals 1/5 of a gram or .007 of an ounce. Carat weight is further divided into decimals: exactly 1/2 carat is .50 and expressed as 50 points. Therefore, a one carat diamond is made up of 100 points. Since larger diamonds are more rare than smaller diamonds, diamond value tends to rise exponentially with carat weight.

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