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- A Buyers' Guide to Scheherazade's Brilliant Diamond Event, August 15-16, carat, clarity, color, cut, diamonds
From Mae West and Marilyn Monroe to today’s top-rated R&B singer Rhianna, much has been said and sung about the beauty of diamonds and the value people place on them. For some that value is financial, but during Scheherazade’s two-day diamond event from August 15 to 16, the jewelry store will concentrate on the emotional significance of diamonds as an enduring symbol of love that represents a life-long commitment for couples.
What’s In Store
For more than four decades, Scheherazade has positioned itself as a premier fine jewelry store in the Twin Cities. Trends come and go, but one constant for the Galleria-based jewelry store is diamonds. Based on people’s ongoing fascination with the fire and brilliance associated with the most precious of gemstones, Scheherazade has aligned itself with direct connections to diamond cutters in the world’s premier diamond cutting centers – chief among them New York and Israel.
Each day Scheherazade carries a wide variety of fine white and fancy colored diamonds. But for the two-day mid-August event, the store will source even more of these brilliant beauties. Scheherazade’s direct relationship with diamond cutters brings huge benefits to the store’s customers.
First and foremost is selection. As many know (thanks in part to De Beers’ marketing), no two diamonds are alike. And, similar to the love of a couple, no two people in a relationship are the same. To accommodate the many tastes, trends and budgets, Scheherazade not only has a wide selection of diamonds in the store but a virtual inventory of diamonds based on the store’s relationship with its diamond cutters.
Equally important is pricing. Scheherazade’s close relationship with its diamond cutters allows the jewelry store to offer top-quality diamonds at very competitive prices. “Eliminating the middle man” isn’t just a promotional catch phrase. Dealing directly with diamond cutters based in the world’s major diamond cutting centers reduces the cost of goods coming to market and gives fine retail jewelers like Scheherazade access to multitudes of fine diamonds – be it in-store or online through virtual diamond inventories.
Buying a Diamond
Purchasing a diamond is less complicated than many people think – especially for bridal customers. Based on the 4C’s of diamonds, the “carat” or the size of a diamond is fairly standard. Traveling down the decades of marital bliss, center-set diamonds have gone from a quarter-carat and half-carat in the 1950’s and 1960’s to a carat-plus today. For many Millennials, a one-carat diamond is average with many young couples opting for a 1.5- to 2.0-carat center-set diamond for an engagement ring.
After size, “color” is the second most visible quality of a diamond. Color ratings from D-F are colorless. Next is G-J, the near-colorless range. From K-M, there will be more faint signs of color. And, from “N” down to “Z” there are variations of faint to apparent color – namely yellow. Depending on a couple’s budget, colorless goods are the top choices, but near colorless is like Hertz rental car’s old campaign – very comfortable being number-two. Fancy colors, such as the widely known yellow diamonds of celebrity engagement ring fame, range from “fancy light” and “fancy yellow” to “fancy deep” and “fancy vivid.”
Many people know the literal and figurative reference of flawless, which is a reference to a diamond’s top “clarity” rating. Clarity is the least visible of the 4C’s. Each clarity rating, from Internally Flawless and Very, Very Slight Inclusions (VVS1 and VVS2) to Slight Inclusions (SI1 and SI2) and Inclusions (I1 to I3) are not visible to the naked eye. They are only visible with the aid of a 10x-power gem loupe. The main consideration when choosing a diamond based on its clarity rating is where the internal characteristic is positioned. If a diamond’s table (the top portion of a diamond) is clear, and the gemstone’s internal characteristics are located near facet junctions in the crown or pavilion, the path of light will travel easier, giving a diamond better sparkle and brilliance.
Saving the best for last, “cut” is the most important of the 4C’s. Even an impressively sized diamond of top color and clarity is cut poorly it will be lifeless and lack brilliance. A properly cut diamond will maximize what many industry insiders call “return of light” or “light performance.” For regular folks that is a diamond’s “brilliance,” “sparkle” or “fire.”
People commonly mistake what is the true “cut” of a diamond. It refers to two unique characteristics of a finished diamond. The first is the diamond’s shape (round, pear or marquise) while the other aspect of a diamond’s cut, is its make (the quality of the work in fashioning a diamond’s shape).
The important qualities of a diamond’s finish include top grades for “polish,” “symmetry” and the gemstone’s overall “cut” grade. When a diamond grading report states a diamond has “very good” to “excellent” polish, symmetry and cut grade, that diamond will be a brilliant symbol of lasting love.