Mon, 14 Jul 2003

Diamonds: Taste should come before quality

Many people have different tastes when it comes to diamonds, and thus there is no single good "recipe" for how to choose one.

When choosing a diamond, what matters most is that you find the jewel that pleases you. However, you should be aware of all of the specifications of the stone you are looking at, and should shop around. The first thing to ask yourself is, "Does this gem look good to me?".

If you don't like the way it looks, it really doesn't matter what carat or clarity it is! After you have found one that is appealing to you, get the specifications as to carat weight, color, clarity, cut and proportions as well as information about treatment.

Many diamonds are treated now, and this dramatically effects the value of the stone. Overall the most desired qualities in a white diamond are that it is near colorless, has very few inclusions, is well cut, and is untreated. Go with your instincts, but make an educated decision, and shop around.

Below are important guides that can help you find a diamond of your choice. For more complete information you can also download more tips from Jewelry.LifeTips.Com at

* Diamond selection When purchasing a diamond, and considering the four Cs (Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat weight), there is one often overlooked aspect of diamonds that really should be addressed, fluorescence.

Fluorescence is the phenomenon that makes some diamonds emit a blue glow when exposed to fluorescent lighting. Many times this fluorescence can be so strong, the diamond appears to have a bluish halo around it. The most common side effect of this is a foggy gem. It may look fantastic under store lighting, but when taken outside it somehow looks "different".

Always ask to view your diamond under as many different light sources as you can find, and if you can get the store to agree to it, have a sales person escort you to a window where you may view the diamond in natural light! It is often something not addressed by jewelry stores, as it greatly detracts from the appearance and, therefore, the value of a diamond.

When seeking that special diamond, keep one thing in mind - it is not all black and white. Diamonds occur in every color of the rainbow and then some.

This is a natural phenomenon caused by trace elements present when the diamond crystal was formed. Some of the most prized and rare colors are true red, purple and green. Colors can range from the faintest of hues of baby pink to bold black - and intensity of color does effect the price of the jewel.

Ask your jeweler about fancy colored diamonds, if they do not have any naturally colored diamonds, they may have some that have been treated for color (the treated diamonds are far more affordable than their naturally colored counterparts). You will be amazed at the intriguing show of color that can be found in nature's hardest substance, diamond.

* Diamond Cleaning

The best way to have your diamond cleaned is to take it to your jeweler and have them professionally clean it. However, a quick touch up can be done at home, easily and quickly! All you need is a toothbrush and some good old fashioned toothpaste! (use a non-polishing, non-abrasive toothpaste, as these contain grits that will scratch your jewelry)

Put the stopper in the drain and run a little warm water over your piece of jewelry. Put a tiny dab of non-abrasive toothpaste on the toothbrush, and scrub away! Be sure to go behind the stone, and try to get in all those nooks and crannies - the dirt loves to hide in those places! You may want to rinse and scrub several times, but you will definitely see an improvement!

The best way to keep your diamonds clean is to avoid the things that dirty them the most. Diamonds are attracted to oil, this is one of the reasons they can get dirty so quickly. Skin oils contribute to this greatly, and of course, cannot be avoided. However, even more to blame are moisturizers - especially when applied while wearing jewelry.

Remove rings when applying lotion to hands, allow it to be absorbed for at least 10-15 minutes before putting jewelry back on. Also take jewelry off when bathing, as that same soap scum that accumulates on your shower, will accumulate on your jewelry as well!

Household ammonia can give your diamonds a quick and efficient cleaning. Place your diamond jewelry in a solution of one part ammonia to 5 parts water. Use a soft worn out toothbrush to give a little scrub, and rinse thoroughly. -- JP