Diamonds 101 – Color & Carat

Welcome back to Diamonds 101, brought to you by your local jewelry store in Northwest Indiana and the Chicago area. We want to makes sure that when you come in to James & Sons to buy a diamond, you know what to look for and feel confident you’re getting a great quality gem. Today, we’re going to talk about color and carat – two key factors in both the appearance and cost of a diamond.

Although most jewelry buyers think of diamonds as white or clear, diamonds actually come in all colors. Most diamonds that you are used to thinking of as “white” actually include some tiny amounts of yellow or brown, the most common colors found in diamonds. A truly colorless or clear diamond is the most valuable type of diamond, since it allows the largest amount of light to pass through it. Diamond color is measured from “D” to “Z,” with D as the clearest and Z as the most yellow. If you want to get a really good sense of a diamond’s color, try looking at it against a white background or surface. Brightly colored diamonds are usually referred to as “Fancy” diamonds – these are intensely shaded pink, red, blue, etc. diamonds. In this case, the more saturated the color, the more expensive the diamond. Luckily, although these diamonds are rare finds in nature, laboratories can create them, making a more affordable but still beautiful product.

Although the word “carat” can often sound like so much jewelry jargon, it’s actually one of the simplest aspects of a diamond to understand. “Carat” simply means the weight of a diamond! One carat is 0.2 grams, which is 1/142 of an ounce. It’s important to remember that “carat” as a measure of weight is very different from “karat” as a description used to measure gold’s purity. Keep in mind that not only does more carats mean more cost, but since larger diamonds are extremely rare, the price difference will rise exponentially. So a three carat diamond will cost a lot more than three times the amount of a one carat diamond.

Now that you’re armed with knowledge of color and carat, stop by your nearest James & Sons location any day to see examples of differently colored and differently weighted diamonds, and let us help you choose the perfect color and weight for your diamond purchase.

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