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The 4C’s and Beyond

Cut

We often think of a diamond’s cut as shape (round, emerald, pear), but a diamond’s cut grade is really about how well a diamond’s facets interact with light as it enters and leaves the diamond. It is also the only factor of the diamond that is controlled by man. Color, clarity, and carat weight are all up to Mother Nature and the natural formation of the crystal.

Once the crystal is mined, it’s up to master diamond cutters to optimize the rough diamond to yield the best possible diamond shape and cut. When we talk about the cut, we mean more than just it’s shape. It has a lot to do with all the sides of the diamond (called facets) and how they are angled and proportioned to one another. We also look at the symmetry and polish of diamonds to ensure that is reflects the maximum amount of light.

Bremer uses the AGS Cut Scale on every hand-selected diamond that we buy. The AGS Scale begins at 0 (the highest grade) and goes down to 10 (the lowest grade). We use Sarin Technology along with the AGS grading system so that you will be equipped with the best and most up to date information while shopping for your diamonds.

The quality of cut is crucial to the diamond’s final beauty and value. And of all the 4Cs, it is the most complex and technically difficult to analyze. And fairly so, considering up to 60% of a diamond’s value comes from how well it is cut.

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Color

A diamond’s color is determined by the Gemological Institute of America’s color scale, which ranges from D, representing colorless and continues with increasing presence of color to Z. Many of these color distinctions are so subtle that they are invisible to the untrained eye; however, these distinctions make a very big difference in diamond quality and price.

Most of our diamonds range from F to I color, but we have a few outside of that scale. Again, when considering the ring your diamond will go into, know that the metal color can influence its appearance. A yellow gold setting makes a light yellow diamond appear whiter. Platinum and white gold settings, however, may make the yellow hue in a diamond more apparent.

At the end of the day, remember that it’s about which diamond is the prettiest, not what’s printed on a piece of paper.

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Clarity

Diamonds are made from carbon that’s under tremendous heat and pressure deep in the earth. This process can result in imperfections called inclusions. These inclusions can affect the performance of the diamond and some can even be seen with the naked eye.

Just like color, clarity is graded on a scale from F to I3. The Gemological Institute of America created this grading scale to help the consumer understand what makes one diamond worth more than another. The higher the clarity of a diamond, the more rare it is, the more value it has. F (Flawless) is the most rare and therefore the most expensive. I3 (Included 3) is the least rare and therefore the least expensive.

We will teach you what each step of the scale means and work with the other factors to get you the perfect diamond for your budget. At the end of the day, remember that it’s about which diamond is the prettiest, not what’s printed on a piece of paper.

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Carat

Diamond carat weight is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs. A one carat diamond weighs 1.00 carats. There are 100 “points” in one carat. A half-carat diamond will weigh 0.50 carat and therefore, 50 points.

When choosing the right carat weight, you must take several factors into account. Remember that any diamond will look bigger when worn on a small hand. And the type of setting can affect a diamond’s appearance.

When it comes to value, diamond price increases with carat weight, because larger diamonds are rarer and more desirable. But two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values (and prices) depending on three other factors of the 4Cs: Clarity, Color, and Cut. It’s important to remember that a diamond’s value is determined using all of the 4Cs, not just carat weight. Although size is an important factor in determining the value of a diamond, the cut, color, and clarity are all important.

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Diamond Ranges

What’s going on over there? We’ve designed this chart for you to help better understand how we measure diamond weight. Most jewelers choose to have fewer fractions or not disclose the actual weight ranges inside of those fractions.

Bremer Jewelry chooses to disclose what the total weight of each of our fractions are so that it can help you determine the real value in the item that you are buying.

CT vs. CTW

Carat is the term used to describe the weight of any gemstone, including diamonds. A single diamond will always be displayed with a “ct”. For example, a one carat diamond will be shown as “1.00ct”. In jewelry pieces with more than one diamond, the weight will be displayed as “ctw”, carat total weight.

Each piece of jewelry can vary in its actual weight and because of the dollar value that is related to carat weight, it is important to review and understand the chart above before purchasing any piece of jewelry.

To find out the actual weight of any one piece of jewelry, check out the specification chart on each items’ page or contact our stores for additional information.