Birthstones are gemstones that accompany a birth month, each having a unique meaning and historical significance. Traditionally, each month is associated with a single gemstone, but as you'll find below there are a few months with multiple birthstones. Gifts of gemstone jewelry with a loved one's birthday are very popular because of the desire to wear beautiful color as well as something which has personal significance.
June: Pearl and Alexandrite
October: Opal and Tourmaline
November: Citrine and Topaz
December: Zircon, Tanzanite and Turquoise
When selecting the perfect diamond, there are four different components to consider. Cut, Color, carat, and clarity; otherwise known as the Four C's of Diamond Quality. The interaction of these characteristics creates the end result of beauty and value. Changing just one of these four components can dramatically affect the diamonds visual appearance and price.
The Cut of a diamond is arguably the most important of the 4Cs, as it has the biggest impact on a diamond's beauty and sparkle. This aspect is very complex, but incredibly crucial to the diamond's value and appearance. When cut to exacting proportions, a diamond will sparkle and return light unlike anything else. How a diamond is cut has a direct impact on the three main effects of its appearance: Brilliance, Fire, & Scintillation.
Brilliance is the brightness created from a combination of reflected white lights
Fire is the flashes of color seen through all aspects of the diamond
Scintillation are the areas of light and dark that reflect when the diamond is moved
The color (or lack of color) is another factor to examine when selecting a diamond. While it is often difficult to make subtle distinctions in color with the naked eye, these different grades have a significant impact on value and quality. The less body color a diamond has the more desirable and rare it becomes. The size of a diamond will have an impact on the perception of color in the diamond because it is more difficult to see color in diamonds that are less than a half-carat. The way that the diamond is mounted and the metal type will also have an impact on the perceived color. At a certain color saturation level, diamonds become classified as ‘Fancy'. Hues such as Yellow, Pink, Blue are graded on a completely different scale and their rarity can make them very valuable. Only about one in every 10,000 diamonds possesses a natural color that can be considered a fancy diamond.
Diamonds are formed deep within the earth as a result of intense heat and pressure. As a result of this natural process, most diamonds possess slight imperfections on their surface (blemishes) or inside the diamond (inclusions). These characteristics can be seen as the diamond's fingerprint or birthmark because they make each diamond unique from the next. Diamonds without inclusions or blemishes are rare, and most characteristics can only be viewed under magnification. The clarity of a diamond refers to the extent that the inclusions and blemishes affect the appearance of a diamond. These flaws can impact the path of light that is reflected through the diamond and hinder its beauty.
Most people think of a carat in terms of the size of the diamond, but it is actually based on weight. The weight of a diamond is traditionally measured in terms of carat, a unit of weight with 1 carat equaling .20 grams. Each carat is divided into 100 points, allowing for a very precise measurement of the diamond. For instance a diamond that weighs .50 carat may be referred to as a "half-carat" or a "fifty-pointer".
Two diamonds of equal carat weight will have significantly different costs because of the other factors: cut, color and clarity. As a diamond increases in size and carat weight, the price will increase at an increasing rate because larger diamonds are rare, and thus, more valuable.
When thinking of diamonds, many will immediately think of the classic round diamond shape. It's no doubt that the round brilliant cut is the most popular shape - but if you're looking for something different, there are plenty of other shapes available. A diamond's shape refers to its physical form and each diamond shape is very different, possessing unique characteristics. Even though shape is not a part of the 4 C's of Diamonds, this element will have an impact on the appearance of your diamond. Since each diamond shape is cut to different specifications, they reflect light differently, giving each shape a unique fire and brilliance.