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4 C's of Diamonds

Intense, fiery, brilliant, beautiful -- there is a lot to love about
diamonds. That's probably why they're most commonly
associated with celebrations of love. Borsheims makes it easy to
follow your heart - as well as your head - when selecting
diamond jewelry.


Cut is the only human contribution to the diamond's beauty;
however, it is one of the most important. The term "cut" can mean
many things. In the jewelry industry, it is used to describe the
shape, cutting style, proportions and finish of a diamond.
Diamonds can be cut into almost any shape.

Diamond Cutting

GIA's diamond cut grade predicts levels of brightness, fire, and
scintillation, which indicate how well a diamond's proportions
work together to return white and colored light to the observer.
Face-up appearance, design and craftsmanship are critical to a
diamond's overall cut quality. Weight ratio, durability, polish and
symmetry are all included in GIA's Diamond Cut Grading System.

When a diamond is cut to good proportions, light is reflected from
one facet to another and then dispersed through the top of the
stone. If the cut of the diamond is too deep, some light escapes
through the opposite side of the pavilion. If the cut is too shallow,
light escapes through the pavilion before it can be reflected, thus
reducing brilliancy.


The clarity grade is the degree to which the diamond is free of
inclusions and blemishes. Nature produces very few things that are
absolutely perfect. Most diamonds have internal birthmarks, known
as inclusions, and external characteristics called blemishes. These
clarity characteristics are evaluated under 10X magnification, by
trained diamond graders, based on the number, nature, size, location
and color of each characteristic. Clarity characteristics are also used
to distinguish one diamond from another.

Diamond Cutting

Also available are a small percentage of diamonds that have been
clarity enhanced by chemical infusion and laser treatments. Clarity
enhanced diamonds are typically offered at significant savings;
therefore they are a great way to get a bigger look for your money.

Fracture Filling (Clarity enhanced by Chemical Infusion) - Fracture
filling is a process for filling structural separations that occur
naturally during the growth of a diamond, or during the cutting
process. Its purpose is to reduce the visibility of surface reaching
breaks or fractures in the diamond, which stand out in high relief
compared to the rest of the diamond. The break is filled with
non-permanent filler that has a refractive index close to a diamond,
making it less noticeable. A jeweler can identify the fracture filled
diamond by looking for a flash of color, or "flash effect". Fracture
filled diamonds may appear to be one to two clarity grades higher
after enhancement, while color grades may decrease in some
diamonds. To care properly for a fracture filled diamond, jewelers
recommend against soaking the diamond in a heated, ultrasonic
cleaning solution or using under a steamer. It is important to notify
your jeweler that your diamond has been fractured filled before they
begin any repair work on your piece to ensure they use the
appropriate care.

Laser drilling is done to remove or minimize the visibility of dark
inclusions in the diamond. A laser is used to create a microscopic
tunnel from the diamond surface to the inclusion therefore allowing
light to reach the inclusion. If further treatment is needed, an acid is
injected through the drill hole to "bleach" the inclusion. The clarity
grade of these diamonds is seldom changed after drilling, the original
inclusions are still there and the laser hole itself is another inclusion.
The positive benefit is that it does improve the appearance of the
diamond. Laser drilling is not considered detrimental to the durability
of the stone; therefore no special requirements are necessary in
caring for these diamonds.


The color scale below reflects how closely a diamond approaches
the colorless range. Although most people recognize diamonds as
colorless, true colorless diamonds are quite rare. The absolute
finest white diamond carries a "D" color grade. These exceptional-
ly white diamonds make up a small fraction of all mined dia-
monds; therefore most jewelry is made using diamonds in the
near-colorless range. When comparing different color grades,
most people will be unable to see a difference in color, although
there can be a significant difference in price.

Diamond Cutting

Surprising to learn, diamonds are also available in a variety of colors
including red, purple, pink, green, orange, yellow, blue, brown and
black. These extremely rare and unique diamonds are termed "Fancy
Colors" and are graded based on the hue, tone and saturation of their
color. The more intense the color, the higher the rarity factor. The most
rare of the fancy colors is red.

In order to alter their original color, diamonds can be irradiated using a nuclear reactor and controlled heating known as "annealing". This improves the color of the diamond, to make it appear the same shade as natural fancy colored diamonds such as yellow, blue, green, brown, and pink diamonds. Sophisticated equipment, such as an infrared spectrometer, is needed to identify the origin of color. A jeweler's torch, at several hundred degrees centigrade, used for standard repairs may affect the color of an irradiated diamond. It is, therefore, important to inform your jeweler that your diamond has been irradiated before they work on your piece.

GE (General Electric) and GIA (Gemological Institute of America) have
collaborated in a research and consumer protection effort regarding a
newly developed process that restores certain rare diamonds to their
intrinsic color without reducing their all-natural content. The process
is permanent, undetectable and irreversible. It does not involve
artificial treatments such as irradiation, laser drilling, surface coating
or fracture filling, the resultant stones require no specific care or
maintenance. The process utilizes high pressure and high
temperature (HPHT), the same forces that in nature disguised the
stones' original color. The brand name is Bellataire™. Each of these
diamonds has laser-inscribed on its girdle either "GE POL" or
"Bellataire", along with a unique stone registration number, allowing
the consumer to detect these stones from non-Bellataire stones. A
diamond grading report issued by GI stating that the diamond has
been HPHT-processed accompanies every Bellataire diamond.


Diamonds are weighed on a scale of metric carats, abbreviated "ct." It
is equal to approximately 1/5 of a gram. A carat is broken down into
100 points, just like a dollar is broken down into 100 pennies. When
you see a diamond weight of 1.45ct, it means one carat and 45 points.

Diamond Cutting

The larger a diamond is the more rare it is. Diamonds are bought and
sold on a pricing concept known as "per carat." As diamonds get larger,
the price per carat increases due to the rarity factor, so a diamond that
weighs 2ct. will be worth more than twice as much as a 1ct. diamond.


Since a diamond takes thousands of years to create, it is worth it to invest a little time and attention in its care. Doing so will ensure its lasting beauty, brilliance and sparkle.

Routine Home Cleaning

Gently scrub your jewelry with a soft brush, using an ammonia solution, warm water or a jewelry cleaner, to remove perspiration, household cleaners, chlorine, hair care products or even soap film. Borsheims also offers small "ultrasonic" cleaners that clean your jewelry with high frequency sound.

Professional Cleaning

Diamond jewelry, especially pieces that are worn frequently, should have a biannual cleaning by Borsheims. This not only helps to restore the diamond's brilliance, but also allows the security of the setting to be checked. Borsheims offers free jewelry cleanings any time.

Protective Storage

When not worn, diamond jewelry should be stored individually to prevent scratching or dulling. Soft cloth pouches are ideal for this purpose.

Conflict-FREE Diamonds

Borsheims is proud to work with other members of the diamond
industry, international governments, the United Nations, and
nongovernmental organizations to eliminate the trade in conflict
diamonds. Through more than five years of work, it is now estimated
that more than 99% of the world's diamonds are conflict free.

Borsheims supports the Kimberley Process and only buys its diamonds
from legitimate, reputable manufacturers that adhere to the Voluntary
System of Warranties. That guarantee is written on the back of every
receipt from Borsheims. For additional information about the Kimberley
Process and the work being done to eliminate the trade of conflict
diamonds, please visit the diamond industry's website,

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