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Axel's offer a wide variety of ever-changing jewelry items. From Necklaces, Earrings and Pendants to Gold Bands, Solitaires, Wedding Sets and More. Stop by and take a look at our large selection today!
Axel's "Five" C's Of Jewelry
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), has set standards that all reputable American jewelry dealers will both know and understand. Many of Axel's diamonds are graded using GIA standards and are accompanied by a document specifying the pertinent aspects of the diamond you have purchased as well as a digital picture of the piece.
There are four primary issues that you should use to affect any decision regarding diamonds you may be considering for purchase. These are referred to as "The Four C's".
Axel's Also Recognizes the Fifth "C" Of Diamond Purchasing...
Click on the appropriate terms that follow to learn more.
The Four C's are CARAT, which refers to the actual size of the diamond. CLARITY, which refers to how clear or pure a diamond is. The COLOR, which refers to the body color or hue of the diamond and finally, The CUT of a diamond is also important to understand when deciding what type and quality of diamond you want to choose.
Gemological Institute of America
A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3.086 grains) or 0.007 ounce.
A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points, and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. Therefor, a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points, a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points, and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points.
When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones, the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T.C.W."
The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration, or "seed of the carob". In ancient times, carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales, and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.
The term "Clarity" refers to how clear or pure a diamond is. As with everything else in the world, the better it is the more it costs. The clarity grade is determined by a skilled diamond grader based upon the number, size, nature and location of the internal (inclusions) and external (blemishes) imperfections.
Inclusions are defined by The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) as "characteristics which are entirely inside a stone or extend into it from the surface." These internal clarity characteristics, refer to natural impurities or markings such as: other mineral crystals, or small diamond particles that are present within the host diamond; feathers and/or breaks; carbon spots; air bubbles; pin points; clouds; knots; naturals; visible distortions of the crystal structure; and even laser drill holes left by man's attempts to remove or lighten other natural inclusions. In short, inclusions are nothing more than Mother Nature's little fingerprints.
Blemishes according to the GIA are "characteristics confined to or primarily affecting the surface." These can be in the form of scratches, small nicks, chips, abraded facet edges, and portions of the rough crystals surface left on the finished diamond (naturals).
Color with reference to diamond grading refers to subtle differences in the body color or hue. The Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.) introduced their color grading scale in the late 1950's and today it's the most internationally accepted color scale in the diamond industry.
The G.I.A. color scale begins at (D) colorless and goes to light yellow (Z). The distinctions between color grades within the normal range are quite subtle and virtually undetectable to the untrained eye. Similarly five different brands of "white" paper will appear the same when viewed separately, but if laid upon each other a definite separation of color would be detectable.
With the exception of naturally occurring rare fancy colors such as blue, pink, green, and red, colorless diamonds (D,E,F) command the highest prices. Only experienced graders can distinguish the difference between diamonds graded as D & E in color on a consistent basis, and then only in diamonds that are unmounted. Most trained graders can consistently identify diamonds of "F" color. Diamonds that are near colorless (G,H,I,J) often appear colorless when mounted and graded face up. The average consumer will not detect any color in an unmounted G,H,I unless it is compared to a D,E,F. However, most experienced graders can see color in these diamonds when they are unmounted. Most consumers begin to recognize a subtle presence of color around grade "J" but are usually uncertain as to how to describe it. As a rule, "J" mounts up "white" if the diamond is set in white metal.
Most consumers can identify a color difference in diamonds that grade K,L,M in mounted diamonds that weigh one-half carat or more. However, they often mistake mounted K,L,M diamonds weighing less than half a carat as being colorless when they are mounted in white metal. Beyond "M" most consumers are quick to see color regardless of how the diamond is mounted and often describe it as "dingy" or "brownish" for lack of a better explanation. Although yellows are more easily identified by consumers, brown and gray tones are also graded on the same scale.
Cut is perhaps the most overlooked of the Four Cs of Diamond quality, yet is very important since it affects not only a Diamond's beauty but value as well. A better cut gives a Diamond more brilliance, which to the consumer is what a Diamond is really all about.
The consumer often confuse a Diamond's "shape" with its "cut", most likely due to the industry's synonymous use of the term cut to describe a Diamonds shape (marquise cut, pear shape) In reality, when we refer to the cut of a Diamond, we are really referring to a compilation of factors - Brightness, fire, scintillation, design and craftsmanship, polish and symmetry.
Proportion: Proportion refers to the angles and relative measurements of a polished diamond. More than any other feature, proportions determine a diamond's optical properties. Studies have shown that table size, crown angle, and pavilion depth have a dramatic effect on a diamond's appearance. Proportions vary depending on the shape a diamond is cut into. Here is a chart to show the ideal cut for a round brilliant diamond.
Symmetry: A grading term for the exactness of shape and placement of facets. Variations in symmetry include off-center culets and tables, poor facet alignment, misshapen facets, out-of-round girdles, and wavy girdles.
Finish: Refers to the quality of a diamond’s polish, the condition of its girdle, and the precision of the cut. A well-cut diamond, with well-balanced proportions and high polish, can make light behave in breathtaking ways. The result is a magnificent display of brilliance, dispersion, and scintillation. Brilliance:The combination of all the white light reflections from the surface and the inside of the stone - it gives a polished diamond its brightness.
Dispersion:Sometimes called "fire," dispersion is the breaking up of white light into spectral hues and the "rainbow" colors you see when light passes through a prism. Diamonds are more dispersive than most other gems.
Scintillation:Sometimes called "sparkle," scintillation refers to the tiny flashes of light when the diamond, the light source, or the observer moves. It depends on the number, size, and position of the facets. The quality of the polish affects scintillation, too.