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Lily & Co. looks at the four C’s of diamonds

By Staff | Jan 15, 2009

We’re now a little less than one month away from Valentines Day. There are just three more columns from Lily & Co. to assist you in selecting the perfect diamond for your sweetheart. Every diamond is unique, but all diamonds have certain characteristics that affect their value: cut, carat weight, clarity and color.

Of the four C’s, clarity is one of the easiest to discern. A diamonds “flaws” or inclusions are visible and easy too see. Clarity is defined as the diamond’s freedom or lack of features that are classified as blemishes or inclusions. Blemishes are irregularities in the surface such as scratches and inclusions are internal irregularities such as tiny crystals of other minerals.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) developed a system of descriptive terms for clarity that include abbreviations such as VVS, VS SI and so on. While VS doesn’t stand for Very Shiny (it is an abbreviation for Very Slightly Included), the range of classifications from F for Flawless to I3 for Included, are a good way to describe the characteristics of the diamond. Sometimes the flaws are visible to the naked eye, such as in a I3 (Included level 3) diamond, but many diamonds flaws would only be visible with several degrees of magnification.

The clarity of a diamonds effect on value is based directly on the rarity. Almost all diamonds have clarity characteristics. The less significant they are, the higher the clarity grade will be. The higher the grade, the greater the rarity, and the more expensive the diamond will be. However, in most grades, the characteristics will have no effect on the diamond’s appearance.

Perfect or flawless diamonds are very rare, and it is the inclusions and blemishes that make each diamond unique. These unique characteristics help to separate a natural diamond from those that are synthetic. After all, when choosing a diamond for that special someone, you want a stone that is as unique as they are.

The four-legged friends at Lily & Co., Lily and Gracie (plus their owners Sanibel-Captiva realtor Karen Bell and jeweler and G.I.A. diamondologist Dan Schuyler) will offer the latest jewelry trends and tips every other week. Lily & Co. is Sanibel’s only jewelry gallery, combining a fine jewelry store and art gallery in one location.

The gallery features several couture jewelry collections and the only collection of loose G.I.A. and A.G.S. certified diamonds, and colored stones. Lily & Co. is a full-service jeweler, offering jewelry repair and restoration, certified Rolex watch and clock repair, glass and metal hand engraving services, bead and pearl re-stringing, pewter and holloware repair and restoration, and appraisal services. Recycle your unwanted items through our Positively Precious Program. Lily & Co. purchases previously worn jewelry, stones, and fine stemware from customers for liquidation purposes.

Store hours are Monday thru Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about Lily & Co., call (239) 472-2888 or visit www.lilyjewelers.com.