WELCOME to AYEN'S Fine Jewelry Collection!

A diamond is judged by four distinct factors that combine in a number of ways to arrive at its value. These are called the 4Cs.

1. Carat Weight
2. Clarity
3. Color
4. Cut

1. Carat Weight

The weight of the diamond is expressed in carats. The word carat originated in a natural unit of weight: the seeds of the carob tree. Diamonds were traditionally weighed against these seeds until the system was standardized and one carat was fixed at 0.2 grams (one fifth of a gram).

One carat is divided into 100 "points" so that a diamond of 25 points is described as quarter of a carat or 0.25 carats, a diamond of 50 points is half a carat or 0.50 carat,  and so on.

The Cullinan was the biggest rough diamond that was ever found. It weighed 3,106 carats. It was found in the Premier Mine in South Africa and was named after the owner of the mine, Sir Thomas Cullinan.

It was bought by the Transvaal Government for $750,000.00 and was presented to King Edward VII on his 66th birthday, November 9, 1907. The following year King Edward sent the stone to Asscher's in Amsterdam for cutting. The yield was nine major gems, 96 small brilliants and more than nine carats of polished fragments. Only the two largest were retained for the Crown Jewels. The rest were given to Asscher as his fee.

The two largest gems are:

1. Called the Great Star of Africa, the 530.20-carat pear shape is the largest cut diamond in the world and is set in the Imperial Sceptre.

2. The Lesser Star of Africa is the second largest diamond in the world. It is a 317.40-carat square cut brilliant and is in the Imperial State Crown.

Great Star of Africa
3. Color

The most common measure of diamond color comes from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The purest, colorless stone is graded D and the scale goes right through the alphabet to Z, which designates a diamond with a strong brown cast. The scale starts with D because at the time the system was created in the 1950s, the business was plagued with hucksters offering AA and AAA diamonds, and GIA wanted to distance itself form this hype.

Gradations on the color scale are so minute that it is almost impossible for an untrained eye to see them. You have to go far down the scale, perhaps K or an L, before an amateur starts to see a yellowish tint.

GIA Color Grading Scale

D, E, F - Colorless

G, H, I, J - Near Colorless

K, L, M - Faint Yellow

N, O, P, Q, R - Very Light Yellow

S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z - Light Yellow

Z+ - Fancy Yellow

Fancy Colored Diamonds or Fancies

In the normal range, diamonds drop in value as the colors become more noticeable until it is dark enough to be considered fancy. Fancies or Fancy colored diamonds include yellows, browns, oranges, blues, purples, pink and red. Red fancies are the rarest fancies of all followed by purples and pinks.

In April 1987 at Christie's auction house in New York, a 0.95 carat fancy purplish-red diamond sold for $880,000.00 or $926,315.00 a carat. That was in 1987 when most people do not have a clue as to what a fancy colored diamond was. Today, the term fancy colored diamond has trickled down to the mainstream population's awareness brought about by some celebrities' purchases of fancies. One can only surmise that demand for fancies will grow and put an upward pressure on price.
The Hope Diamond

                                              Weight: 45.52 carats
                                             Color: Dark Blue
                                             Clarity: Reportedly Flawless

 Cut: Oval Brilliant

4. Cut

Cut refers to the shape of the diamond as well as to its proportions. Cut is what turns an opaque, dullish-gray pebble into a mirrror of light. In its ultimate form, a finely-shaped diamond is a masterpiece of mathematics, its angles precisely drawn. In a classic cut, each of the 58 facets is aligned in exact relationship to the others to achieve maximum beauty.

Of all the 4Cs, cut is the most influenced by man. Nature dictates the other three. The make of the diamond will dramatically affect its fire and sparkle. It is the cut that enables the diamond to make the best use of light.
1. 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.

2. If the cut of the diamond is too deep, some light escapes through the opposite side of the pavilion.

3. If the cut is too shallow, light escapes through the pavilion before it can be reflected.

The 5th C - Confidence in Your Jeweler

He is the diamond expert and will be happy to explain the 4Cs to you. He will tell you the difference between various qualities of diamonds and how these differences affect the price.
2. Clarity

Almost all diamonds contain minute traces of non-crystallized carbon, the element from which they were born. Most are not discernible to the naked eye and require magnification to become apparent. Called inclusions, they are nature's fingerprint and make every diamond quite unique. However, the fewer the inclusions, the rarer the stone will be.

Clarity, therefore, is the term that is used to indicate the extent to which the diamond you purchase is free of the natural phenomena.

Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Clarity Grading Scale

Fl (Flawless) - there is no blemish of any kind seen under 10x magnification.

IF (Internally Flawless) - some minor surface blemishes.

VVS1 and VVS2 (Very Very Slightly Included) - very, very small inclusions can be seen. However, a layman not used to handling a jeweler's loupe, which has a 10x magnification, will have a hard time seeing the inclusions.

VS1 and VS2 (Very Slightly Included) - very small inclusions.

SI1 and SI2 (Slightly Included) - small inclusions.

I1-I2-I3 (Included) - inclusions that are obvious under 10x magnification. Mostly visible to the naked eye.