Grades of Diamonds
All diamonds, including Canadian diamonds, are graded and valued by the Four C system as follows:
|Carat||weight is how much a diamond actually weighs. A one carat diamond is also referred to as 100 points.|
very very slight inclusions
not visible to eye
|VS1 - VS2
very slight inclusions
not visible to eye
|SI1 - SI2
slight inclusions to barely visible to
usually visible to very noticeable to naked eye
|Cut||Excellent||Very Good||Good||Fair / Poor|
Grades of Pearls
Just as diamonds have the four Cs to tell you the stone’s quality, pearls have the 7 Pearl Value Factors:
|Size:||measured in millimeters. With all the other factors being equal, larger is more expensive than smaller.|
|Shape:||there are 3 categories: spherical (round); symmetrical (oval); baroque (irregular).|
|Colour:||body colour or dominant colour of pearl and overtone, which is a more translucent colour, overlies the body colour.|
|Luster:||this is the intensity of the light reflected off the Pearl’s surface; can range from excellent to fair.|
|Surface quality:||the visibility of blemishes or surface irregularities will affect the cost.|
|Nacre quality:||refers to the thickness of the surface surrounding the nucleus.|
|Matching:||is the consistency of all the above factors, as well as the uniformity of strands.|
Precious Gem Care
Diamonds, Sapphires and Rubies
Clean at home with household ammonia and hot water, diluted half and half. Please be careful not to inhale the fumes as they can be very harmful to your lungs. Use an old toothbrush for hard to reach areas.
Emeralds, Aquamarine, Opals and Pearls
Do not use any type of chemical! Distilled warm water (not hot) and mild soap is the best to use at home.
Garnet, Peridot, Topaz, Amethyst and most colored gems
Can be put in ammonia solution for a short time but caution must be used. Coloured gems can lose their colour with prolonged chemical baths.
Jade, Turquoise, Coral and any precious gem
Ammonia or other chemicals should not be used as porous gems will absorb chemicals. It is best to have these gems professionally cleaned. A good rule of thumb, "When in doubt, leave it out".