Online Jewelry Store, Basic Knowledge Part 1

Online Jewelry Store, Basic Knowledge Part 1

An Online Jewelry Store is without question one of the best starting points for your online business venture. Initial outlay is minimal, product is easy to handle and returns can be massive.

This article is part 1 of a 3 part tutorial that discusses some basic knowledge you should know when you decide that the jewelry industry is the path you want to take. Parts 2 and 3: Gold rating and Watches are still to be released. They can however be found on our website:

The Four c’s & Valuation

The four c’s stand for color, clarity, cut & carat. These are the parameters used when valuing a diamond and various other precious stones.

For now, we will concentrate on diamonds as these are the most popular of all gemstones.

Color refers to the tint or shade of the stone. The clearer the stone, the greater the value. Most people look on diamonds as being expensive clear see-through objects. We all know that diamonds are expensive. Clear and see-through however is on the whole not the case. Practically all diamonds used in jewelry will have faint, barely visible yellow or brown tints. To determine the affect the color has on the value of a stone; the D-Z Color Grading Scale was developed, with D being colorless and Z being light yellow.

Clarity or clearness represents the amount of flaws or blemishes on the surface of, or inside the stone. The rule is, the fewer flaws a stone has, the more expensive it will be. The Gemological Institute of America, GIA grades clarity in the following manner:

(fl) Flawless; Shows no inclusions or blemishes of any sort under 10X magnification when observed by an experienced grader.

(if) Internally Flawless; Has no inclusions when examined by an experienced grader using 10X magnification, but will have some minor blemishes.

(vvs1 and vvs2) Very Very Slightly Included; Contains minute inclusions that are difficult even for experienced graders to see under 10X magnification.

(vs1 and vs2) Very Slightly Included; Contains minute inclusions such as small crystals, clouds, or feathers when observed with effort under 10X magnification.

(si1 and si2) Slightly Included; Contains inclusions (clouds, included crystals, knots, cavities, and feathers) that are noticeable to an experienced grader under 10X magnification.

(i1, i2, i3) Included; Contains inclusions (possibly large feathers or large included crystals) that are obvious under 10X magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance.

Our advice to both dealers and consumers is to look for jewelry pieces with diamonds of SI1 and SI2 or VS1 and VS2 clarity. The cost of anything above VS2 is prohibitive and you are likely to get complaints if you offer pieces with diamonds of I1-I3 standard.

Cut refers to the finish or the shape and style of the diamond. There are many different cuts; the most popular in our experience is the brilliant or round cut.

Carat is the term used to express the weight of a diamond. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. The weight measurement for smaller diamonds is often referred to as points with one hundred points making up one carat.

Valuation. Large diamonds are rare and consequently more sought after than smaller stones of the same quality. The added demand affects the value and therefore a larger stone can attract a higher price. A solitaire ring for example with a one carat stone will almost always be more expensive than a ring with say, three stones making up one or even more than one carat. This is where something we refer to as carat levels becomes relevant. Stones of 9/10ths of a carat rather than one carat or 1.90 carat instead of two carat are normally less expensive.

Tip When you buy a piece of diamond jewelry, always aim for just under the next full carat. There is no visible difference when the stone is set but there are big savings in cost.

Albert D. Sant