Reading a Technical Description of an Antique Diamond Ring
Antique diamond rings appeal to some people more than contemporary creations. Whether it’s the style, or simply the mystique that comes with owning an antique object, antique diamond rings appeal to many people. Whether it is an ancestor’s engagement ring or a flapper’s cocktail jewelry, diamonds have been popular for ages.
The Four Cs
The first of the four Cs to understand about an antique diamond ring is carat. A carat is a weight, and one carat is .007 of an ounce. That means even a huge five-carat diamond still weighs much less than an ounce. In general, the larger the carat weight, the higher the price. But at the top end of the market, prices go up much faster than size because big diamonds are so rare.
An antique diamond ring will also be graded by clarity. But clarity grades are marked by letters that require explanation. The very finest diamonds are rated FL for “flawless”. These gems have no inclusions or blemishes even at 10X magnification. From there, diamonds get a lower clarity rating beginning with V or S based on the number of internal flaws and external blemishes visible under 10 magnification. Once flaws are visible to the naked eye, they are usually not used in jewelry.
Diamond colors also get a ranking from D to Z. The most expensive antique diamond ring will have a rating close to the beginning of the alphabet, for being completely colorless. A gem with a slightly yellow tinge will hurt the value of an antique diamond ring, but a naturally occurring bold color will increase its value.
Finally, the diamond’s cut can help determine age, and sometimes value. Before the 1900s, there were basically six cuts of diamond. Viewed from the top, they were never round; they were always clearly polygons. Today’s brilliant cuts allow the light to be reflected through the diamond with more fire. However, an antique diamond ring with an archaic shape has an attraction and value of its own; and plenty of fire besides.
In general, the least expensive fine metal is silver, next is gold, and most expensive is platinum. Each of these metals is more expensive the more pure it is. An antique diamond ring made with platinum or gold probably is paired with very fine diamonds. Silver can be matched with pricey stones too, but it is also widely found on less expensive pieces.