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The 4 C’s Of Gemstones

Blog

I’m Niki, the founder and designer of Enji Studio Jewelry. We’re a sustainable luxury jewelry brand based in beautiful north county San Diego.

at Enji we’re on a mission to bring you meaningful, modern, ethical design that shows off your style, honors the journey of your life, and reflects your values. We craft each piece for you in our Carlsbad studio bringing new life to recycled gold and silver and using only FairTrade and ethically sourced diamonds and gemstones.

Enji was founded in 2014. We take steps toward positive change in our industry by practicing ethical sourcing and manufacturing and giving back to the local and global community. We create our pieces for everyday wear.

Enji is about modern, minimal design that is made ethically and sustainably and gives back to the community. As creators and consumers, our choices now have a global impact. This is why we consider how things are made to be important and this to be part of our responsibility as a business and global citizen. As a designer and jeweler, I only work with suppliers that share this view. This is why we make all of my pieces using only recycled gold and silver, ethically sourced and fairtrade stones, chains and findings that are made in the USA and Italy, and packaging and marketing materials made using recycled paper and clothing.

Niki is a GIA Graduate Jeweler. She was awarded the 2016 Halstead Grant Award and 2014 Windgate Fellowship Award by the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design. She has exhibited in galleries throughout the United States and Europe and her work can be seen in the pages of Glamour UK, Basic, Evening Standard, National Jeweler, and more. To see her one of a kind art pieces and CV check out nikigrandics.com

Enji is about modern, minimal design that is made ethically and sustainably and gives back to the community. As a designer and jeweler, I only work with suppliers that share this view. We make all of my pieces using only recycled gold and silver, ethically sourced and fair mined stones, chains and findings that are made in the USA and Italy, and packaging and marketing materials made using recycled paper.

As a member of Ethical Metalsmiths, we hope to be among the first movers bringing transparency and sustainable practices into the luxury fashion jewelry world. Ethical Metalsmiths and Fairmined gold and gems.  All our pieces are made in our studio in San Diego and we use low-impact, environmentally conscious studio practices to lessen our footprint. 

We take steps toward positive change in our industry by practicing ethical sourcing and manufacturing, because it’s important. To us, to you, to the women and men who mined the stones we use to create our pieces. We also donate a portion of each sale to organizations that help empower women locally and globally and work to end domestic violence and human trafficking because that’s part of the future we want to see.

Ethical sustainable jewelry fairtrade fair trade fair-trade jewelry recycled gold recycled sterling silver San Diego Carlsbad ethical gemstones ethically sourced sustainable

The 4 C’s Of Gemstones

Niki Grandics

Ahhh… gemstones each unique and beautiful on their own. I myself am fond of tourmalines, and diamonds (especially rough diamonds!) for their colors and unique textures. But it can be tricking buying a new stone if you are unfamiliar with what it is suppose to look like. Fortunately there is a common way to figure out the quality of stones. Let me be clear that diamonds are usually the easiest to compare when using this method as they are easier to distinguish in quality. The four C’s are…

Clarity

Clarity refers to the transparency of gems. For example a diamond maybe of a lower clarity and be perceived as impure, that is why it is easier to distinguish. However other stones like emeralds almost always have an inclusion also known as a blemish. Like I said it is difficult to use this method because not all stones have such a distinguishing features like the diamond. The picture below shows the possible outcomes for a diamond.

Cut

How you shape the gem is also important. Each stone is usually cut so that it has the most optimal shape and reduces waste. So how can you distinguish the quality of a cut? The stone should almost look like it's dancing and all of its cuts are vivid. There should be no dark (extinction) or bright (window) spots.

Color

Here is where it is very easy to tell a diamond apart. Color can come in a wide range among stones, even in the same kind. It is easy to see that a diamond of subtle yellow coloring will not be as valuable as a clear diamond. For colored stones it is important to look at hue, tone, and saturation. How deep is the color, does it have other colors, and if it is darker or brighter than the industry standard. These are all example you need to look for when picking colored stones

Carat

Carat refers to the weight of a stone and not the dimensions. It is possible to have two identical stones in shape but with different weights. In general prices for carat are set by the clarity, cut and color of a stone. And usually the larger a stone gets the more it tends to weigh and cost.