All About Diamonds
The 4 C’s
Diamond Anatomy & Cut Quality
Precise workmanship is required to ensure that the proportions and symmetry provide the stunning light return that only a diamond gives.
The 4 C’s of Diamonds Shopping
Diamond clarity is the quality of the visual appearance of the internal characteristics of a diamond (inclusions), as well as surface defects (blemishes).
Inclusions are solids, liquids, or gases that were trapped in the diamond as it formed. These inclusions can change the clarity grade of a diamond, which is assigned based on the overall appearance of the stone under ten times magnification (the standard for loupes used in the gem world).
The GIA diamond grading scale is divided into six categories and then grades…
Flawless category (FL), Internally Flawless category (IF), Very Very Slightly Included (VVS), Very Slightly Included category (VS), Slightly Included category (SI) and finally the Included category (I).
A diamond cut is a style or design guide used when shaping a diamond for polishing such as the brilliant cut.
In order to best use a diamond gemstone’s material properties, a number of different diamond cuts have been developed. A diamond cut constitutes a more or less symmetrical arrangement of facets, which together modify the shape and appearance of a diamond crystal. Diamond cutters must consider several factors, such as the shape and size of the crystal, when choosing a cut.
Diamonds occur in a variety of colors from steel gray to white, blue, yellow and a range of darkening colours through to black.
The majority of diamonds that are mined are in a range of pale yellow or brown color that is termed the normal color range. Diamonds that are of intense yellow or brown, or any other color are called fancy color diamonds. Diamonds that are of the very highest purity are totally colorless, and appear a bright white. The degree to which diamonds exhibit body color is one of the four value factors by which diamonds are assessed.
Diamonds have a color grading system that refers to the absence of color. This system goes from D to Z. The more colorless a diamond is, the rarer and more valuable it is because it appears white and brighter to the eye.
Diamonds are sold by the carat and although most people think of a carat in terms of size, it is actually a unit of weight. The word “carat” may come from the “carob” seed, the original unit of measure for diamond traders.
Today, a carat is equal to exactly 0.2 grams (about the weight of a paper clip). Each carat can be subdivided into 100 ‘points’. This allows very precise measuring and a jeweler may describe the weight of a diamond below one carat just by its ‘points’ value.