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Diamond Education

A diamond is made purely of carbon, which is one of the Earth's most common elements. The diamond is the hardest known substance in the world and is uniquely resistant to damage by heat or scratching. It can be cut or polished only by another diamond or laser.

The purchase of diamonds or diamond jewelry, either for yourself or for your loved ones, is usually an emotional one. It is certainly an expensive one so it is advisable for you to educate yourself in advance about diamonds and their characteristics before you buy. You can get detailed information on each and every aspect of diamonds in our diamond guide.

Diamond Cut is an important property because a well-cut diamond reflects light to maximize the stone's brilliance. 
A diamond with perfect color and clarity could nevertheless have poor brilliance if it is not well cut.

Shallow Cut: A shallow-cut diamond will lose light through the bottom, causing it to appear dull.

Deep Cut: A deep-cut diamond will lose light through the diamond’s sides, causing it to appear dark.

Excellent Cut: Excellent Cut is considered the best cut because it will reflect most or all of the light that enters the diamond back to the eyes.

The quality of a diamond's cut can be determined on the basis of its power to reflect light. It is characterized as Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, or Poor. Excellent cuts release the inner brilliance of the stone and project the maximum amount of fire and sparkle; whereas Very Good, Good, and Fair cuts loose some light. A poor cut loses most of its light from the diamond sides and bottom.

You should always go for the excellent cut diamond with the desired shape.

Gem Diagram

Diamond Cut Shapes

Diamond Color

Diamond color is also a vital factor to look for since diamonds are found in almost all colors. Most diamonds appear white to the naked eye, but they include trace amounts of yellow or brown color. Slight differences in diamond color can make a substantial difference in value. A truly colorless diamond is extremely rare and valuable. The diamond color scale goes from D to Z, with D being colorless and Z being the most saturated.

Diamonds are also found naturally in various intense colors like pink, green, brown, red, orange, and blue. These intensely colored diamonds (known as fancy colored) are very rare, attractive, and desirable. A deeply colored diamond can cost more than its colorless counterpart. Fortunately, for those who desire a colored diamond, there are many treatments to create a fancy, intense color.

In fancy colored diamonds there is a different grading chart that varies by color.

The best way to see the true color of a diamond is by looking at it against a white surface. Stones in the D-F color grades are stunning. However, you can obtain great value and save substantial money with diamond grades G-J since no color is visible to the untrained eye. Even stones in the K-M, range which have a visible hint of color, can be stunning in the right setting.

Fluorescence is a form of illumination that is created when a diamond is exposed to low or high wave ultraviolet radiation. It is common in a majority of diamonds; but, in the extreme, it is considered undesirable because it causes a dull look.

Diamond Clarity

Clarity is a term used to describe the absence or presence of flaws inside or on the surface of a diamond. It is graded under 10 power magnification.

When flaws occur internally, they are called inclusions. The most common types of inclusions include crystals, needles, knots, chips, cavities, cleavage, and feathers. When flaws occur on or break the surface, they are known as blemishes. The most common types of blemishes include polish lines, naturals, scratches, nicks, and pits.

A diamond’s clarity is based on the number, size, nature, and location of imperfections on the finished stone. 
The clarity of a diamond affects the appearance and value of the diamond.

When buying a diamond, you can compromise a bit on clarity since most diamonds contain imperfections that are not visible to the naked eye. You can use a jeweler’s 10X magnifying glass or microscope to examine the diamond’s inclusions to give you a true picture of the clarity of the stone.

F (flawless) and IF (internally flawless) diamonds are extraordinarily rare and beautiful and exceptionally high priced. Diamonds with clarity grades VVS1-VVS2 are
always excellent quality diamonds. Diamonds with clarity grades VS1-VS2 and SI1-SI2 have imperfections that are not visible to the naked eye, nor do they diminish
the beauty of the stone.

Diamond Carat Weight

The term "carat" refers to the weight of a diamond, and 1 carat equals 0.2 grams or 1/142 of an ounce.

A carat may also be displayed in points, and 1 carat is divided into 100 points.
Therefore, a 1/4 carat diamond is considered as 25 points, and a ½ carat diamond is considered as 50 points and so on.

The price of a diamond rises exponentially with its size.
So, a 2 carat diamond of a given quality is always worth much more than two 1 carat diamonds of equal quality.

Diamond Certificate

A Diamond Certificate or Diamond Grading Report is a statement issued by an independent Gemological Laboratory. It assures that the diamond in question has been examined, measured, and scrutinized by experienced Diamond Graders and has been determined to contain the characteristics stated in the Certificate or Report.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL) are the main reputed laboratories available for diamond certification. They are known for their consistency and unbiased diamond grading systems.

When you buy a diamond, you can always ask for a diamond certificate. It may cost you a little more money, but it will provide you the peace of mind that you know exactly what you are getting.

The certificate gives you the exact details of the stone. On the basis of this information, you will be able to do some comparison shopping before making the actual purchase. On resale a diamond with a certificate will get you a better price. When insuring your diamond, it helps to produce the diamond certificate to make sure your stone will be replaced with one of equivalent qualities.

General Buying Tips

It helps to set your budget for buying a diamond and then explore all your options. 
In this way you'll find a wide range of diamonds with different carat weights and qualities in your price range.

Always buy a diamond which fulfills the basic criteria of the 4Cs and is suitable to your budget.

You should give priority to diamond cut, color, and carat weight over diamond clarity. Imperfections are almost always so small that they have no measurable effect on the diamond's appearance. When you are buying a diamond for your loved ones, always keep their personalities and preferences in mind.

Always buy a diamond from a reputed and known jeweler. If you don’t know a good jeweler, then you should ask your family members or friends for their recommendations.

Feel free to ask your family jeweler to look at the diamond you are interested in buying near the window, or even outside, to see the true color and brilliance of the stone.

While buying a diamond, you should not be in a hurry or under pressure. You should buy it at your convenience and at your own pace.

Click on the topics below for additional information.

 Facts About Diamonds | Most Famous | Glossary

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