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About Diamonds

Beautiful. Rare. Cherished.

Diamonds are the most sought-after gems on earth. Each one is unique with specific qualities that establish its value.

These are a simple crystalline structure of carbon produced by extreme high pressures and temperature. The melting point of a diamond is 4,000 degree C or about 2.5 times higher than the melting point of steel. Hardness of diamonds is 10 MOHS' SCALE OF HARDNESS.

Gem quality diamonds are the most precious and valuable. Rough diamonds are a like a pebbles but when it is properly cut and polished its fire, shining and sparkling comes to life. This is mainly attributable to its shape which is designed such that light refraction takes place properly.

The sparkling brilliance is caused by the specific proportion, angle and position of facets that reflect and refract light inside the diamond. Each Facet must be precisely cut such that light bounces back freely from inside the diamond, and then exits through the crown or top, directly to the eye of the viewer.

It takes several months to cut and polish a diamond, depending on the size, shape and style of the final jewel. Rough Diamonds lose approximately 50% of its original weight in the process of cutting and polishing.

Most popular shape for cut diamonds is round or round brilliant. Other popular shapes are oval, square, marquise, pear, emerald, heart and princess. The price of a Diamond depends on the 4Cs-cut, clarity, carat, and color.

Diamond 4Cs

Color

Diamond color is all about what you can see. Diamonds are valued by how closely they approach colorlessness – the less the color, the higher their value. (The exception to this is fancy color diamonds, such as pinks and blues, which lie outside this color range.) Most diamonds found in jewelry stores run from colorless to near-colorless, with slight hints of yellow or brown.

GIA’s color-grading scale for diamonds is the industry standard. The scale begins with the letter D, representing colorless, and continues with increasing presence of color to the letter Z, or light yellow or brown. Each letter grade has a clearly defined range of color appearance. Diamonds are color-graded by comparing them to stones of known color under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions.

Many of these color distinctions are so subtle that they are invisible to the untrained eye. But these slight differences make a very big difference in diamond quality and value

Clarity

Because diamonds are formed deep within the earth, under extreme heat and pressure, they often contain unique birthmarks, either internal (inclusions) or external (blemishes).

Diamond clarity refers to the absence of these inclusions and blemishes. Diamonds without these birthmarks are rare, and rarity affects a diamond’s value. Using the GIA International Diamond Grading System™, diamonds are assigned a clarity grade that ranges from flawless (FL) to diamonds with obvious inclusions (I3).

Every diamond is unique. None is absolutely perfect under 10 x magnifications, though few come close. Known as Flawless diamonds, these are exceptionally rare.

The GIA Clarity Scale contains 11 grades, with most diamonds falling into the VS (very slightly included) or SI (slightly included) categories. In determining a clarity grade, the GIA system considers the size, nature, position, color or relief, and quantity of clarity characteristics visible using 10x magnification.

  • Flawless (FL) - No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification
  • Internally Flawless (IF) - No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification
  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) - Inclusions are minute and difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) - Inclusions are minor and range from difficult to somewhat easy for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) - Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader under 10x magnification
  • Included (I1, I2, and I3) - Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance

Cut

Cut is the factor that fuels a diamond’s fire, sparkle and brilliance.

The traditional 57 facets are in a round brilliant diamond; each precisely cut and defined is as small as two millimeters in diameter or more. The allure of a particular diamond depends on 4C and cut is one of that.

Though extremely difficult to analyze or quantify, the cut of any diamond has three attributes: brilliance (the total light reflected from a diamond), fire (the dispersion of light into the colors of the spectrum), and scintillation (the pattern of light and dark areas and the flashes of light, or sparkle, when a diamond, or the light source or the observer moves).

Round is the shape used in most diamond jewelry. All other shapes are known as fancy shapes. Traditional fancy shapes include the marquise, pear, oval and rectangle. Hearts, triangles and a Variety of others is also gaining popularity in diamond jewelry.

As a value factor, though, cut refers to a diamond’s proportions, symmetry and polish. For example, look at a side view of the standard round brilliant. The major components, from top to bottom, are the crown, girdle and pavilion. A round brilliant cut diamond has 57 facets i.e. at the bottom of the pavilion that’s known as the culet and the large, flat facet on the top is the table. The proportions of a diamond refer to the relationships between table size, crown angle and pavilion depth. A wide range of proportion combinations are possible, and these ultimately affect the stone’s interaction with light.

In early 2005, GIA unveiled a diamond cut grading system for standard round brilliants or other shape in the D-to-Z color range. This system, the product of years of intensive research and testing, assigns an overall diamond cut grade ranging from Excellent to Poor.

Carat

Diamonds and other gemstones are weighed in metric carats: one carat is equal to 0.2 grams. Just as a dollar is divided into 100 pennies, a carat is divided into 100 points. For example, a 50-point diamond weighs 0.50 carats. But two diamonds of equal weight can have very different values depending on the other members of the Four C’s: clarity, color and cut. The majority of diamonds used in fine jewelry weigh one carat or less.

Because even a fraction of a carat can make a considerable difference in cost, precision is crucial and rounded to a hundredth of a carat. Diamond weights greater than one carat are expressed in carats and decimals for instance, a 1.08 ct. stone.