Understanding Diamonds

The word diamond comes from the Greek word adámas, meaning adamant or unbreakable, and indeed hardness is one of the qualities that has always made diamonds so valuable. Measured on the Moos hardness scale, diamonds score a 10, the highest possible rating. Diamonds are also extremely high in luminescence, the ability to catch the light and sparkle with different colors. Cut and polished to show off their brilliance, diamonds have a visual appeal like no other stone. Certain diamonds have become famous through association with rulers and adventurers  Our diamond education is the most comprehensive diamond buying guide, designed to answer all your questions. To better understand about diamonds and the variations associated with them, diamond education is necessary. We’re here to provide you with every small detail that can help you and make a big difference in the look, feel, and price when it comes to diamonds

How to choose your Perfect Diamond

Planning on purchase a diamond? It’s important that you know as much as possible about how diamonds are classified. You can compare the quality and value of diamonds based on the 4Cs of Diamonds.

Once you fully understand the 4Cs of Diamonds, you can use them to your advantage, learning how to prioritize one over the other to find a beautiful diamond within your budget. There are four topics you need to become familiar with: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight.

The 4Cs of Diamonds

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The 4Cs of Diamonds

Carat

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The carat weight of a diamond is determined by weighing the diamonds on an electronic scale free of the rest of the ring. Carat is the standard unit of weight of a diamond and most other gems, it is a metric unit equal to 0.20 grams. The heavier the diamonds are the more valuable it will be. The price per carat of diamonds increase as weight of the diamonds increase.
An example could be a 2 carat diamond could be double the price of a 1 carat diamond, or can be as much as a .99 carat diamond will cost less than a 1 carat diamond.

Clarity

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The clarity of a diamond describes the presence of internal and external flaws through using magnification. A perfect stone without any flaws is rare, however, most flaws can only be seen through magnification. The clarity is described using a grading system. The higher the clarity grade the more expensive the diamond will be, it is also rarer.
Diamond grades are as follows:

FL – Flawless

These diamond have no flaws internal or external.
IF – Internally Flawless

These diamonds have no internal flaws, only minor external blemishes.
VVS1, VVS2
These diamonds have very, very small blemishes that are impossible to see with the naked eye and are slightly difficult to see under magnification.
VS1, VS2
These diamonds have very small blemishes that are impossible to see with the naked eye and are slightly difficult to see under magnification.
SI1, SI2

These diamonds have small blemishes that can be seen with the naked eye and are slightly easy to identify under magnification.
I1, I2, and I3

These diamonds have flaws that are moderately visible to very easily seen to the naked eye.

Color

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The color of diamonds has a large impact on the price of diamonds, after the carat weight. Though diamonds appear colorless, many have a small trace of yellow or brown color. The absence of any color allows the diamonds to act like prisms, separating white light into a rainbow of colors. The more transparent the diamond is the higher the value. This colorless diamond would be considered a “D” on the grading scale. Colorless to light yellow is graded on a scale “D” through “Z”.   Diamonds of color such as blue, pink, purple, or red are considered “fancy” diamonds.

Cut

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The cut of a diamond is not to be confused with the shape of the diamond (princess, oval, etc.) rather it is the measure of symmetry, proportion, and polish. A proportional diamond that was properly cut will allow light to enter and reflect back to the viewer’s eye. Some time’s diamond cutters will sacrifice the perfect cut to create a larger diamond, this will diminish the brilliant appearance of the diamond making it look dull or dark. The polish grade of the diamond describes the smoothness of the diamond. The cut of the diamond is determined on the asymmetry grade scale of excellence (EX), very good (VG), or good (G). Avoid diamonds with symmetry grades of the fair (F) or poor (P).

Shapes of Diamonds

Round-cut diamonds are the most popular shape used in engagement rings, with nearly half of the respondents stating they have a round-cut diamond. Round diamonds are said to sparkle the most compared to other diamond shapes, also making them more expensive than other shapes

Princess-cut diamonds are said to be the second most popular diamond shape, having nice sparkle and shine like the round-cut diamond, but square in shape. This diamond shape is generally less expensive than the round-cut diamond of the same carat weight, and also has the flexibility to work in many ring styles

Emerald diamonds are rarer than round- or princess-cut diamonds, but they are also in less demand, making them generally less expensive per carat than round diamonds. Emerald cuts generally come in a rectangle form, but can be available in square, too. This shape is perfect for those looking for a larger diamond at a more affordable cost.

Emerald cuts fit in most styles, but are said to fit especially nice in understated settings.

The cushion-cut diamond has a similar look and feel to the square-cut diamond, but its soft edges give it a more romantic feel. This shape has larger facets than a round-cut diamond, making cushion-cut diamonds appear slightly bigger when viewed from the top. However, they will not sparkle as much as the round-cut diamond.

Cushion-cut diamonds are gorgeous in any setting style, but most common in halo settings.

Asscher-cut diamonds are square in shape and feature cut corners, making it technically an octagon, but unnoticeable to the untrained eye.

To allow the most amount of light to enter and reflect, it’s best to put an asscher-cut diamond in a four-prong setting. Keep in mind, the higher the prong you have to increase brilliance, the higher the risk you have of snagging the diamond.

Radiant cuts became popular in the 1980s. Its square shape is a nice bridge between a cushion and princess cut, allowing the shape to look beautiful in a set with rounded or square-cornered diamonds.

According to experts, the radiant cut is one of the least expensive diamond shapes, in terms of cost per carat. Because of its design, the radiant-cut diamond requires more carat weight in the depth to maximize brilliance.

Pear-shape diamonds (also known as teardrop) are unique because they are a combination of a round and marquise cut, giving them a timeless, vintage look. They came into the jewelry scene in the 1400s but have made a recent comeback in jewelry trends.

Pear shape diamonds can come in a variety of widths, and has the added bonus of making the wearer’s finger appear longer and slimmer.

Also known as the football-shaped cut, the boat-shaped cut or the eye-shaped cut, the marquise-cut diamond features 58 facets and an elliptical shape with pointed ends.

Carat for carat, this shape has one of the larger surface areas of any diamond, so if you’re looking for maximum size, the marquise cut might be for you. This type of cut is also used for other gems like emeralds, rubies and sapphires.

This shape has been around for a while, with the first mention of the oval diamond cut occurring in 1304. This stone resembles traits of the round cut, but is a little more unique. The oval can be set in either a wide or slim set, depending on personal preference.

Since the oval shape has no sharp corners, it’s less prone to chipping. If you like the rounded look without the price of a round-cut diamond, an oval shaped cut might be for you.

The heart-shaped diamond represents love and romance. This type of cut is popular in pendants, engagement rings and promise rings. When looking at heart-shaped diamonds, make sure the diamond is symmetrical, as that’s a very important characteristic, otherwise the heart will look off.

Please note, heart-shaped diamonds typically do not come in anything less than 1/2-carat sizes, due to the difficulty of the cut.

Diamond Care

  1. First and foremost try to avoid wearing your diamond ring or other jewelry while cleaning dust or working in the kitchen since the stubborn dust particles might stick to your precious stone.
  2. Be careful while you are applying the cream for your dry skin because diamonds are prone to get discolored by getting exposure to such components. Even though the effect is not permanent, it will temporarily discolor the gorgeous stone.
  3. Excessive oil and grime can cause prangs to loosen and you can lose a stone from your favorite jewelry piece. Keep checking the setting and mounts to ensure that everything is intact. You can also get it fixed from your jeweler if you feel the prangs are loosening.
  4. If you are cleaning the jewelry at home, be careful to not be harsh on the set stones. The best way is to soak jewelry overnight in water and soap solution and rinse the next day. Clean with a soft cloth gently and brush off the stuck dirt.

Diamond Certification

Diamond certification is a process where an independent gem lab tests and assesses the quality of a diamond. Then, the lab issues a written report about the diamond. Each report, or “certificate,” has its own unique number which is kept on file at the gem lab and a copy is sent back with the diamond. Also, many certified diamonds include a microscopic laser inscription of their certification number on the outer edge of the diamond (its “girdle”). This is helpful if a diamond certificate is ever lost or stolen.

Certified Diamonds have been graded by an independent reputable Gem Laboratory. They are graded diamonds based on the “4 C” attributes. These attributes include cut color, clarity, and carat weight. In order to ensure that you are getting a high-quality stone, it’s always recommended to purchase certified diamonds.

Here are some of the most well-known and reputable labs:

GIA: Gemological Institute of America

The GIA Diamond Origin Report is a full assessment of a diamond’s 4Cs of Diamond Quality (Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight) and uses scientific matching to determine a diamond’s geographic origin. Every GIA Diamond Origin Report and GIA Colored Diamond Origin Report includes:

  • A printed report containing GIA’s full, unbiased and authoritative 4Cs grading assessment, including a plotted diagram of your polished diamond
  • Confirmation of your diamond’s geographic origin, with the country clearly stated on the report
  • Inscription of the report number on your diamond’s girdle for added security and identification
  • Full-color digital images of your diamond in its rough and polished state and an image-rich story of the diamond’s country of origin and transformational journey available on the GIA Origin App.

HRD Antwerp: Hoge Raad voor Diamant

Our laboratory has the knowledge and instruments needed to thoroughly analyze your jewelry. An HRD Antwerp Jewellery Report is an official document in which a jewelry item is authenticated for different purposes, such as insurance, inheritance or purchase. It can also be used to determine the market value of a jewel. These reports provide a general description of the jewel, the diamonds it contains, and the precious metals of which it is made. 

IGI: International Gemological Institute

IGI grades the widest variety of gemstones and jewelry in more corners of the world than any other gemological organization.

As the global leader for jewelry assessment, our experience and reach are unrivaled. Renowned for diamonds and colored gemstones, we are equally trusted with the grading of pearls, exotic carvings, fine jewelry pieces, and modern synthetics and simulants.