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At your request we will show your the information you need on “what to look for in a diamond.” Read on to discover diamond purchasing information that includes descriptions of the various diamond cuts, clarity, colour, carat weight, certificates…
4 Cs Of Diamonds
Various characteristics of diamonds are graded and categorized by the diamond industry. Learning about diamonds is first learning about the “four Cs” of diamonds which are considered the most important grades and categories:
These are the criteria jewellery use when grading diamonds, and they’re the ones you’ll need to understand to buy the right diamond for you.
The first step to choosing a diamond is selecting from one of the major diamond shapes available. This step of the diamond buying process is one of the easiest and it is strictly dependent upon personal preference. Round brilliant stones are the most popular and are thought to be the quintessential diamond shape. It is important not to confuse diamond shape with diamond cut. One shape is not necessarily better than another is. For each shape, the cut can range from ideal to poor, meaning that the amount of refraction and dispersion of light ranges from ideal to poor.
Round Brilliant Diamonds
This shape has set the standard for all other diamond shapes, and accounts for more than 75% of diamonds sold today. Its 58-facet cut, divided among its crown (top), girdle (widest part) and pavilion (base), is calibrated through a precise formula to achieve the maximum in fire and brilliance.
An even, perfectly symmetrical design popular among women with small hands or short fingers. Its elongated shape gives a flattering illusion of length to the hand.
An elongated shape with pointed ends inspired by the fetching smile of the Marquise de Pompadour and commissioned by the Sun King, France’s Louis XIV, who wanted a diamond to match it. It is gorgeous when used as a solitaire or when enhanced by smaller diamonds.
Pear Shaped Diamonds
A hybrid cut, combining the best of the oval and the marquise, it is shaped most like a sparkling teardrop. It also belongs to that category of diamond whose design most complements a hand with small or average-length fingers. It is particularly beautiful for pendants or earrings.
Heart Shaped Diamonds
This ultimate symbol of romance is essentially a pear-shaped diamond with a cleft at the top. The skill of the cutter determines the beauty of the cut. Look for a stone with an even shape and a well-defined outline.
Emerald Cut Diamond
This is a rectangular shape with cut corners. It is known as a step cut because its concentric broad, flat planes resemble stair steps. Since inclusions and inferior colour are more pronounced in this particular cut, take pains to select a stone of superior clarity and colour
Princess Cut Diamond
This is a square or rectangular cut with numerous sparkling facets. It is a relatively new cut and often finds its way into solitaire engagement rings. Flattering to a hand with long fingers, it is often embellished with triangular stones at its sides. Because of its design, this cut requires more weight to be directed toward the diamond’s depth in order to maximize brilliance. Depth percentages of 70% to 78% are not uncommon.
This is a spectacular wedge of brittle fire. First developed in Amsterdam, the exact design can vary depending on a particular diamond’s natural characteristics and the cutter’s personal preferences. It may be a traditional triangular shape with pointed corners or a more rounded triangular shape with 25 facets on the crown, 19 facets on the pavilion, and a polished girdle. It is definitely for the adventurous.
Radiant Cut Diamonds
This square or rectangular cut combines the elegance of the emerald shape diamond with the brilliance of the round, and its 70 facets maximize the effect of its colour refraction. Because of its design, this cut requires more weight to be directed toward the diamond’s depth in order to maximize brilliance. Depth percentages of 70% to 78% are not uncommon.
Diamonds are graded for clarity under 10x loupe magnification. Grades range from Flawless (diamonds which are completely free of blemishes and inclusions), to Included 3 (diamonds which possess large, heavy blemishes and inclusions that are visible to the naked eye).
Flawless: No internal or external flaws. Extremely rare.
Internally Flawless: no internal flaws, but some surface flaws. Very rare.
Very Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions very difficult to detect under 10x magnification by a trained gemologist.
Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions seen only with difficulty under 10x magnification.
Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions more easily detected under 10x magnification.
Included (three grades). Inclusions visible under 10x magnification AS WELL AS to the human eye. We do not recommend buying diamonds in any of these grades.
When jewellery speak of a diamond’s colour, they are usually referring to the presence or absence of colour in white diamonds. Colour is a result of the composition of the diamond, and it never changes over time.
Because a colourless diamond, like a clear window, allows more light to pass through it than a coloured diamond, colourless diamonds emit more sparkle and fire. The formation process of a diamond ensures that only a few, rare diamonds are truly colourless Thus the whiter a diamond’s colour, the greater its value.
A carat is a unit of measurement, it’s the unit used to weigh a diamond. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams.
The word “carat” is taken from the carob seeds that people once used in ancient times to balance scales. So uniform in shape and weight are these little seeds that even today’s sophisticated instruments cannot detect more than three one-thousandths of a difference between them.