From the Greek “Adamus: – which means unbreakable, the diamond is one of the loveliest gems, its hardness being superior to any other gems, the brilliance results from highly optical properties. Diamonds, long a symbol of wealth and power, find their place in the trade as a colorless gem. When blue, pink, and green colors are found, these rare “fancy” diamonds are almost priceless.
The Quality of Diamonds: The Four C’s
Size does count. However bigger isn’t always better, a smaller diamond may be better in terms of cut, clarity and colour. Carat refers to the weight of the diamond, not its size. There are 100 points in a carat. Therefore, a diamond of 50 points weighs half of a carat. Larger diamonds of one carat or more are rare and of greater value per carat.
This refers to the interior and exterior inclusions and surface markings. A diamond is flawless when a diamond is free of inclusions, because nothing interferes with the passage of light or spoils the beauty. Clarity grading should take place under favourable lighting conditions by a skilled observer, with a binocular microscope at ten power magnification or with a 1Ox corrected loupe.
The INTERNALLY FLAWLESS grade (IF) describes diamonds which have no internal characteristics observable under the conditions described above, but which have minor surface blemishes that do not penetrate the stone. Surface grain lines are permitted provided they are not too thick or numerous so as to detract from the beauty of the stone. Internal graining is permitted, provided it does not draw color or texture.
The VVS1 & VVS2 grades (Very, Very Slight Inclusions) are used to describe diamonds which have very, very small inclusions, difficult for a skilled observer to see under the conditions described above. Colored or textured graining is permitted, provided it is not observable through the crown.
The VS1 & VS2 grades (Very Slight Inclusions) are used to describe stones with very small inclusions, difficult to observe under the conditions described above. Except for larger stones or occasionally with Emerald Cut diamonds; these are rarely visible to the unaided eye.
The Sf1 & Sf2 & Sf3 grades (Slight Inclusions) are used to describe stones with small inclusions which are usually obvious when viewed under the conditions described above.
The P1 & P2 & P3 grades are used to describe stones with medium or large inclusions (Pique S) which are usually obvious to a skilled observer, with the unaided eye, under favourable lighting conditions.
The most prized diamonds are colourless because they allow more light through and therefore sparkle more. Diamonds are graded according to GIA standards from D-Z in colour with D being the most valuable and sought after colour (can be known as blue white) and Z being the dark yellow colour.
A good cut gives maximum reflection and sparkle. A diamond is cut to reflect light. Most diamonds are brilliant cut with 58 facets. Cut is considered to be the most important of the 4C’s, because a well cut diamond sparkles more than any other gem. Exact little planes called facets direct rays of light into the diamond. The light is then reflected outward, creating the diamond’s fire and brilliance. Fire is the intensity of the rainbow of colors emanating from a diamond, and brilliance is the liveliness of a diamond. It’s important to distinguish between the cut and the “shape” of a diamond.