The word diamond is derived from the Greek word “adamas,” which means invincible or indestructible. It is one of the hardest naturally occurring substance known to mankind.
Diamonds come in different shapes, sizes , color and clarity. No two diamonds are exactly alike i.e each diamond is unique .
The 4 C’s of diamond ( Carat , Color, Clarity , Cut) provide a universal method for assessing diamonds characteristics thereby making each diamond distinctive/ exclusive and special. The 4C is now a universal language that helps to communicate diamond quality, decide the value of the diamond and also helps the customer understand what they are buying.
The weight of diamond is expressed in carat. One carat equals 200 milligrams or .2 grams. Each carat is also sub divided into 100 points that allow precise measurement of diamonds to the hundredth decimal place. For instance a diamond that weighs .50 carat can also be referred as 50 pointers.
A diamond price increases with the increase in weight of the diamond. Two diamonds of the same weight may have different values (Price) depending on the other 4C’s i.e color, clarity and cut.
Most diamonds range in color from colorless to slightly yellow. A diamond is graded on a scale of D-Z, D representing colorless, and continues with increasing presence of color to the letter Z.
A diamond price changes with the color. The more colorless the diamond, higher is the price.
Diamonds come in all colors of the rainbow i.e yellow, pink, blue, purple, green , orange and red . These diamonds are called fancy color diamonds and come in different hues of light and vivid. The darker (vivid) the color, the more expensive is the stone. The fancy colored diamonds are rare and exclusive and fetch fancy prices. They are one of the most sought after diamonds for investment. The rare stones are generally auctioned.
With clarity, we define a diamond’s purity. Diamonds occur naturally and are a result of carbon exposed to extreme heat and pressure deep in the earth. This process can result in a variety of internal characteristics called 'inclusions' and external characteristics called 'blemishes.
Following are the 6 categories into which the clarity is divided, some of which are sub- divided, for a total of 11 specific grades.
No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification
Internally Flawless (IF)
No inclusions visible under 10x magnification
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 andVVS2)
Inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2)
Inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification, but can be characterized as minor
Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2)
Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification.
Included (I1, I2, and I3)
Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance. Also the inclusions are so obvious that they are generally visible through the naked eyes.
Evaluating diamond clarity involves determining the number, size, nature, and position of these characteristics, as well as how these affect the overall appearance of the stone. While no diamond is perfectly pure, the closer it comes to these characteristics, the higher its value.
A diamond's cut is essential to its final beauty and value. The cut is divided into 3 grades: Proportion, Polish and Symmetry.
Proportions determine the brilliance and 'fire' of a diamond, Symmetry describes the variation of different parameters that define the proportions and Polish describes the finish of the facets. Each grade is evaluated according to four parameters: Excellent, Very Good, Good and Fair.
A diamond's cut grade represents how well a diamond's facets interact with light. A perfect cut diamond has more sparkle, brilliance and fire.
A diamond comes in various shapes depending which form it was cut. Round shape or brilliant is the most commonly traded diamond. Other diamonds or the fancy shape diamonds include heart, pear, asscher, radiant, emerald, marquise, oval, princess, radiant and cushion.
It is the most popular shape sold today. A round brilliant comes with 58 facets and a length to width ratio between 1.00 - 1.02.
Round diamonds cost more on a per carat basis than fancy shapes for two reasons; Firstly, the demand for round diamonds is very high, and the yield is relatively low. Secondly, most of the rough stone is lost in the cutting of a round brilliant; hence the cost of each carat retained is higher.
Women who prefer it are usually drawn to its traditional romance, and they themselves are honest, faithful, and somewhat conservative.
The princess is a square shaped diamond often related to a brilliant round diamond. It consists of four slanting edges with a pyramid-like construction. Unlike round, most of the weight of the rough stone is retained (about 60%) with relatively little waste, offering higher yield that results in lower price.
The princess cut usually contains 57 or 76 facets with a ratio of 1.0 to 1.05. Because it has a high number of facets, the stone causes massive light diffusion, hiding inclusions more effectively and maximizing shine.
Created by Lazare Kaplan in the 1960's, oval diamonds are a modified brilliant-cut. Because the round and oval diamonds possess similar fire and brilliance, the oval is an ideal choice for a customer who wants a round diamond at a cheaper price. Oval diamonds also have an elongated shape that gives an illusion of a bigger diamond, thereby making it more appealing.
Women who prefer this shape are fairly traditional, but they do like to cut loose a little now and then.
The name is derived from the Marquise of Pompadour, for whom King Louis XIV of France allegedly had a stone fashioned to resemble what he considered her perfectly shaped mouth. The shape of the marquise brilliant cut is said to resemble the hull of a little boat. That's why it is also called the 'navette' (navette is French for 'small boat'). The marquise diamond has one of the largest crown surface areas of any diamond shape. Its long and narrow cut creates an illusion of a big diamond.
The flashy marquise shape indicates a desire for opulence and glitter, since the shape is specifically designed to make the diamond look larger than it really is through optical tricks of dimension.
The pear shape is a crossbreed between a round brilliant and marquise. Owing to its uniqueness, this is one of the most sought after fancy shape diamonds for earrings and pendants. Usually the pear includes 58 facets with a ratio between 1.50 and 1.70.
The woman who chooses this shape tends to set a high standard for herself and everyone around her.
These beautiful heart shape diamonds are eternal symbol of love. They are most commonly worn in rings and pendants. Heart shaped diamonds have different silhouettes- from narrow to fat. The silhouette depends on the personal taste of the buyer though the ideal length-to-width ratio of a classic heart cut diamond is about 1.00. Higher the ratio, narrower is the stone. An ideal heart shape diamond should have equal symmetry i.e two halves of the heart should be equal.
Women who prefer this shape tend to look at the world through a rose colored lens.
The emerald cut is rectangular diamond, with broad, flat planes and flattened corners.The unique look of the emerald cut diamond is created by the step cuts of its pavilion and its large, open table. Unlike a brilliant-cut, emerald cut diamonds produce a hall-of-mirrors effect, with the interplay of light and dark planes.
Emerald cut diamonds vary from nearly square to a narrow rectangle. The classic emerald cut diamond has a length to width ratio of around 1.50. Most emerald cuts have a ratio between 1.30 and 1.50 with 1.40 being the most 'perfect'. The lower the ratio, the more square, the higher the ratio, the more rectangular.
A square emerald is known as an Asscher.
Women who choose this cut have a very good sense of who they are, and they don't particularly look for approval from others. This woman wears her diamond, instead of allowing her diamond to wear her.
Radiant cut diamonds come in square or rectangular shape with characteristics of both the brilliant and the step cut. It has 70 facets and this high number of facets causes massive light diffusion, hiding inclusions more effectively and maximizing the shine of the stone.
The rectangular radiant cut is an excellent option for buyers who like the emerald cut shape, but want something with the brilliance of a round. The square radiant looks very similar to a princess cut, but with cropped corners.
When square, they have a ratio between 1.00 and 1.05. When rectangular, they have a ratio between 1.05 and 1.50.
Women who choose the brilliance of a radiant cut are very much like those who love the princess cut diamond. They radiate almost as much sparkle as the gem they are wearing.