If you speak about Diamonds you should know the basics - like the 4C's. 

Carat

Clarity

Color

Cut

 


 

Carat

Diamonds are sold by the carat (ct). This is a unit of weight. Don't confound it with the karat of Gold. By Gold means karat the purity. 
One carat are 200 milligrams. This standard has been established in 1914 by the International Committee of Weights and Measures. 

Gemstones of less than one carat, jewelers often refer to the weight in terms of points. A carat is divided into 100 points, with one point corresponding to .01 carat.
That means that a 1/2 carat gemstone equates to 50 points. Smallish gemstones, are also known as melee. Melees range from .01 to .16 carat in weight.

Although the analogy of pennies to the dollar suggests that one carat is always 100 points, or that one-half carat is always 50 points, that's not entirely true. Diamonds can't all be uniformly cut to such exact weights of 100 points, so the carat weight given is an approximation of the actual weight of the gemstone.
 
Also important to know is that a larger diamond (f.e. 4 carat) is more expensive than two 2 carat diamonds. Diamonds are rare and hard to find. 


Clarity

The clarity term to a gemstone's purity. The Clarity is rate by viewing the diamond under 10x magnification. Virtually all diamonds contain tiny natural birthmarks that are present to varying degrees. After all, nature isn't perfect at all. So every gemstone is unique and has his own "personality" in form of tiny natural enclave.  

Nearly all diamonds, also diamonds of the highest quality, have some enclaves. , which fall into these categories:

Mineral inclusions

A dark spot from a trapped bit of mineral

Naturals

Open cavities interrupting the diamond surface that were a part of the original diamond crystal

Feathers

Internal cracks or fractures caused by either internal or external stress during the diamond's formation.


Clarity graduation system
There are several grading systems used in the industry, the most recognized and common used system is developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

FL Flawless. Shows no inclusions or blemishes of any sort under 10x magnification when examined by an experienced grader. Extremely rare.
IF Internally Flawless. Has no inclusions when examined by an experienced grader using 10x magnification. Very rare.
VVS1, VVS2 Very, Very Slightly Included. Contains minute inclusions that are difficult even for experienced graders to see under 10x magnification.
VS1, VS2 Very Slightly Included. Contains minor inclusions ranging from difficult to somewhat easy to see for an experienced grader when examined under 10x magnification.
SI1, SI2 Slightly Included. Contains inclusions that are easy to very easy to see for an experienced grader under 10x magnification. Some inclusions may be visible to the unaided eye.
I1 Included. Contains obvious inclusions visible to an experienced grader under 10X magnification; can be visible without magnification.
I2, I3 Included. Contains obvious inclusions. Visible without magnification.
 

 


 

 

Color

The quality of color refers to a diamond's body color, not the rainbow surface of reflected light.

less color is more valuable
When buying a diamond, it is the absence of color that makes one diamond more precious than another. The whiter or more colorless the diamond, the more rare, and the higher is the price. The exception is "fancy" colored diamonds, which can occur in shades of blue, red, yellow, pink, brown and green. Some of these are exceptionally rare and considered collector's items.


Measurement of colour
Color is graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) with letters ranging from D (completely colorless) to Z (light yellow).

GIA Color Rankings Description
D, E, F Colorless (like clear water)
G, H, I, J Near Colorless
K, L, M Faint Yellow
N, O, P, Q, R Very Light Yellow
S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z Light Yellow

 
Color is actually one of the most difficult factors to measure. Every Person sees colour differently. Differences in colour between gemstones are very subtle, and may be indiscernible to an untrained eye. Even the experts will compare an ungraded gemstone to one previously graded to properly assess its colour. Small differences in colour can make large differences in the price.

 

Cut

The cut is extraordinarily important because it has the greatest single influence on the diamond's brilliance. And the sparkle is what that women adore to diamonds.

So pay special attention to cut when evaluating diamonds.

A laboratory grade is only part of the story, because diamonds with the same grade can have very different amounts of sparkle, depending on how each diamond is cut and where the inclusions are located inside the diamond. 
 
Cut specifically addresses the number, placement, angling and shape of the facets to create a polished diamond. The facets function as prisms, capturing and reflecting light inside the diamond. The quality of a gemstone's cut is primarily determined by the height of the crown relative to the depth of the pavilion and the width of the table.

Crown The part of the diamond above the girdle
Table The large facet that caps the crown of a gemstone
Girdle The outer edge of the diamond, usually the portion that is grasped by the setting. It is the dividing line between the crown and the pavilion.
Pavilion The part of the diamond below the girdle.
Culet The small facet parallel to the girdle, at the bottom of the gemstone.
 
 
diamonds cut
diamonds cut

 

 

Shapes of Diamonds

diamonds cut


 
diamonds 4 C's
An exacting talent
Of the four qualities that define a diamond's value, the cut is the only one determined by a human being. A skilled diamond cutter realizes the rough diamond's potential. He cuts and facets the crystal to reflect the maximum amount of light inside the gemstone and back through the top of the diamond. His objective is to produce a perfectly symmetrical gemstone whose right and left sides are mirror images of each other.

At the same time, he has to find the optimal balance between yielding the most diamond weight and creating the best proportioned cut. One reason why higher grades of cut are so much more costly is because more diamond was sacrificed to create them. That's also why a well proportioned one-carat diamond may be worth twice as much as a poorly proportioned larger diamond that lacks fire and brilliance.

For centuries, diamond cutting experts have pondered what combination of proportions creates the optimal balance of brilliance, scintillation and dispersion.

The 58-facet model developed in 1919 by master gem cutter and mathematician Marcel Tolkowsky has provided a foundation for today's most widely accepted proportions. However, while Tolkowsky's model dictated precise proportions for table diameter, crown height, pavilion depth, crown angle and pavilion angle, many grading labs and diamond sellers today offer a more liberal interpretation. The market itself dictates a wider range of acceptable proportions.

In fact, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the world's leading gemological authority, actually advises against using the term "ideal" cut. Why? Because the GIA has demonstrated that literally thousands of variations on these proportions can maximize the different optical characteristics displayed by a diamond. As long as the diamond's proportions fall within the acceptable range of tolerances, you can be assured of buying a gemstone that is well made.

The way a gemstone is cut can affect its appearance in other ways. If the diamond has a deep cut, it actually looks smaller than another diamond of the same weight that is cut well. Likewise, a diamond that has a spread cut (cut shallow) will appear larger than another diamond of the same weight that is cut well. A diamond that is cut either too deep or too spread is typically undesirable.

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