Diamond Education

What Is A Diamond:

Diamond is a native crystalline carbon that is the hardest known mineral. It is usually nearly colorless. When transparent and free from flaws it is highly valued as a precious stone. It is also used industrially, especially as an abrasive. Crystallized carbon produced artificially is also called diamond.

The name diamond is derived from the ancient Greek adamas ("invincible"). Their hardness and high dispersion of light make diamonds useful for industrial applications and jewelry. Diamonds make excellent abrasives because they can be scratched only by other diamonds, or man- made materials, which also means they hold a polish extremely well and retain their luster.

They have been treasured as gemstones since their use as religious icons in ancient India. Their usage in engraving tools also dates to early human history. The popularity of diamonds has risen since the 19th century because of increased supply, improved cutting and polishing techniques, growth in the world economy, and innovative and successful marketing campaigns.

4Cs of a Diamond



Gem diamonds are commonly judged by the “four Cs”: carat weight, clarity, color, and Cut. Everything you need to know begins with the letter “C.”

Learning about diamonds begins with an understanding of the basic characteristics, often referred to as The Four C’s. These are the standards by which diamonds are graded, compared and ultimately valued. Understanding the ways that diamonds differ from one another will help put in perspective the trade-offs of The Four C’s against another important factor - price.


Diamond cutting is the art and science of creating a gem-quality diamond out of mined rough. Cut refers to the angles and proportions of a diamond and determines how brilliant, beautiful and valuable the diamond is. Cut is the only aspect of a diamond, determined by the skill and artistry of the craftsman’s hand. There are mathematical guidelines for the angles and length ratios at which the diamond is supposed to be cut in order to reflect the maximum amount of light.

The Cut determines

  • The diamond's brilliance and beauty
  • The diamond's ability to reflect light
  • The diamond's proportions, symmetry and finish

An ideally proportioned diamond is cut according to scientific formulae calculated to maximise brilliance. In such diamonds, light that enters the stone from the top will bounce about within the diamond to create multiple reflections, which exit the stone from the top, causing the diamond's glitter.

Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom. The result is less brilliance, and ultimately less value for the diamond.



Polish & Symmetry

Symmetry

Diamond symmetry refers to the arrangement and conformity of facets in a finished diamond. A gemologist who is judging symmetry will examine several features in the stone, including…

  • Size and shape of the facets
  • Alignment of the crown and pavilion
  • Placement of the culet sits compared to the table

Polishing

After a diamond is cut, the cutter will finish the stone to achieve a smooth, glass-like surface. The quality of this work is known as diamond polish. Gemologists, once again, examine the stone under 10x magnification in order to rank a diamond’s polish, looking for remnants of imperfections the cutter may have left behind.

Need for Polishing:

  • Gives the diamond its final appearance
  • Is crucial to its brilliance
  • Ensures smooth passage of light through the diamond

The carat is a measure of the actual weight of the diamond. The greater the weight of a diamond, the more rare it is. Carat weight is not always the same as size appearance. The choice of how a diamond is cut is a critically important factor in determining whether a diamond “looks its weight”. The price per carat increases with carat weight, since larger diamonds are both rarer and more desirable for use as gemstones.

By definition, 1 carat is 200 milligrams. Since most diamonds sold in the market weigh less than 1 carat, the carat is usually subdivided into "points." There are 100 points in 1 carat, so that a diamond weighing 3/4 carat would be a "75 point diamond."
1 carat = 200 milligrams = 100 points

Large diamonds are rarer to find in mines than small ones, which makes large diamonds much more valuable.

Clarity is a measure of the cleanliness or purity of a diamond. Clarity Determines the diamond's ability to allow free passage of light without obstruction or absorption. Clarity is based on inclusions present in the diamond. Inclusions are a diamond's natural imperfections. They are permanent tiny spots found within the diamond, mostly invisible to the naked eye. Inclusions are not flaws in the strict sense of the term. They are nature's signature on a diamond, akin to birthmarks. Like fingerprints, no two diamonds are identical. Your diamond is identified by inclusions if it is ever lost or stolen. A diamond need not be completely clean to be highly attractive

A diamond's clarity rating is determined by the number, size, type and location of inclusions under 10 x magnifications.

The GIA grading of clarity of diamonds translates as follows:

  • FL                    : Completely flawless.
  • IF                     : Internally flawless; external flaws present can be removed by further polishing
  • VVS1 - VVS2 : Only an expert can detect flaws with a 10X microscope. By definition, if an expert can see a flaw from the top of the diamond, it is a VVS2. If the expert can only detect flaws while viewing the bottom of the stone, then it is a VVS1.
  • VS1 - VS2       : You can see flaws with a 10X microscope, but it is not obvious
  • SI1 - SI2          : You can see flaws readily with a 10X microscope
  • I1 - I3              : You can see flaws with the naked eye. Eminently avoidable.

Blemishes

Blemishes are imperfections on a diamond's exterior surface. Many exterior flaws- nicks, pits, trigons, and polishing lines-are a result of the cutting and polishing process. Depending on their location and size, most blemishes can be polished away, or the diamond can be re-cut to eliminate them.

Surface blemishes can affect a diamond's clarity and value, but many blemishes have little or no impact on a diamond's appearance.

The "color" of a diamond is evaluated in terms of its degree of colorlessness.
The ideal diamond is completely colorless, and the most expensive. However, some diamonds which appear colorless actually have slight tones of yellow or brown.

  • D         : Absolutely colorless. The highest color grade, which is extremely rare.
  • E          : Colorless. Only minute traces of color can be detected by an expert gemologist. A rare diamond.
  • F          : Colorless. Slight color detected by an expert gemologist, but still considered a "colorless" grade. A high-quality diamond.
  • G - H   : Near-colorless. Color noticeable when compared to diamonds of better grades, but these grades offer excellent value.
  • I - J, K  : Near-colorless. Color slightly detectable. An excellent value.
  • L - M   : Noticeable color.
  • N - Z   : Noticeable color.

A diamond can be found in any color in addition to colorless. Natural color diamonds come in all shades and colors of the rainbow. The most popular colors are combinations of pink, blue, brown, yellow, orange, green and red. Some of the colored diamonds, such as pink, are very rare.

Diamonds may contain small traces of color within the crystal structure, most often tints of yellow or brown. Differences in the color are subtle and difficult to see with the untrained eye. The less tint of color in a diamond, the more rare it is.

Shape means the intrinsic shape of the diamond as seen from the top, or in its setting. The basic shape of a diamond significantly affects its price.

The primary wholesale price list for different shapes of diamonds is published weekly by the Rapaport Diamond Report. Round Shape has its own unique price chart, while the chart for pear shape is used for all other shapes.

shape_round
Round Brilliant
shape_princes
Princess Cut
shape_emerald
Emerald Cut
shape_asscher
Asscher
shape_marquish
Marquise
shape_oval
Oval
shape_radiant
Radiant Cut
shape_pear
Pear Shaped
shape_heart
Heart Shaped
shape_cushion
Cushion Shaped

Diamond Care

We use 4C's method to describe a diamond. The 4Cs are Color, Carat Weight, Cut, and clarity. There is a fifth 'C' too, which is care. This C is in the hand of the user. To maintain and care the diamond and diamond jewelry, following steps are useful:

  • Storing diamond in soft cloth:
    As a diamond is the hardest substance and it scratches other diamond, so if we place them together, they will scratch each other and their shine and cut will become dull. So, store each diamond or jewelry in separate pouch of soft cloth.

  • Don’t wear diamond while working hard:
    When you are doing hard work or swimming or showering, don't wear diamond.

  • Cleaning diamond with soft cloth:
    To enhance its shine clean it with a clean and soft cloth after wearing the diamond. Also clean the diamond before storing it.

  • Placing diamond carefully:
    If you are washing your hands and you are going to remove the diamond jewelry (ring etc). Don't put it anywhere in a way that it can easily slip down the sink.

  • Washing and drying the diamond:
    You can wash the diamond with warm and soapy water using soft brush. Then dry it in air or with soft clean cloth.

  • Beware of using sharp chemicals:
    Don't put the diamond pieces in the salt water or destroying chemicals like chlorine or detergents, etc.

  • Avoid temperature:
    If your diamond has cracks, avoid sudden changes of temperature to prevent the increment in cracks.

Your jeweler should check its mounting and fitting periodically and also clean it with steam or scientific methods to maintain the shine of the diamond.