THE 4 Cs OF DIAMONDS
Carat is often confused with size, even though it is actually a measure of weight. One carat equals 1/5 of a gram in weight. In other words, one carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. For diamonds under a carat, each carat is divided into 100 points – similar to pennies in a dollar.
0.75ct. = 75 points, ½ ct. = 50 points.
Every diamond is unique. Nature ensures that each diamond is as individual as the person who wears it. Naturally and occurring features, known as inclusions, provide a special fingerprint within the stone. Inclusions are natural, identifying characteristics such as minerals or fractures, appearing while diamonds are formed in the earth. They may look like tiny crystals, clouds or feathers.
To view inclusions, jewellers use a magnifying loupe. This tool allows them to see a diamond at 10x its actual size so that the inclusions are easier to see. The position of inclusions can affect the value of a diamond. There are very few flawless diamonds found in nature, thus these diamonds are much more valuable.
Inclusions are ranked on a scale of perfection, known as clarity, which was established by the Gemological Laboratories. The clarity scale, ranging from FL (Flawless) to Included I3 (Heavy Inclusion), is based on the visibility of inclusions at a magnification of 10x.
Nature determines so much about a diamond, but it takes a master cutter to reveal a stone’s true brilliance, fire and ultimate beauty.
Based on scientific formulas, an ideal-cut diamond will internally reflect light from one mirror- like facet to another, and disperse and reflect it through the top of the stone. This results in a display of brilliance and fire, thereby placing well-cut diamonds higher on the Diamond Quality Pyramid than deep or shallow-cut diamonds. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow, lose or leak light through the side or bottom resulting in less brilliance and, ultimately, value.
Cut also refers to the shape of a Diamond — for example, round, square, pear, or heart.
Diamonds are found in almost every color of the rainbow, but white-colored diamonds remain most popular.
Diamonds are graded on a color scale established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The GIA Color Scale extends from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). The color differences are very subtle and it is very difficult to see the difference between, say, an E and an F. Therefore, colors are graded under controlled lighting conditions and are compared to a master set for accuracy.