Sunday, September 25, 2011

So What Do You Know About Purchasing a Diamond?

Reading all about diamond qualities is no substitute for seeing and handling diamonds for yourself. A diamond can not be judged purely on the details given on a diamond report or certificate. We have been offered many diamonds that sound fabulous on paper but when seen in real life they just don’t work.

If you are planning on purchasing a diamond, it is important that you know as much as possible about how diamonds are classified as the cost of a diamond is determined by the 4 C’s which are the top most criteria one needs to become familiar with - Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight. Please refer to the following:

The cut of a diamond allows it to make the best use of light. When a diamond is cut correctly, light is reflected from one facet to another, then dispersed through the top of the stone. If the cut of the diamond is too deep, some light escapes through the opposite side of the pavilion. If the cut is too shallow, light escapes through the pavilion before it can be reflected.

Please do not confuse the cut of a diamond with its shape. Diamonds can be cut into a number of shapes, depending on the qualities of the rough stone before it is cut.

The most popular diamond shapes are round, marquise, pear, emerald, oval and heart. Whatever the shape, a well-cut diamond is the work of a master diamond cutter. When the cut is right the diamond gives more sparkle.

Diamonds range in color from faint yellow or brown to very rare pinks, blues, greens, and other colors known as "fancies."

The best color for a diamond is no color at all. A totally colorless diamond allows light to pass through it easily, resulting in the light being dispersed as the color of the rainbow.

Colors are graded from totally colorless to light yellow. The diferences from one grade to the other are very subtle and it takes a trained eye and years of experience to color grade a diamond


A diamond's clarity is determined by using a 10-power magnifying glass and a trained eye.

FL Flawless - No inclusions or surface blemishes under 10 x magnification

IF Internally Flawless – no inclusions and only insignificant surface blemishes under 10x magnification.

VVS1 – VVS2 Very, Very Small inclusions – extremely difficult to see and usually only visible on a microscope or to an experienced grader with a loupe.

VS1 – VS2 Very Small inclusions, visible with 10x magnification but should still be difficult to find.

SI1 – SI2 Slightly Included, usually easily found with a loupe but still ‘eye clean’.

When viewed without magnification the difference in appearance between these clarity grades will be negligible.

I1 - I3 Included - inclusions visible to the naked eye (sometimes referred to as P1 – P3 or piqued). As these inclusions are becoming more visible they may affect the outward appearance of the diamond, the best I1 clarity diamonds will have an inclusion visible to the naked eye of a trained grader but not to the untrained eye and will still be very bright.

Most diamonds contain very tiny impurities know as "inclusions." An inclusion can interfere with the light passing through the diamond.

The fewer the inclusion, the more beautiful the diamond will be.

Diamonds have the capability of producing more brilliance than any other gemstone. A diamond that is free of inclusions and surface blemishes is very rare and therefore very valuable


This is the weight of a diamond measured in carats.

One carat is divided into 100 "points," so that a diamond of 75 points weights .75 ct.

The carat-weight of a diamond is the easiest measurement to determine.

Most importantly, two diamonds can be of equal carat-weight, but their value can differ greatly due to their cut, color, and clarity.

Don't rush into your diamond purchase. Take your time and evaluate your choice carefully. It took thousands of years for nature to form your diamond and the skill of a master diamond cutter to bring your diamond to you. The time you spend now can bring you a lifetime of pleasure.

– Whilst most diamond reports or certificates that you will see use the same terminology the standards to which each laboratory grades can vary and the difference between the most highly regarded reports and lesser reports can in our experience be as much as two grades. If we offer a diamond for sale with a certificate it will usually be from the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) or IGI (International Gemmological Institute). As non of these laboratories have a base in the UK if you would like a report to be issued on any of our non certificated diamonds we will usually use AnchorCert based in the Birmingham Assay office and this will be charged at the cost price of the certificate (usually around £40.00 -£60.00 dependant on the size of the diamond).


Diamondvault said...

You are absolutely right. The "4 C's" are the standards and criteria used to judge the beauty and price of the diamonds.This will help us to determine its quality.

gemologist certification said...

Well there are risks with everything in life and this is no different with diamonds..but they look so magical.