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Diamond Education

The 4Cs
 Carat, Clarity ,Color and Cut - are the universal language of the diamond.  It is very important to  Understanding this language as it will help you understand your diamond and know exactly what your purchasing.

Carat
Carat weight is the easiest to understand . A diamond's weight is measured in carats, the carat is subdivided into 100 parts called 'points.' One point is equal to .01 carat or 1/100 of a  carat.  A one carat diamond equals 100 points a 1 carat diamond has a weight of 0.2 grams.

Diamond prices increase as the carat weight of the diamond increases because the larger the diamond the less common and more desirable the diamond become. However two diamonds with the same Carat weight can have very diffrent prices depending on the other 3C Factors: Color, Clarity and Cut,

 

Clarity

Clarity is a measure of the tiny imperfections found in the diamond. Clarity refers to how clean or how imperfected a diamond is. The diamond clarity scale is used to measure how great the imperfections or inclusions in a diamond are. The position of an inclusion or imperfection in the diamond affects how easily it can be seen. Diamond cutters make every effort to polish the diamond in such a way so that inclusions are not visible through the table or the top of the finished  diamond .
Clarity is determined using a  very complex formula which includes size, location,and visibility of the inclusion.

The Clarity Scale is a follows:

FL-Flawless:
No inclusions, only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.

VVS1, VVS2 - Very Very Slightly Imperfect:
Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification


VS1, VS2 - Very Slightly Imperfect:
Inclusions are  visible under 10x magnification but can be characterized as minor.


SI1, SI2 - Slightly Imperfect:
Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.

I1, I2, I3 - Imperfect:
Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance.


COLOR 

D to Z diamond grading system is the industry's most widely accepted grading system. The scale begins with the letter D, representing colorless, and continues, with increasing presence of color, to the letter Z.

 

The Diamond Color  scale ranges from D which is totally colorless to Z which is a pale yellow or brown color. Diamond color is graded by comparing a sample diamond to a master set of diamonds. Each master diamond  is known to exhibit the  least amount of body color that a diamond in that color grade may exhibit. A trained diamond grader compares a diamond of unknown grade against the series of master stones, assessing where in the range of color the diamond resides. Accurate color grading can only be performed with diamond unset, as the comparison with master stones is done with diamond placed on its table facet and pavilion side facing upwards. When color grading is done in the mounting, the grade is expressed as an estimated color grade and commonly as a range of color. Grading mounted diamonds involves holding the mounted diamonds table close to the table facet of the master stone and visually comparing the diamond color under the same color conditions as unmounted diamond grading. The resulting grade is typically less accurate, and is therefore expressed as a range of color.

Which Color Grade is most desirable for me?

Diamonds graded D through F are known to be the most valuable because of how rare they are. However you can still obtain stunning diamonds which are of lower color grades such as G, H and I color diamonds which do not show any shade of colorto the untrained eye. And depending on the type of jewelery you are setting them in the color of the diamond may be elivated once the diamond is set

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Diamond Cut

A diamond's cut is one of the most important factors to the diamonds final beauty. And of all the diamond 4Cs,  the cut  is the most complex and technically difficult to grade.

Diamonds are known for their ability to transmit light and fire.  Very often people confuse the diamond's cut as the shape (round, princess, pear) however a diamond's cut is actually a grade which determines how well a diamond's facets interact with light.

The diamonds cut is an art form and great workmanship is required to polish a diamond in such a way so that the diamonds proportions, symmetry, and polish deliver the highest return of light.

In order to determine the cut grade of the standard round brilliant cut diamond - the gemologist would have to calculate the proportions of the facets that influence the diamond's face-up appearance. Such proportions evaluate how a diamond interacts with light to create the highest  visual brilliance,Brightness: Internal and external light reflected from a diamond,Fire: The scattering of  light to all the colors of the rainbow Scintillation: The amount of sparkle and shine a diamond produces There are 5 grades for the cut: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.

Ideal Cut Diamonds with hearts and arrows are premier cut diamonds which display the hearts and arrows when the diamond is viewd table down. Only 1% of the diamonds in the world have the perfect cut, symmetry and polish necessary to achieve the Hearts & Arrows distinction. Diamonds which are precision cut with 57 faceted round brilliant cut. Such diamonds  are cut to ideal proportions with Ideal symmetry, polish and faceting pattern. When all of these three factors are in harmony the result is a perfect pattern of eight symmetrical arrows in the face up position called crown and eight symmetrical hearts when the diamond is  viewed with the diamonds table in the down position or the pavilion Hearts and arrows in a diamond is something that is very desirable and very difficult to achive.

Diamond Anatomy

 Table:the flat surface at the top of the diamond.
 Star Facets: Facets adjacent to the table, directing light down to the girdle and lower facets
 Bezel Facets: Kite-shaped facets between the star facets and the upper girdle facets.
 Upper Girdle Facets:Lowest facets of the crown, sit between the bezel facets and the girdle.
 Girdle: The diamond's outer edge, where the crown and pavilion meet. Either faceted or smooth.
 Pavilion: The portion of the diamond that sits below the girdle
 Lower Girdle Facets:The facets just below and adjacent to the girdle.
 Pavilion Facets:The lowest facets, those just below and adjacent to the lower girdle facets
 Culet: The bottom of the diamond, this can either be the point at the bottom of the diamond or a small facet parallel to the table.

Crown: The crown is the top part of the diamond that sits above the girdle. Light enters a diamond through the crown facets.
Girdle:The girdle separates a diamond’s crown and pavilion. Diamond girdles are often polished with tiny facets. Diamonds can also be found with girdles that have a frosted or slightly waxy appearance, finished but not faceted.                                                                                                                                                         Pavilion:The pavilion is the bottom half of the diamond that sits below the girdle. The pavilion facets reflect incoming light that has entered through the crown facets.

Diamond Shapes

Round Brilliant Diamonds
This shape is the most popular of all diamond shapes, and accounts for more than 75% of diamonds sold today. Its 58-facet cut,  is calibrated through a precise formula to achieve the maximum fire and brilliance of any diamond shape.

Princess Cut Diamond
This is a square or rectangular shaoed diamond with numerous  facets. It is a relatively new cut introduced in the 1980's and has become the most popular of the fancy shape diamonds. Because of its design, this cut requires more weight to be directed toward the diamond's depth in order to maximize brilliance.

Radiant Cut Diamonds
This also a  square or rectangular shape diamond which has a combination of the emerald  shape diamond with the brilliance of the round brilliant cut diamond, and its 70 facets maximize the effect of its color refraction. It to is a very popular fancy shape diamond.

Pear Shaped Diamonds
 This shape is a combining of the  oval and the marquise shape diamonds, it is shaped most like a teardrop. It is particularly beautiful for pendants or earrings and has a very classic look.

Oval Diamonds
This is another classic looking diamond. Its elongated shape gives a flattering illusion of length to the hand. Preferences vary on how narrow or wide an oval cut diamond should be however a length to width ratio of 1.35 – 1.50 is considered to be  the classic oval cut

Marquise Diamonds
An elongated shape diamond with pointed ends inspired by the fetching smile of the Marquise de Pompadour and commissioned by the Sun King, France's Louis XIV, who wanted a diamond to match it.Symmetry is very important in marquise cuts. The two end points should align and the right and left sides of the stone should form a near mirror image.

Emerald Cut Diamond
This is a rectangular shape with cut corners. It is known as a step cut because of its flat planes resemble stair steps. Since inclusions and inferior color are much more noticable in this cut, try selecting superior clarity and color.

Cushion Cut Diamond
 a classic style that looks like a cross between an Old Mine Cut a deep cut with large facets that was common in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries and the modern oval cut.