The name diamond is derived from the ancient Greek adamas ("invincible it’s unbreakable"). Diamond is a precious stone consisting of a clear and colourless crystalline form of pure carbon, the hardest naturally occurring substance. When transparent and free from flaws it is valued as precious stone. Their hardness and high dispersion of light make diamonds useful for industrial applications and for jewelleries.
Diamonds make excellent abrasives, because they can be scratched only by other diamonds, or a man-made material, which also means that they hold a polish extremely well and retain their lustre.
Diamond quality is identified by universal grading system commonly known as “four Cs”: CARAT weight, CLARITY, COLOR and CUT.
Diamonds and other gemstones are weighed in metric carats (1 carat = 0.2 gm). A carat is divided into 100 points i.e. 100 cents. Carat takes its name from carob seeds, which had a fairly uniform weight, which was used as counterweights by gem traders in early days. Diamonds that are normally used in jewelleries, weighs 1 carat or less. (Carat is different from Karat, which refers to the purity of gold.)
The diamonds of the same weight does not necessarily be of same size and value depending on other members of Four C’s: clarity, color and cut. Also, the ones with the cut too shallow or deep may lack in brilliance.
Diamonds are often measured to the hundreds of thousandths of a carat, and rounded to the hundredth of a carat. Diamond weights greater than one carat is expressed in carat and decimals. A 1.08 carat diamond would be called as “one point oh eight carats” or “one oh eight”.
|Popular Diamond Weights|
|Melee (Meh lee)||< 0.15 ct|
|Fifth of a carat||0.20 ct|
|Quarter carat||0.25 ct|
|Third of a carat||0.33 ct|
|Half carat||0.50 ct|
|Three Quarter carat||0.75 ct|
|*Often grouped together or set around Larger stones|
Since diamonds are formed under tremendous heat and pressure, they contain internal and external traits. These are characterized as inclusions and blemishes. Diamond clarity refers to the absence of these inclusions and blemishes. Diamonds without these traits are rare, and rarity affects a diamond’s value. This is carried out using a microscope and a 10x loupe under expert and experienced eyes of gemologists.
Every diamond has some or the other traits, none of them are found absolutely perfect under 10x magnifications, though some come close to perfection.
|Diamond Clarity Chart|
|FL:||Flawless||Free of blemishes and inclusions when examined under 10x magnification|
|IF:||Internally Flawless||Free of inclusions. Only insignificant blemishes visible under 10x magnification.|
|VVS1-2:||Very Very Slightly Included||Minute inclusions that is very difficult to locate under 10 x magnifications.|
|VS1-2:||Very Slightly Included||Minute inclusions that are difficult to somewhat easy to see under 10x magnifications.|
|SI1-2:||Slightly Included||Noticeable inclusions those are easy to see under 10x magnification.|
|I1, I2, I3:||Included||Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance|
Color in diamond refers to the colorlessness or lack of color in diamond. Color is a result of the composition of the diamond, and it never changes over time. A colorless diamond allows more light to pass through it than a colored diamond and hence of greater value. Thus color of a diamonds has huge impact on its value. The less the color, the higher the value (exception to this is fancy color diamonds, viz; pink, blue etc. which lies outside the color range)
The scale begins with the letter D, representing colorless, and continues with increasing presence of color to the letter Z, or light yellow or brown. Each letter grade has a clearly defined range of color appearance. Diamonds are color-graded by comparing them to stones of known color under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions.
|Diamond Color Chart|
|D||100% colorless -- This color grade represents the highest color grade and represents only the most extremely rare and most expensive diamonds|
|EF||Are exceptionally transparent. Only a trained gemmologist can detect color differences between D, E and F colored diamonds, when compared side by side. These diamonds are very rare and quite costly.|
|GH||Are nearly colorless. Only when compared to a master stone of a higher color grade is the tinting of these diamonds apparent. Otherwise, their color is nearly imperceptible to the naked eye. Rare but less expensive.|
|IJ||Are nearly colorless but with a slightly more visible color tint. Once again, color tint is imperceptible to the naked eye when viewing the diamond in a mounted setting. These stones are more commonly available.|
|KLM||Faint Yellow- diamonds in this range generally have a very faint yellow tone to them, but well cut diamonds will still contain the brilliance and fire that make them beautiful and unique.|
|N-R||Very Light Yellow – diamonds in this range generally have a very light tone to them, but will still contain the brilliance and fire that make them beautiful and unique.|
|S-Z||Light Yellow – diamonds in this range generally have a light tone to them, but will still contain the brilliance and fire that make them beautiful and unique.|
Cut is the factor that fuels a diamond’s fire, sparkle and brilliance. Cut of a diamond is determined by human intervention whereas all other factors are dependent on nature. Hence cut is the vital factor in determining the value of the diamond. The cut of any diamonds has three characteristics;
1. Brilliance (the total light reflected from a diamond),
2. Fire (the dispersion of light into the colors of the spectrum) and
3. Scintillation (the flashes of light or sparkle when a diamond is moved).
Round brilliant shaped diamond is most commonly used in the diamond jewelleries and all others are fancy shapes which include marquise, pear, oval and emerald cuts. Shapes like hearts, cushions, triangles, princess and a variety of other shapes are also gaining popularity in diamond jewelleries.
For value proposition, cut refers to a diamond’s proportions, symmetry and polish. In a standard round brilliant diamond, the major components, from top to bottom, are the crown, girdle and pavilion. A round brilliant cut diamond has 57 or 58 facets, the 58th being a tiny flat facet at the bottom of the pavilion that’s known as the culet. The large, flat facet on the top is the table. The proportions of a diamond refer to the relationships between table size, crown angle and pavilion depth. A wide range of proportion combinations are possible, and these ultimately affect the stone’s interaction with light.
The distance from the bottom of the girdle to the culet is the pavilion depth. A pavilion depth that’s too shallow or too deep will allow light to escape through the sides or the bottom of the stone. A well-cut diamond will direct more light through the crown.
|Diamond Cut Chart|
|Shallow Cut||A shallow cut diamond will usually have a larger diameter and so a larger look for each given carat weight, however the more shallow the stone, the more light is lost out of the base and can cause it to look fireless and transparent.|
|Ideal Cut||An ideal cut diamond has the correct proportions to reflect all of the light that enters the stone cut through the centre creating maximum fire and sparkle.|
|Deep Cut||A deep cut diamond will tend to have a smaller diameter and so a smaller look per carat weight. A very deeply cut diamond will lose light out of the sides of the stone causing the brilliance to be compromised.|
Cut grades are assigned by GIA, using the following scale;
|Diamond Cut Chart|
|Excellent||Maximum fire and brilliance. Reflects nearly all of the light that enters the diamond, creating exceptional sparkle and life.|
|Very Good||Properly reflects most of the light that enters the diamond, producing superior fire and brilliance. Under normal lighting conditions, appears very similar to Excellent Cut, but for a lower price.|
|Good||Reflects a majority of the light that enters the diamond, for an above average appearance. An excellent value compared to higher cut grades.|
|Fair||Allows much of the light entering the diamond to escape from the sides or bottom, reducing perceived fire and brilliance. More acceptable in diamonds of less than .75 carats, where differences in sparkle are more difficult to perceive.|
|Poor||Allows most of the light entering the diamond to escape from the sides or bottom. The diamond may appear noticeably dull and lifeless, even to an untrained eye.|
A diamond jewellery certificate is a report that provides a complete breakdown of all gemstones and diamond contained in the article of jewelry, including quantity and total carat weight, measurements, shape, cut, finish, proportions, clarity and color. The identification, content and weight of precious metals are also stated. To further identify the item, a color photograph is provided, which shows the details of the article of jewelry.
This certificate is provided by a registered and recognized team of gemologists (IGI, DGLA, etc., GIA certifies only loose solitaire). The diamond is evaluated, measured and inspected by trained eyes, a jeweler’s loupe, a microscope and other such tools.
Certified diamond Jewelleries are verified for quality by recognized gemologists’ thus assuring consumer to purchase with confidence based on the characteristics of the diamond rather than blindly trusting the sales pitch of the retailer. Certified diamond jewelleries also;
When purchasing certified diamonds, assure that the certification is from the third party gemologists/ laboratory rather than one associated with the store, jeweler or diamond wholesaler who may produce biased opinion for transacting the sale.
Also verify that the third party gemologists/laboratory is well recognized in the jewellery industry, some of which are GIA, IGI, DGLA etc.
Since diamond Jewellery is a valuable investment, we need to take proper care of it. While they can be cut, polished or scratched by another diamond only, a hard blow can chip it off.
Everyday exposure to creams, skin oils, hairspray, household chemicals and other substances can cause buildup that will dull your diamond's brilliance and sparkle. Also the chemicals in the air will oxidise or discolour the mountings. Keeping your jewellery clean will maximize its fire, sparkle and brilliance.
1.Detergent Bath: Prepare a solution in small bowl with mild detergent and warm water (don’t use any detergent with chlorine) and soak the jewellery in it. Use a soft toothbrush for gently scrubbing and cleaning. Rinse off with warm water by keeping the jewellery in a strainer (avoid cleaning jewellery over a drain) and dry with a clean soft cloth.
2.Cold Water Soak: Prepare a solution with 4 parts cold water and 1 part very mild dishwashing detergent, and then soak the jewellery in it for some time. Rub gently on sides of mounting with a soft brush. Rinse it once again in the solution and then drain it off on tissue paper.
3.Quick-Dip Method: Buy any liquid jewellery cleaners, choosing the one that is best for the kind of stones and metals in your jewellery. Read the label carefully and follow the instructions. Do not touch your clean diamonds with your fingers, as the oils from your hands will leave a film on the stone.
You may be wearing your diamond engagement ring or diamond wedding ring day and night, you should keep these basics tips in mind;
1. Don't wear it when you're doing rough work or going to the gym. Even though a diamond is durable, it can be chipped by a hard blow.
2. Don't let your diamond come in contact with chlorine bleach when you're doing household chores. It can damage and discolor the mounting.
3. Do see your jeweler at least once a year and have him check your ring and other precious pieces for loose prongs and wear of mountings
1. When you're not wearing diamonds and precious jewellery, they still require attention. Keep your precious pieces in a fabric-lined jewel case, or a box with compartments or dividers.
2. You can also wrap each piece individually in tissue paper and store in a box.
3. Don't jumble your diamond pieces in a drawer or jewellery case, because diamonds can scratch other jewellery and can even scratch each other.
4. Don't leave your ring on the rim of a sink when you remove it to wash your hands. It can easily slip down the drain.
Packing your precious diamond jewellery for traveling should be done with utmost care. There are many types of jewellery carrying cases that are specifically designed for jewellery travel, available in all price ranges, sizes, shapes and patterns. Most have velvet pads inside to attach pins and earrings, with special compartments for bracelets and necklaces.
Don’t ever leave your jewellery on the rim of a sink when you remove it to wash your hands. It can very easily slip down the drain. When you’re away from home, don’t take off your jewellery in a public place, you may accidentally forget it and lose it forever.
Keep in mind these tips while buying your diamond jewellery:
1. Buy Certified Diamond Jewellery even if it takes a few extra days for shipping / delivery.
2. Insist on Diamond Jewellery Certificate from agencies like IGI, DGLA, and GIA (for solitaire diamonds), which are reputed and recognized for certifying diamond Jewellery.
3. Check for Services and Policies. Ask the jeweller -
4. Choose color and cut over clarity. Cut and Color give the real scintillation and brilliance in a diamond and should not be compromised. We recommend you to choose a whiter diamond over clarity. Because color is visible, while blemishes are not so visible, as far as small diamonds are concerned.
5. Know the ideal color and clarity combination at various price points (Refer the chart below).
|Excellent||VVS||E,F or G|
|Very Good||VS||F or G|
|Value for money||VS||GH|