What is a diamond?
A diamond is composed of crystallised carbon and is the hardest natural substance known to man. 58 times harder than anything else in nature, in fact. Only Mother Nature can make a natural diamond. A natural diamond is identified using only the single word, "diamond".
The 4 C’s
The 4 C’s are considered the global language of diamond quality. The four C’s helps determine the value of each individual diamond. These are the measures by which diamonds graders assess the variations in these stunning natural wonders, as each natural diamond boasts its own unique characteristics.
Once the rough diamonds are mined, the artisan who creates the finished gem plans their cut accordingly, producing a masterpiece with a unique size, shape, clarity, number of facets, and scintillation.
Cut (proportions, symmetry, and polish) is a measure of how a diamond’s facets interact with light. Together, these measures rate the cut facets from “Excellent” to “Poor”, regardless of shape. Jewellers often use the term “cut” to describe the shape of a diamond, as well as the quality of workmanship. A round shape is a favourite for engagement rings. Princess, emerald, pear, marquise and ovals are among the many other shapes available.
The less colour, the higher the grade. Even the slightest hint can make a dramatic difference in value. Diamonds are graded for colour on a scale from "D" or colourless, to "Z" or dark yellow. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond is completely transparent with no hue or colour. The colour of the diamond may be affected by chemical impurities and structural defects in the crystal lattice.
A "D" colour diamond is considered colourless–and the standard for a "white" diamond. Deeper tones, up to H, are often considered "near colourless". Generally, the hue and intensity of a diamonds colouration can enhance or detract from its value. Diamonds with deep yellow, pink or other significant colour have become especially prized and are extremely rare.
Flaws inside a diamond are commonly referred to as inclusions. Clarity grades assess the number, size, type, position and visibility of inclusions and blemishes. These imperfections may be crystals of a foreign material, another diamond crystal, or structural imperfections (tiny cracks that can appear whitish or cloudy). Diamonds are graded from "flawless" (FL grade) to grades of VVS, VS, SI and "included" (I or P grade).
The carat weight measures the mass or size of a diamond. One carat is defined as exactly 200 milligrams. The value of a diamond increases exponentially in relation to carat weight, since diamonds of larger sizes in gem qualities are rare.
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