If you want to learn about the basics of the diamond then you need to understand 4C’s. 4C’s now the universal acceptable method for grading the diamonds.
Every diamond is unique and it is a miracle of nature, time, place and changes. Each ‘’C’’ establish the value of diamond.
Until the middle of twentieth century, no one have acceptable standard to judge the diamonds. Now the 4C’s are globally acceptable standard for describing the diamond. The 4C’s are
4C’s are the diamond universal language that can communicated worldwide regarding diamond standard and quality. Using the 4C’s as criteria, gemologists grade each diamond to determine its value and it is worldwide acceptable.
Carat is a unit of weight for diamonds, diamonds are weighed in carats that is equals to 1/5 of a gram. It is means 1 Gram=5 Carats. Diamond weights can also be expressed in points or percentages. Means each carat divided into 100 points if someone describe as 55 point of cents means it have 55% weight of a carat.
To know the diamond clarity you need to view it under 10-power (10X) magnification, evaluating inclusions in the diamond. Most of the diamond or you can say 99% diamonds have surface blemishes and inclusions and of course these are natural, you can say them “birthmarks”. The fewer and smaller inclusion makes less interfere in light passing through the diamond and a diamond gets its beauty from how it reacts to light.
And everyone better know the better clarity, the more the value.
Gemologists classify clarity in eleven grades:
FL (Flawless): Flawless means no blemishes or inclusions when a skilled, experienced grader see it under 10x magnification.
Some of the following issues do not keep apart from the flawless category:
- Extra facet on the pavilion side which cannot be seen on face.
- Confided Naturals which neither thicken the girdle nor distort its outline.
- Internal graining which is not reflective and does not affect transparency.
IF (Internally Flawless):
Internally flawless means stone show no inclusion but only significant blemish under 10x magnification.
VVS1 and VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included)
VVS diamonds contain minute inclusions that cannot be seen from necked eyes. Even the skilled grader can identify it under 10x magnification. In VVS1, they are extremely difficult to see, it can be removed by minor re-polishing. In VVS2, the minor inclusions are very difficult to see but slightly more than VVS1.
VS1 and VS2 (Very Slightly Included):
VS stones contain minor inclusions, it ranging from difficult VS1 to somewhat easy VS2 for a trained grader to see under 10x magnification. We can see small included crystals, small feathers and distinct clouds.
SI1 and SI2 (Slightly Included):
SI stones contain noticeable inclusions ganging from easy (SI1) to very easy (SI2) when we see under 10x magnification. In some SI’s inclusions can be seen in necked eyes.
I1, I2 and I3 (Imperfect):
These quality diamonds contain inclusions which are obviously visible under 10x magnification. These inclusions easily seen from the top of diamond with necked eyes. Inclusions effect stones durability, brilliance and transparency.
I1 grade diamonds commonly found in the retail market. This is the category mostly use in commercial market. In I2 grade inclusions are higher than the I1 and can be seen from necked eyes. I3 diamonds inclusions severe effect on beauty and durability. It is the lowest grade in diamonds.
After the I3 quality no grading system has been developed although lower grade diamonds are available in market which have many different levels. Some of the diamonds are white but surface is fully blemish. Some is clear but color is near to brown and some is clean white but cut is not proper that is why light passed away from pavilion side and it looks like dim without sparkle.
Diamonds and be found from faint yellow or brown. Such as pink, red and green are the very rare form of the diamonds. Even though diamonds are available in several different colors but most common color is yellow. The diamond color chart shows you different color shades which are approved by GIA. It start by ‘’D’’ color grade to ‘’Z’’. D represent colorless and Z end with Yellowish or you can say light yellow. These color only can be visible from the trained eyes or if you see many same grade diamonds in a packet.
The most popular color range is ‘’Near Colorless’’ because this range is more affordable the complete colorless or rare colors. Less color equals to greater rarity, increasing the value of the diamond. But natural presence of fancy color can result more cost than a colorless diamonds.
Diamond cut is very difficult to understand, actually it depends on shapes, facets arrangement, angle proportions and finishing. The inclusion base SI quality, IJ color diamond with good cut can be more valuable than FG color and VS quality if it has not cut properly. It is the complete game of light, if the cut is good than light comes from table and it reflects every facet then comes out from other side from the table. But if the cut is not proper then light passed away for pavilion.
In below image this is the anatomy of a diamond which have
- Star facet
- Bezel facet
- Upper girdle facet
- Lower Girdle Facet
- Pavilion Facet
Table, star facet, bezel facet, upper girdle facet are called ‘’Crown’’ part of the diamond and below the girdle, Lower girdle facets, pavilion facets and culet are the part of ‘’Pavilion’’.
A diamond have:
8 Star Facets
8 kite facets
16 upper girdle facets
16 lower girdle facets
8 pavilion facets
Every diamond known for their ability to transmit light and sparkle so intensely. For this we often think of a diamond’s cut and shape (Round, Oval, Marquise, Pear…..), but what diamond cut actually does mean how well a diamond’s facets inter with light. It depends on proper angle of facets. Precise artistry and workmanship are required to fashion a stone so its proportions, symmetry and polish deliver the magnificent return of light only possible in a diamond.
It is the most complex and technically difficult part of 4C’s which directly reflects in the stone’s final beauty and value.
These are the shapes of the diamond where every angle of facets have different degree for light.
Different kinds of cutting also a major part of facets arrangement. The most popular is Round brilliant cut. Most diamonds have one of three basic facet arrangements: brilliant, step, mixed.
Whatever the shape, a well cut diamond is the life of a diamond which in the hand of master diamond cutter. When he cut diamond in a good proportion, diamond is better able to handle light and spark more. Although people cannot see an actual difference in cut, they only can appreciate and recognize the beauty of a diamond.
How different cut diamond handle light:
You can see in above picture there are three different position of the diamond
In first position light comes from one facet and the facet reflect it to another facets and finally light dispersed through the top of the stone. So we can say the diamond has cut in good proportion which makes it value.
In second situation diamond has cut too deep, as a result some light escapes from the opposite side of the pavilion.
In third situation diamond has cut too shallow so light escapes out from pavilion walls before it can be reflected.