Four C's of Diamonds
The cut of a diamond, also known as the “make” refers to the proportions and finish of a given stone. Most experts say that the cut of a diamond may be the single most determining factor of a stone’s value because it gives the stone its fire and brilliance. Well cut stones often fetch a high premium in the market and can increase the value of a stone by up to 25%. A well cut stone can often take a lower color stone, like J– K color, and make it look like a higher color because of the brilliance of the cut.
When a diamond is cut to the ideal proportions, it is generally symmetrical with a proper depth, table and finish. (see diagram for the anatomy of a diamond). The result is light entering the stone reflects internally from facet to facet and is totally reflected back out only through the top of the stone, creating the brilliance of the diamond. If a diamond is cut too shallow, light leaks out the bottom of the stone; too deep and light leaks out the side; if proportions are correct, light is reflected back out the top of the stone to create that fire and brilliance we are all looking for.
One often overlooked variable that factors into a diamond’s cut grade is it’s finish. Finish covers every aspect of a diamond’s appearance that is not a result of the diamond’s inherent nature when it comes out of the ground. It is essentially the quality of the cut by the diamond cutter. Finish is broken down into two subcategories: Polish and Symmetry. Polish refers to the surface of the diamond while Symmetry refers to the alignment and uniformity of the facets. Look for diamonds with Excellent – Good finish to achieve higher cut grades.
For each shape diamond, there is an optimal range of proportions which give the stone it’s ultimate luster and beauty. Both GIA and AGS now assign cut grades to diamonds based on a set criteria. Each lab has their own cut grading scale.
At Dana Rebecca Designs Bridal, you’ll only find stones with the finest cut. We strongly believe that a well cut diamond is of utmost importance. No matter what size diamond you are shopping for, you should have fine cut stones at your disposal.
Carat Weight is a unit of weight that describes the “size” of a diamond. One carat is the equivalent of 0.20 grams. Every carat is divided into 100 points. Therefore, a stone that is 50 points would be ½ Carat and 75 points would be ¾ Carat and so on. The carat weight of a diamond is NOT indicative of a diamonds quality, just merely a unit of measure.
The color of a diamond is the degree to which a diamond is colorless. Grading of a diamond’s color is based on a scale of D – Z with D being colorless.
Most diamonds, while they appear colorless, actually have slight tones of yellow or brown.
Most people are generally attracted to higher colorless diamonds in the D – F range, but such stones are also the most expensive. Diamonds in the G-I color range are considered near colorless and are often considerably less expensive. It takes a trained eye to distinguish colors and often times a well cut stone can make a stone look like it is higher color.
Fluorescence is often a term that is misunderstood and confuses people when buying diamonds. Some people even mistake it with color. Fluorescence is a natural inherent property of a diamond that is caused by trace amounts of the element boron in a given stone. The visible effects of fluorescence can only be detected when a diamond is exposed to UV light which stimulate the boron within the stone.
Fluorescence is classified as none or negligible, faint, medium, strong or very strong. The presence of fluorescence can be either good or bad. The impact of fluorescence on any given stone depends on it’s noticeability. In some higher color stones, fluorescence can give a stone a milky or hazy appearance and lower the value. In some cases, fluorescence is hardly noticeable and has minimal impact on a stones fire and brilliance. To the contrary, fluorescence in lower color stones may add value because it gives the diamond a whiter and brighter appearance.
Approximate Percentage Change from Nonfluorscence
|D-F||Very Strong||-10 to -15%||-6 to -10%||0 to -3%|
|Strong||-7 to -10%||-3 to -5%||0 to -1%|
|Medium||-3 to -7%||-1 to -2%||0%|
|Faint||0 to -1%||0%||0%|
|G-H||Very Strong||-7 to -10%||-3 to -5%||0%|
|Strong||-5 to -7%||-2 to -3%||0%|
|Medium||-1 to -3%||-2 to -3%||0%|
|I-K||Very Strong||0 to +3%||0 to +2%||0 to +2%|
|Strong||0 to +2%||0 to +2%||0 to +2%|
|Medium||0 to +2%||0 to +2%||0 to +2%|
Diamond’s clarity refers to the natural internal flaws and external blemishes that are found in or on a diamond. Nearly all diamonds contain these natural occurring internal characteristics called inclusions. The size, nature, location and amount of inclusions determine a diamond’s clarity grade. The GIA and AGS-USA use a detailed system of rules and standards to grade the clarity of any given stone
Choosing the clarity that’s right for you is a matter of being comfortable with the imperfections in a given stone. Most diamonds in the world are not flawless; to the contrary, most diamonds have some level of imperfection to them. Diamonds which carry a VVS grade are excellent diamonds because even under high power magnification, imperfections are very hard to find. But one must remember that these diamonds are also more expensive. The best “bang for the buck” comes with diamonds that are “eye clean.” This means that to the naked eye you can’t see any imperfections. These stones are usually VS1,VS2, SI1 or SI2. In these grades, while imperfections may be seen under a tradition 10x loupe, once mounted in a ring, the inclusions are hardly noticeable to the naked eye. Another useful buying technique in terms of picking the clarity that is right for you would be to look out for the location of the imperfections. Try to find stones that have minimal inclusions in the center of the stone. Inclusions in the center of a diamond are easier to spot with the naked eye because they are seen through the largest facet, the table.
At Dana Rebecca Designs Bridal, we offer diamonds encompassing almost all levels of clarity (IF-SI2). We strongly believe that you should have all options at your disposal for you to make a decision as to what level is right for you.