Diamonds Information


Some interesting facts about diamonds:
•Diamonds are made entirely of highly-compressed carbon 90 to 120 miles below the surface of the earth.
•The carbon atoms form in a unique way that makes a diamond the hardest natural substance on earth.
•A Diamond's structure allows it to take an excellent polish and project more brilliance (or reflected light) than any other natural colorless gemstone
•The colors of diamonds range from colorless, yellow, orange, brown, to almost black
•Natural diamonds range in age from under 1 billion to 3.3 billion years old (equivalent to 22% - 73% of the Earth's age)


Diamond Characteristics:

The Four C's
A diamond's value is based upon four characteristics: color, cut, clarity and carat weight, often referred to as the "Four C's". Each characteristic is analyzed and measured to determine the quality of the diamond. A description of each characteristic is provided below.

1. COLOR         
Color is measured on a scale from colorless to shades of color with colorless being the rarest and most expensive. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) uses a color grading scale of D-Z, colorless to shades of color respectively. As mentioned above diamonds come in different colors and anything outside this color scale are referred to as "Fancy Colors". The rarest and most expensive diamonds are considered Fancy Colors which include red, pink, blue, and green.

2. CUT
Different diamond cuts have been developed to best utilize a diamond's material properties. The cut of a diamond creates a somewhat symmetrical arrangement of facets that modifies the shape and appearance of the diamond. Several cuts have been used when shaping and polishing a diamond with the most common being:


Clarity is judged upon the amount of inclusions and blemishes a diamond has. An inclusion is growth crystals inside a diamond whereas blemishes can be scratches and nicks on the diamond's surface. Clarity in diamonds is graded using the following scale:

•Flawless - no inclusions or blemishes within view under 10X magnification
•IF Internally Flawless - no inclusions but minor blemishes when viewed under 10X magnification
•VVS1 & VVS2 Very Very Slightly Included - minute inclusions difficult to view under 10X magnification
•VS1 & VS2 Very Slightly Included - minute inclusions commonly crystals, clouds or feathers when viewed under 10X magnification
•SI1 & SI2 Slightly Included - inclusions are contained suchs as crystals, clouds, knots, cavities, cleavage and feathers when viewed under 10X magnification
•I1 - I3 Included - inclusions such as large crystals or large feathers viewed without magnification and may affect the transparency and brilliance.

Carat weight (ct.) is the unit of measurement to weigh a diamond. One carat equals 1/142nd of an ounce, or 1/5th of a gram (0.200 gram). Diamonds are weighed into a thousandth of a carat(0.001) and then rounded to the nearest hundredth. Diamond sizes are also referred to as "Points". One carat is divided into 100 points, each point is 1/100th of a carat. A "10-point" diamond weighs 1/10th of a carat and a 50-point stone weighs half a carat.



A diamond that has been certified is the only assurance a consumer has they are buying a quality diamond. There are several gemological laboratories that certify diamonds with the most recognized being:

•G.I.A. - Gemological Institute Of America
•A.G.S. - American Gem Society
•E.G.L. - European Gemological Laboratory
•I.G.I. - International Gemological Institute

It is important to note that diamond gradings between the different gemological laboratories are not always consistent. Since the grading of color and clarity is based upon subjective judgment, different grades can be given to diamonds that are borderline between two grades.

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