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A symbol of wealth, purity and love, a diamond leaves no one unmoved.

In mineralogy, diamond is an extremely hard, highly refractive crystalline form of carbon that is usually colorless and can be usedin abrasives, and other applications. Diamond is carbon in its most concentrated form, often occurring as octahedrons with rounded edges and curved surfaces.

Diamonds are formed at incredible depths of the earth, between 150 and 300 km below the surface and under conditions of extreme temperature and pressure. They are most commonly found in volcanic breccias and in alluvial deposits, pushed up by a kind of volcanic eruption through volcanic pipes of diamond bearing rock such as kimberlite. With gradual erosion, kimberlite chimneys were exposed at the earth’s surface.

Read more on 4C's :

Carat | Clarity | Color | Cut


Carat
The first factor of the 4C's that most people learn about is carat - the weight of the diamond, which is also the best indication of a diamond's size.

Let's take a look at carat in detail, to understand how it affects the price.

A carat is the standard unit of weight for diamonds. One carat equals 1/5 of a gram, or .007 of an ounce. In other words... there are 5 carats in 1 gram and 142 carats in 1 ounce.

You also may have heard about "points". This does not refer to the number facets on a diamond, but rather to its weight. Just like one pound is divided into 16 ounces, one carat is divided into 100 points -- so each point is 1/100th of a carat. A "10-point" diamond weighs 1/10th of a carat, and a 50-point stone weighs one-half carat.

How it affects the price?

Carat weight has a great deal of influence on the price of a diamond. All other factors being equal, as weight increases, rarity and value of a diamond will also increase. For instance, one diamond weighing 2 carats will always cost much more than two diamonds of the same quality weighing 1 carat each. So, if size is an important factor for you or the person you are buying for, less emphasis can be placed on the other C's to choose a larger diamond.



Diamond Clarity

Clarity refers to the presence (or absence) of impurities, blemishes or other identifying characteristics within a diamond. Clarity characteristics are what make every diamond completely unique. There are no two diamonds that will have exactly the same inclusions in the same location. There are five factors that determine how a major laboratory like GIA or AGSL will assign a clarity grade to a specific diamond. They include:

·          

·     Size: How large or small is an inclusion within a diamond?

·     Number: How many inclusions are found within a diamond?

·     Position: What is the location of the diamond’s inclusions? Inclusions located under the table or “heart” of the diamond affect clarity grade more so than inclusions located under the side facets.

·     Nature: Do the inclusions affect the durability of a diamond? Large feathers can be hazardous depending on their exact size and position within the diamond.

·     Relief: How visible is the inclusion? Dark inclusions are easier to locate than a white or clear inclusion and may be graded more harshly.

 

GIA Clarity Grades

GIA has provided us with a universally understood method of describing clarity grades for diamond. There are five main clarity grades that can be found on your GIA or AGSL report.

 

GIA Clarity Grades:

·     FL/IF Diamonds: Flawless: No inclusions under 10x.
Internally Flawless: None or only insignificant surface blemishes and no inclusions when examined under 10x. Normally, most blemishes can be removed by minor polishing. Very rare, beautiful and expensive diamonds.

·     VVS1/VVS2 Diamonds: Very Very Slightly Included: Contain minute inclusions that are extremely difficult for an experienced grader to locate under 10x magnification. VVS diamonds are very rare and beautiful.

·     VS1/VS2 Diamonds: Very Slightly Included: Contain minor inclusions that range from difficult to somewhat easy to see under 10x magnification. Typical VS inclusions are small crystals, feathers or distinct clouds. In some rare cases, a VS stone can contain an eye visible inclusion. Excellent quality diamonds.

·     SI1/SI2 Diamonds: Slightly Included: Inclusions are easily visible under 10x magnification to an experienced gemologist and may be visible with the unaided eye. A great value.

·     I1/I2/I3 Diamonds: Included: Diamonds with significant inclusions. Best suited for use in diamond jewelry.

 

Which Clarity Grade to Choose?

It is important to select a diamond that does not have any inclusions that will effect the overall beauty and durability of the diamond. If you want to be 100% sure that your diamond will be completely clean of "eye-visible" inclusions, stick with diamonds graded "VS2" or higher. Shopping for SI quality diamonds can be very rewarding, but it's best to have those diamonds reviewed by our expert staff before finalizing your order. This will ensure you receive a diamond that does not have any inclusions visible to the naked eye.

It is also a good idea to balance the clarity grade of your diamond with the color. If you are looking at diamonds in the D-F color range, focus on clarity grades of VS2 or higher. Diamonds in the G-I color range combined with SI clarity are excellent values.

 

Diamond Clarity Tool

Clarity is one of the important factors in diamond pricing, along with color. While the color does affect a diamond's appearance, obvious inclusions (often called "flaws") may distract the recipient's eye from a stone's overall beauty.

Let's take a look at clarity in detail to understand how it affects the price.

Clarity greatly varies from one diamond to another, and no two are exactly alike. Diamonds are graded and identified uniquely according to the type and number of inclusions present in them.

The following chart gives an idea how each grade might look under a 10x loupe microscope:

 

FL

Flawless

No internal or external inclusions of any kind visible under 10x magnification to a trained eye, the most rare and expensive of all clarity grades.

IF

Internally Flawless

No internal inclusions visible under 10x magnification to a trained eye, but there may be some tiny external irregularities in the finish.

VVS-1

Very Very Slightly Included 1

Usually just one tiny inclusion visible only to a trained eye under 10x magnification.

VVS-2

Very Very Slightly Included 2

Tiny inclusions visible only to a trained eye under 10x magnification.

VS-1

Very Slightly Included 1

Very small inclusions visible with 10x magnification.

VS-2

Very Slightly Included 2

Several very small inclusions visible with 10x magnification.

SI-1

Slightly Included 1

Small inclusions visible with 10x magnification.

SI-2

Slightly Included 2

Several small inclusions visible with 10x magnification.

SI-3

Slightly Included 3

Inclusions that may be visible to the naked eye for a trained observer.

I-1

Included 1

Flaws that are visible to the naked eye.

I-2

Included 2

Many flaws clearly visible to the naked eye that also decrease the brilliance.

I-3

Included 3

Many flaws clearly visible to the naked eye which decrease the brilliance and compromise the structure of the diamond, making it more easily cracked or chipped

 

How it affects the price?

All other factors being equal, as the grading decreases the price decreases exponentially. This is because diamonds with greater quality (correspondingly with lesser inclusions) are that much rarer. Along with the type and number of inclusions, their position also makes an impact on the value and brilliance of a diamond. Inclusions at the edges of a diamond can be hidden by the setting selected. However, inclusions in the middle of a diamond may significantly affect it’s radiance and beauty and so it’s value.

 

Color

While many people think of diamonds as colorless gems that create a prismatic display of rainbows from reflected light, diamonds do indeed carry some pigmentation. The purest white diamonds, or those that contain nearly no color at all, create unparalleled color displays, called fire, from reflected light. The more yellow or brown color found in a diamond, the less brilliant and colorful this display will be.

Diamond colors are graded on a scale from D (totally colorless) through Z (noticeable color). Note that A, B, and C grades may be used by some diamond retailers, but they are not recognized by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) – there is no color grade higher than D.

Diamonds graded K through Z contain a noticeable yellow or brown pigment and are often marketed as “fancy” colored diamonds or “champagne” diamonds. However, as pigmentation increases, there is a decrease in the diamond’s ability to reflect light, so we do not carry them. We offer only colorless or near-colorless diamonds for maximum fire.

Bear in mind that the size, shape, and setting of your diamond plays an important role in how visible any non-white pigmentation will appear. For example:

Cuts with large facets like Asscher or Emerald will show more color than a round cut diamond

Smaller diamonds (less than 1 carat) are less likely to have pigmentation noticeable to the naked eye; conversely, when comparing two larger diamonds of different color grades, one can usually notice the difference

Platinum or white gold settings will naturally cause yellow or brown pigments in a diamond to appear more pronounced; while yellow gold may have the opposite effect

  If your budget allows and you prefer a purely white diamond, or if you prefer to save some money and choose a diamond with a small amount of color, Angel jewels has the right diamond for you!

Fluorescence

A diamond’s fluorescence refers to its ability to emit a softly colored glow under ultraviolet light. Fluorescence is a highly contested topic in the diamond industry, but the actual relevance to customers is negligible. On the plus side, a diamond with fluorescent properties can make a diamond look even whiter than its given color grade and are usually less expensive than diamonds with little or no fluorescence. On the negative, a diamond with a very strong fluorescence may appear hazy or oily. However, studies on fluorescence seem to indicate that a diamond’s fluorescence presents no noticeable difference to customers when compared to diamonds without fluorescence.

 

Diamond Cut

A diamond’s cut is not only about its shape, but how effectively the stone can return light back to the viewer's eye. A well-cut diamond will appear very brilliant and fiery, while more poorly cut stones can appear dark and lifeless, regardless of color or clarity. Not only do well-cut diamonds appear more brilliant, they can also appear larger than other stones of the same carat weight. An ideal stone has both increased brilliance as well as increased diameter relative to more deeply cut diamonds. Diamond Anatomy Each and every diamond has its own unique set of properties and proportions:

• Diameter: Width of a polished stone, measured from edge to edge

• Table: Largest polished facet located on the top of the diamond

• Crown: The top part of a diamond extending from the table to the girdle

• Girdle: The very edge of the diamond where the crown and pavilion meet

• Pavilion: The bottom part of a diamond extending from the girdle down to the culet

• Depth: The total height of a diamond measured from the table to the culet

• Culet: The small or pointed facet at the very bottom of a polished stone

Understanding Brilliance, Dispersion & Scintillation Well-proportioned diamonds exhibit three different properties: brilliance, dispersion and scintillation. As light strikes a diamond’s surface, it will either reflect off the table of a polished stone or enter into the diamond. The light that reflects is considered a diamond’s brilliance. Brilliance is the flash of white light one will see when looking at a stone. As light travels into a stone, some of rays are divided into flashes of color, which is called dispersion. Fire is the result of dispersion, which is the separation of white light into its spectral colors. As an observer moves a diamond back and forth, the flashes of color are called scintillation. Putting it all Together Use this interactive tool to see how depth and table percentages can affect the brilliance in a round diamond.

Please Note: this example is for a round diamond only - fancy shapes have their own set of unique proportions. Diamond Table The table is the top facet of a diamond, expressed as a percentage of the diamond’s average girdle diameter. Read more about Diamond Table Hearts and Arrows True Hearts™ Our Hearts and Arrows collection are the ultimate expression of love – that's why we call them True Hearts™. Each and every diamond from our True Hearts™ collection is a lasting masterpiece, a perfect diamond. Read more about Hearts and Arrows True Hearts™ Ideal cut diamond Our Hearts and Arrows collection are the ultimate expression of love – that's why we call them True Hearts™. Each and every diamond from our True Hearts™ collection is a lasting masterpiece, a perfect diamond. Read more about Ideal cut diamond Symmetry Flaws Symmetry refers to the exactness of the shape and arrangement of facets in a diamond.

Although to the naked eye finish features only have a tiny affect on appearance, symmetry is an significant aspect. Many people confuse cut with the shape of a diamond. The shape you select is a matter of individual taste, and today your choice is only limited by the skill and imagination of the craftsman. Let's take a look to cover cut in detail to understand how it affects the price. The cut is the most critical component of the 4C's, since the value of two diamonds with exactly the same carat weight could vary by up to 50% depending on the quality of cut. Just as fine cloth needs an expert tailor to create a quality garment, the diamond cutter controls the fire and brilliance of a diamond. Cut of a diamond refers to how well a stone is cut and faceted to bring out the full beauty of the rough crystal. Good proportions, symmetry and polish affect the beauty of a diamond much more than perfect color or clarity. The cutting grade is determined by the diamond cutter's effort to maximize the refraction of light during every stage of the fashioning process.

Most brilliant-cut or fancy-shaped diamonds possess fifty-eight carefully angled flat surfaces, called facets, whose placement will affect the fire, brilliance and ultimate beauty of your diamond. Proportion is the single most important factor, because it determines the flow of light more than other quality factors. Proportions that are too deep or too shallow both allow light to leak out the bottom and lessen the amount of light that strikes your eye. Because cut is so important, several grading methods have been developed to help consumers determine the cut of a particular diamond. In general, these grades are: Ideal, Premium, Very Good, Good, Fair & Poor Selecting the grade of cut is really a matter of preference.

To make the best selection, you need to understand the various grades. Please note that the descriptions below are general guidelines. Ideal Cut This cut is intended to maximize brilliance. Ideal cut diamonds generally have smaller tables, complemented by a great deal of light dispersion, or fire. GIA's Excellent stones, as well as AGS 000 stones fall into this category. This category applies only to round diamonds and most valued. Premium Also intended to provide maximum brilliance and fire, premium cut diamonds can be generally found at slightly lower price points than Ideal cut diamonds. Very Good These diamonds reflect most of the light that enters, creating a good deal of brilliance. With these diamonds, the cutters have chosen to stray slightly from the preferred diamond proportions in order to create a larger diamond. Good Diamonds that reflect much of the light that enters them. Such stones result from the cutter's choice to create the largest possible diamond from the original rough crystal, rather than cutting extra weight off to create a smaller Premium quality diamond. Diamonds in this range offer an excellent cost-saving to customers who want to stay in a budget without sacrificing quality or beauty.

Fair & Poor A diamond graded as fair or poor reflects only a small proportion of the light that enters it. Often these stones are bought and re-cut into Ideal or Premium cuts, such that a more brilliant stone is produced by sacrificing some weight. How it affects the price? With all the attention given to the 4C's of diamond grading and evaluation (cut, color, clarity and carat weight), the cut is actually the single greatest factor in the beauty. Color, shape, clarity and carat weight determine the rarity and value of a diamond, but the cut determines its beauty. Without any cutting, bruting, faceting or polishing, a rough diamond might very well go unnoticed in a pile of rocks. It is the diamond's unique combination of durability, rarity and potential beauty that makes it so valuable.