Diamonds

Some fast facts about diamonds...

  • Diamonds are made entirely of highly-compressed carbon 90 to 120 miles below the earth's surface
  • The carbon atoms form in such a way to make a diamond the hardest substance on earth
  • A Diamond's structure allows it to take an excellent polish and project more brilliance than any other 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)

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) use 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.

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:

  • Round
  • Princess
  • Marquis
  • Emerald
  • Radiant
  • Oval
  • Asscher
  • Bagette

Clarity

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:

  • F1 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 under 10X magnification and may affect the transparency and brilliance without magnification

Carat Weight

Carat weight (ct.) is the unit of measurement to weight a diamond. One carat equals 1/142nd of an ounce, or 1/5th of a 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.