When buying a diamond you will be introduced to the “Four C’s”. This is a grading technique used worldwide to measure the quality of each diamond. Read through this section to get a good understanding of how diamonds are graded, and the importance of each factor of the “Four C’s” and their effect on the overall price.
When buying a diamond it is important to study the cut of the stone, as it can affect the remaining three “C’s” in both positive and negative ways. Remember that each cut (shape) has a various number of facets, which have an impact on the overall sparkle of the stone, and therefore the price.
A good cut will give a diamond its sparkle, which is the brightness and fire that comes from the very heart of the stone. The cut will determine a diamonds’ ability to handle light and the way it is reflected back, giving it the visible brilliance.
In a poorly cut diamond the light entering through the table (top) will reach the facets and leak out through the pavilion or culet of the stone, rather than reflecting back to the eye. The less light reflecting back will decrease the brilliance of the diamond.
Most diamonds contain inclusions that occur during the formation process. The visibility, number and size of these inclusions determine what is called the clarity of a diamond. These inclusions may be inside the stone or sometimes on the surface, which would then be considered a blemish. Depending on the size and location of the inclusion, it may affect the brilliance of the diamond as the flow of light entering the stone maybe disrupted. Diamonds that are clear create more brilliance, and are therefore more rare, and highly priced.
However, depending on your budget we do recommend purchasing diamonds which are “eye clean”, meaning no inclusions are visible to the eye. There may not be a drastic visual difference between certain clarities when viewed without a magnifying glass; however there may be a substantial difference in price. Also take into consideration the location of the inclusion. If it is located close to the edge of the diamond it can be covered by the claw of the ring, and therefore have little impact on the sparkle and brilliance of the stone.
The colour of the diamond is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a stone, as it is noticeable to the eye. The colour of a diamond is graded alphabetically according to the GIA colour scale, and may range from D-Z, with D being completely colourless and Z being slightly tinted yellow. Anything beyond Z would be considered a “Fancy Colour” diamond, and would fall into a separate category where the intensity of the colour would be graded in a similar way. These diamonds are exceptionally rare and expensive. The colour may range from red, blue to green and bright yellow. They are considered to be more valuable for their colour.
When purchasing a white diamond, colourless are the most desirable as they allow the most refraction of light compared to a diamond with any visible tints of yellow. As a result this gives the stone its sparkle and fire. The formation process of a diamond ensures that only a few, rare diamonds are truly colourless. Therefore the whiter a diamond's colour, the more expensive it is.
A “carat” is the unit of weight by which a diamond is measured. As large diamonds are less common, the price of a diamond rises according to its size. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams, however some Jewellers prefer to measure one carat as being equal to 100 points (1.00ct).
The size of the diamond is measured in accordance to its weight, however it is also important to take into consideration the measurements (table, depth etc.) of the diamond which you are buying as shallower stones may appear larger than deep stones of the same carat weight. The shape of the diamond may also affect the carat weight visually, as elongated shapes such as Emerald, Marquise, and Pear Cut may appear larger than a Round Brilliant Cut of the same carat weight.
We would also recommend to choose the settings carefully, as they may also affect the appearance of the diamond size. A wider ring band with more metal may make a diamond appear smaller, as it distracts the attention away from the stone, whereas a thinner band would in fact emphasise the diamond size. Also take into consideration the finger size of the wearer (when buying a diamond ring) as some diamond sizes and settings may appear more flattering than others depending on the finger size and shape.
The 5th C: Certificates
- The diamond certificate, also known as a grading report, is a complete evaluation of your diamond that has been performed by a qualified professional from a recognised gemological laboratory. Each stone bears its own individual characteristics, which are all listed on the certificate, such as the colour, clarity and carat weight. At Diamond Palace, we supply diamonds graded by the top gemological institutes, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), HRD and IGI, which are both Antwerp based grading institutes.When buying a diamond, be sure to ask about its certification. This will confirm the information given to you by the retailer about the diamond of interest. Some retailers grade their own diamonds, which could be misleading and result in you buying a diamond of lower quality.
Diamond Palace Diamonds
- Diamond Palace diamonds are 100% Conflict Free – The Kimberley process.
- The Kimberley process refers to the logging and safe management of diamonds, confirming that they are conflict free
- They’re managed through transportation from country to country. The diamonds are sealed in containers, logged and then subject to the regulations surrounding individual countries, they make their way to be graded, polished and made into the diamonds that you see and love in store. Please see the website for more information. http://www.kimberleyprocess.com/
What is Fluorescence?
- Fluorescence can be seen as both good and bad. When a UV light is shined on the diamond it glows blue with varying intensity. In lower colour diamonds, stronger fluorescence is sometimes a good thing as it gives the diamonds a whiter appearance. In higher colour diamonds, it is not necessary. Diamond with no fluorescence tend to be of a higher price and have a greater resale value than those with fluorescence.