How to Select a Quality Stone
4 Characteristics that determine the quality of a diamond: CUT,
COLOR, CLARITY, and CARAT-WEIGHT.
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 craftsmen. It
is their efforts during every stage of the fashioning process
that reflects the maximum amount of light . Most Round, Brilliant-Cut
or Fancy-shaped diamonds posses 58 carefully angled flat surfaces,
called facets. It is the precision of each facet's placement that
affects the amount of fire, brilliance, and ultimate beauty of
your diamond. When a diamond is cut to good proportions, light
is reflected from one facet to another and then dispersed through
the crown, or the top of the stone. If the cut of the diamond
is too deep, some light escapes through the opposite side of the
pavillion, or bottom If the cut of the diamond is to shallow,
light escapes through the pavillion, or bottom before it can be
The most prized diamonds are colorless diamonds, because their
beauty depends entirely upon their remarkable optical properties.
In such diamonds, all colors of the rainbow are reflected back
to your eye. While the majority of gem diamonds appear to be colorless,
others can contain increasing shades of yellow to brown, some
of which are referred to as champagne diamonds. Other diamonds
of exceptional color, red, blue, green, pink, and amber are known
as "Fancies". The color grading scale varies from totally
colorless to light color or tinted. The difference between on
grade and its neighbor is very subtle. Experts never try to remember
color; they use master diamonds of known color for comparison.
D,E,F = colorless grades G,H,I,J = Near colorless grade K,L,M
= Faint Yellow N,O,P,Q,R = Very Light Yellow S,T,U,V,W,X,Y,Z =
Light Yellow Clarity
Because of the unique optical properties, diamonds, more than
any other gemstones, are capable of producing the maximum amount
of brilliance. While minute crystals of diamond or other minerals
are contained in almost all diamonds, a diamond that is virtually
free of inclusions and surface markings will be judged as flawless.
In these diamonds, nothing interferes with the passage of light
nor spoils the beauty. But these diamonds are extremely rare and
will command a high price. To determine a diamond's clarity grading,
it must be examined under a 10x magnification by a trained, skilled
eye. What minute inclusions there may be make every diamond unique.
These are, in fact, nature's fingerprints and do not mar the diamond's
beauty nor endanger its durabilty. Without high magnification,
you may never see these inclusions. However, the fewer there are,
ther rarer your diamond will be. FL= Flawless IF= Internally Flawless
VVS1 & VVS2 = Very very small inclusions VS1 & VS2 = Very
small inclusions SI1 & SI2 = Small inclusions I1, I2, &
I3 = Inclusions Visible to the naked eye.
As with all precious stones, the weight- and therefore the size-
of a diamond is expressed in carats. One carat is divided into
100 "points" so that a diamond of 25 points is described
as a quarter or 0.25 carats. Size is the most obvious factor in
determining the value of a diamond, but be aware that two diamonds
of equal size will command very differerent prices depending on
their quality. However, diamonds of high quality can be found
in all size ranges.