All You Need to Know About Diamonds
Learn about all the diamond characteristics and how to purchase the right brilliance at the right price.
Start with a Shape
When selecting a diamond the first thing to decide on is the shape. Diamonds offer a wide variety of shapes, each of which is unique to the personality and taste of its wearer.
How to Decide on a Diamond Shape
Each diamond has its own unique characteristics, just like a fingerprint. Once a diamond is recovered from kimberlite, it is cut into various shapes, the shape is decided on the basis of the inclusions and the raw form of the diamond procured; which also determines its size. These major and minor specifications impact the final look of the stone.
The diamond shape also determines its reflection and refraction, as the shape is directly linked to the cut and the cut to its brilliance. These shapes are given names such as round, oval, heart, pear, which are named directly after the shape, whereas some others have fancier names like princess for square, baguette for rectangle, cushion for pillow shaped diamonds and so on. The diamonds however have one important feature and functionality – reflection, the shape decides how the diamond will be cut to maximize light return.
A diamond shape can also increase or decrease its value. The round being the most popular shape, followed by princess, pear, oval and baguette. However baguettes and tapers are used mainly for settings rather than solitaires.
SHAPE YOUR FUTURE
Diamond Shape: Round
The “round brilliant cut” consists of nearly 75% of diamonds sold. Due to its shape a round diamond can reflect maximum fire, scintillation and brilliance as compared to any other shape. The round cut is the oldest shape and had evolved over time from the Old European to the RBC and best suited for all designing purposes from vintage to contemporary.
The CUT Chart
The cut refers to the symmetry and proportion of the facts of a diamond; how well the diamond is cut determines the diamond’s ability to reflect and refract light. The perfect diamond has a Table percentage of 53% to 57% and a Pavilion depth of about 43%. The thickness of the Girdle and Culet are two very important determinants of the ideal cut, the culet should be nothing more than a fine dot and the girdle neither too thick nor too thin. The facets on the crown and pavilion if cut a few degrees out of alignment can dull the brilliance of a diamond and render it inferior or of low grade.
A CUT Beyond
The cut is a diamond’s most crucial ‘C’. Everything depends on the cut. A diamond’s cut can increase or decrease its value; as the precision and craftsmanship of a cut can enhance or diminish the brilliance or luster of a diamond. The diamond is divided into parts like the table, crown and pavilion, whereas its reflection is divided into brilliance, dispersion and scintillation.
Ideal Cut - In an ideal cut or perfectly cut diamond the light is reflected back to the observer from the top of the stone emitting maximum brilliance.
The carat weight of a diamond is the most important and visible feature that is considered when comparing its price. A slight difference in weight can make a significant difference in price. “Carat” (ct.) is a phase representing the weight of a diamond, the price of a diamond is directly proportional to its weight. The cut off weights are 0.50ct, 0.75ct, 1.00ct so on and so forth.
Diamonds are not always as white as they look to the untrained eye. However, just the lack of color makes diamonds more expensive, too much color can also make it priceless and rare. Most diamonds exhibit a yellow or brown tinge, a completely colorless variety will allow more light to pass through it emitting maximum brilliance. The diamond is shaped like a prism and acts in the same way, and so color in a diamond diminishes the fire by acting as a filter. A colorless diamond will emit a spectrum of colors.
N – R - Diamonds with a brown or yellow tint and are comparatively less expensive than the above range, named as “very light color”.
S – Z - Prominent brown color; can be used as colored diamonds alone or rejection amongst colorless ones. Widely called “ light color”.
Like all things natural, diamonds too are flawed. Diamonds like all other minerals and gemstones are born with several inclusions that develop during its formation. Although almost invisible to the naked eye, inclusions do decide a diamond price. Internal characteristics are known as inclusions while external characteristics are known as blemishes all of which are mostly visible through a 10X loupe. List of diamond inclusions include, cloud, feather, needle, pinpoint, crystals, twinning wisps, whereas bruise, chip, cavity, cleavage and knot appear on the surface of the stone.
IF - Internally Flawless, with no internal flaws.
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