The word Diamond is mainly originated from the Greek word ‘Adamas’, meaning ‘eternal’. They are one of the most desired gems and represent luxury. It’s glittering fire, clarity and rarity make diamond the most valued of all gems. In the realm of engagements and wedding, a diamond ring is the prime icon. No gemstone holds as much attraction and curiosity as does Diamond.
What is a Diamond
Diamond is made of crystallized isometric Carbon atoms. It simply means that, each carbon atom is surrounded by four other carbon atoms; connected through strong covalent bonds. This kind of undeviating structure makes diamond; one of the hardest and versatile substances on earth. Visual properties like dispersion, refraction and lustre make diamond, the world's most prevalent gemstone. Geologists believe that the diamonds occur deep below the earth’s mantle and rise to the earth’s surface through volcanic eruptions in the form of rare molten rock, or magma.
Gem Diamonds or Industrial Diamonds
All the diamonds used in industrial processes such as cutting of hard materials are lab-grown diamonds; also known as ‘’synthetic’’ diamonds. On the contrary, Gem diamonds are rare diamonds with clarity and colour required; for crafting precious jewelry. They contain insignificant impurities and are mainly recognized for their beauty and excellence.
Diamond As a Gemstone
Diamonds have a non-metallic, vibrant sheen called "adamantine’’ due to which they reflect light. This unique property offers diamond their "shine & sparkle." Moreover, while being shaped into a gemstone, the external angles are crafted in such a manner to reflect maximum light from the inner surfaces. Diamond also has a high dispersion rate due to which when white light passes through, it separates into rainbow colours. This optical phenomenon is known as diamond’s colourful "fire."
Determining Diamond Quality
The value of a diamond is determined by four factors: color, cut, clarity, and carat; known as "The 4Cs of Diamond Quality". This standardized method was developed by the Gemological Institute of America.
Color: The most valuable diamonds are colourless. They range from colorless to yellow, gray or brown. Colored diamonds include hues like red, yellow, orange, pink, blue. Their value depends upon the color intensity. Such diamonds are called "fancies" and are enormously valuable.
Clarity: The perfect diamond is free from ruptures, cracks and foreign particles. These factors otherwise when present, restrict the passage of light and diminishes the appearance of the precious gemstone; eventually degrading its value and strength.
Cut: The amount of expertise and artistry used in cutting a diamond determines its appearance. Stones are impeccably polished to be extremely reflective and hence produce optimum amount of fire. Faceted faces are equivalent with edges meeting perfectly with each other.
Carat: Carat is the unit to measure physical weight of diamonds. (1 carat is equal to 1/5th of a gram or 1/142nd of an ounce). The cost of small diamonds is generally less per carat as compared to hefty stones of same value.
How To Choose A Perfect Diamond
Shape: While there are several shapes available, round diamonds are classic in terms of shape and style and tend to have more brilliance. Another popular choice is Princess cut which is kind of contemporary in style. The remaining shapes are called fancy shapes like cushion, marquise, emerald, radiant, pear, oval, and asscher. They have variable fire gradations. Different shapes reflect color at different strengths therefore, color, appearance and the cost are dependent on the diamond shape.
Carat Weight: Always determine your minimum carat preference. Even the most spectacular half carat diamond might fall short of your expectations. Picking diamonds that come under common carat weights such as 1/2 ct. 3/4 ct., 1 ct. is usually a good choice.
Budget: Decide on your budget by considering the remaining Cs - clarity, color, and cut. It is always easy to sight defects in massive diamonds. For diamonds over two carats, a clarity grade of VS2 or higher is the finest possibility. In diamonds between one and two carats, pick clarity grades of SI1 or superior. In diamonds under one carat, clarity ought to be measured as the least important of the 4 Cs.
Color: It is recommended to go towards the more colorless end of the spectrum when choosing your diamond. Make sure to select side stones that are the same or lower in color than the center diamond. Picking side diamonds that are advanced in color could make the center diamond appear more yellow. You can also opt for a white diamond with a low color grade. They are less expensive and look as decent as the fancy-coloured diamonds.
Fluorescence: About one-third of all diamonds have fluorescence effect; due to which they shine when they are exposed to ultraviolet radiations. Although a diamond’s fluorescence is hard to see with the naked eye, but too much fluorescence will make your diamond look ‘’hazy’’ and it will lack the sparkle you would desire in your diamond.
Cut Grade: Cut grade offers a sole rating which include various factors such as polish, proportion, size, girdle width etc. Go for G-H in diamonds over 1 carat, and I-J for those under 1 carat. Invest in higher cut rather than investing in color. For round diamonds, go for a Cut grade of ‘’Very Good or Excellent’’. For fancy shape diamonds ‘’Good or better’’ should be considered, especially for those on a budget. Moreover, compare cut grades from different retailers wisely and be aware of diamond sellers who allocate their own cut grades, such grades are not consistently defined.
Analyse: Once you have decided on your chosen piece, compare other similar stones as well. Considering various aspects like brilliancy, clarity and cost is important. In the end, it will give you transparency about your final purchase.
Certification: It is always good to buy diamonds with a certificate, issued by a trustworthy gem laboratory. Certificates guarantee a diamond’s quality by precisely quoting its colour, cut, clarity and weight. GIA and AGS certified diamonds are the safest choice.