About diamonds

Shape

Diamonds come in other shapes or cuts too. Here are some of the more popular ones.

Diamond shape

Carat

A carat is a unit of measurement used to weigh a diamond. One carat is equal to one fifth of a gram (0.2 gram) or 200 mg. One carat is equal to 100 points or 100 cents.

Carat weight is the most objective of the 4 C’s of diamonds as it involves no estimates, comparisons or judgements.

Visual effect of carat weight on a diamond's appearance seems fairly obvious: the more a diamond weighs, the larger it will look. However, this is not always the case. As most people in the trade already know, cut proportions can also affect the perceived size of a diamond.

Carat weight is directly related to a diamond's value because (all else being equal) larger diamonds are rarer than smaller ones. As a result, larger diamonds cost more per carat than smaller diamonds (e.g., a 2.00 ct diamond of the same quality can cost more than twice the amount of a 1.00 ct diamond).

Color

The colour of a diamond is one of the vital factors influencing the price of diamond. In diamonds, the best colour is no colour at all. Colourless diamonds are extremely rare, hence making them the most sought after. Contrary to common belief, all diamonds are not truly colourless. They actually come in many different colours - commonly faint yellow or brown. But its colourless diamonds, sometimes called white diamonds, which all other shades are judged against. Colourless grade diamonds are the most valuable with exception to some fancy colours which are again very rare and expensive if their colour is natural.

Colourless diamonds allow the maximum refraction of light thus maximising brilliance. In comparison Off White diamonds absorb light hence inhibiting brilliance.

There is now an internationally recognised colour grading scale which starts at D (colourless), and goes down to Z (light yellow). Each letter grade represents a range of colour and is a measure of how noticeable the colour is. Colourless diamonds and diamonds that are yellow or yellowish brown are grouped into the categories shown below:

D Absolutely colourless The highest colour grade, which is extremely rare.
E Colourless Only minute traces of colour can be detected by an expert gemmologist.
F Colourless Slight colour detected by an expert gemmologist, but still considered a "colourless" grade. A high-quality diamond.
G-H Near-colourless Colour noticeable when compared to diamonds of better grades, but these grades offer excellent value.
I-J Near-colourless Colour slightly detectable.
K-M Noticeable colour Light yellow
N-Z Noticeable colour Yell

These grades do not apply to fancy coloured diamonds-they have their own colour grading standards,

 D, E or F commands the highest prices because of their rarity. Less than 1% of all diamonds are colourless hence they command a premium . For the untrained and unaided eye, it is very difficult to distinguish between D, E or F colours as they are all colourless with miniscule difference in colour.

They are then followed by the near-colourless (G- H),followed by ( I- J) with G and H being universally most popular. The spectrum then gets a visible yellow hue from (K-R). Colour more intense than (R) is considered fancy.

Fancy Colour

Intensely coloured diamonds are known as "fancies" or fancy coloured diamond. Natural Fancy Colour Diamonds are rare and can be very expensive. It’s said that out of 10,000 normal diamonds one of them would be a fancy colour diamond. The most popular fancy colour diamond is Yellow. Other colours such as Pink, Blue, purple and Red and can be extremely expensive.

Fancy Coloured Diamond Grading

The colour of a fancy coloured diamond is measured differently to a normal diamonds. The grading scale is based on the intensity of the colour. The GIA fancy colour grading scale is: Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, Fancy Deep and Fancy Dark.

Clarity

Diamonds contain naturally occurring impurities known as inclusions. They may occur internally in the form of tiny fractures, feathers, clouds or crystals and externally as scratches and fissures. They are caused by trace minerals and other impurities that may be present or by irregularities in the natural process of diamond formation. Factors determining the clarity of diamonds are - number of inclusions, nature of inclusions (e.g., feathers, clouds, knots, colour), location and size of the inclusions.

In addition to internal inclusions, surface irregularities are referred to as blemishes. These two categories of imperfections-inclusions (internal) and blemishes (external)-make up clarity.

Inclusions greatly affect the beauty and value of a diamond because they absorb the light rather than allowing it to be reflected back through the front side of the stone. Consequently fewer the imperfections, the rarer and more valuable the diamond.

Diamonds are graded for clarity on the basis of internal and external imperfections present.

Flawless Diamonds

Shows no inclusions or blemishes of any sort when viewed under 10x magnification

IF Diamonds (Internally Flawless)

Shows no inclusion of any sort when viewed under 10x magnification although minor blemishes may be present

IF Diamonds (Internally Flawless)

VVS1, VVS2 Diamonds (Very Very Slightly Included)

Inclusions almost impossible to detect with the naked eye and barely detectable under 10x magnification.

VVS1, VVS2 Diamonds (Very Very Slightly Included)

VS1, VS2 Diamonds (Very Slight)

Inclusions are minute and normally not visible to the unaided eye but can be detected with little effort under a magnifying loupe.

VS1, VS2 Diamonds (Very Slight)

SI1, SI2 Diamonds (Slightly Included)

Inclusions are visible under 10x magnifications, and may possibly be visible with the naked eye.

SI1, SI2 Diamonds (Slightly Included)

I1, I2, I3 Diamonds (Included)

Inclusions are clearly visible to the naked eye.

I1, I2, I3 Diamonds (Included)

Clarity facts

As the grading decreases the price decreases exponentially. This is because diamonds with greater quality (correspondingly with lesser inclusions) are that much rarer.

Along with the type and number of inclusions, their position also makes an impact on the value and brilliance of a diamond.

Fortunately diamonds of all clarity grades and prices, including those with eye visible inclusions can look beautiful. It primarily depends on how well they are cut and other factors.

Contrary to popular belief, higher clarity does not always mean more beautiful. If the inclusions are not visible to the naked eye, a higher clarity does not really improve the appearance of a diamond but rather the rarity and price.

Cut

Cut refers to the quality of the proportions, polish and symmetry of a diamond. Of the 4C's, the cut is the aspect most directly influenced by man, whereas the other three C’s are influenced by nature.

Quite often the cut of a diamond is confused with its shape, but it actually is about a diamond's proportions, such as its depth and width and the uniformity of its facets--all characteristics that control brilliance, durability and other features we look for in a diamond.

The brilliance of a diamond depends a lot on its cut. Whatever the shape, a well-cut diamond always reflects better light. Diamonds with perfect colour or clarity also display reduced brilliance if it’s cut poorly.

Proportions (Importance of cut)

Diamonds are cut in many shapes but, it is the precision with which facets are polished on to a diamond, which allows it to capture light and release its brilliance and fire.

Proportions (Importance of cut)

When a diamond is cut to ideal or proper proportions, light is reflected from one facet to another and then dispersed through the top of the stone. This results in a display of brilliance and fire.

When the cut of a diamond is too shallow, light escapes through the pavilion before it can be reflected.

When the cut of a diamond is too deep, some light escapes through the opposite side of the pavilion.

A polished diamond’s beauty lies in its complex relationship with light: how light strikes the surface, how much enters the diamond, and how, and in what form light returns to your eye.

The result is a display of three attributes. Brightness is the combination of all white light reflecting from the surface and interior of a diamond. Fire is the coloured flashes that can be seen in a diamond. Scintillation describes the sparkle of light you see in a diamond, and the overall pattern of bright and dark areas when you look at a diamond face-up.

A polished diamond’s proportions affect its light performance, which in turn affects its beauty and overall appeal. Diamonds with good proportions optimize the interaction with light, and have good brilliance, fire, and scintillation.

Polish and Symmetry

Polish and symmetry are two other important aspects of the cut. Polish describes the smoothness of the diamond's facets (surface conditions), and symmetry refers to alignment of the facets (the exactness of shape and placement of the facets).

To ensure a diamond has good symmetry, each facet must be consistently sized and positioned opposite its corresponding facet. Symmetry refers to the alignment of one part of the diamond to another. The exactness of a finished diamond shape and the placement of its facet constitute symmetry. .. With poor symmetry, light can be misdirected as it enters and exits the diamond.

Polishing is the final step in diamond cutting. Ideally a diamond should be free of any visible polish lines, burn marks, scratches or abrasions under 10 x magnifications. The smoother the polish, the more beautiful and brilliant the diamond will appear. Surface facets of a poorly polished diamond appear blurred or are dull in their sparkle.

Polish

Polish

Symmetry

Polish

Different part of diamond

Polish

Diameter The width of the diamond as measured through the girdle.
Table This is the large, flat top facet of a diamond.
Crown The upper portion of a cut gemstone, above the girdle.
Girdle The narrow rim of a diamond that separates the crown from the pavilion. It is the largest diameter to any part of the stone.
Pavilion The lower portion of the diamond, below the girdle. It is sometimes referred to as the base.
Culet The tiny facet on the pointed bottom of the pavilion.
Depth The height of a diamond, from the culet to the table.

Diameter

Diameter

Table

Upper facet of a diamond. It is the biggest facet of a diamond when viewed face up

Table

Crown angle

is the angle of the crown facets to the diameter of the stone. The perfection of the crown angle aids in the scintillation and the brightness of the diamond seen to the naked eye.

Crown

Crown Angle on a Round Brilliant Cut Diamond

Girdle

is the area where the crown facets and the pavilion facets of the diamond meet. Round Brilliant Cut Diamond Girdle, Medium Thickness Faceted Diamond Girdl

Girdle

Culet

is the term used for the point / area where the pavilion facets meet. It is ideally pointed, but sometimes to prevent damage to the culet, it is at times faceted.

Culet

Pointed Culet on a Round Brilliant Cut Diamond

Depth

Depth is the height of the stone measured from the table to the culet

Depth

Fluorescence

Another characteristic that does not affect the colour grade of a diamond but is worth keeping in mind is fluorescence This characteristic refers to the diamond’s ability to fluoresce under ultraviolet (UV) light. The most common source of UV is a black light. When exposed to UV light, many diamonds will give off a distinctive glowing blue coloration. Although fluorescence may be displayed in various colours, blue is the most common in diamonds. The fluorescence of a diamond is defined by its intensity as either None, Faint, Medium, Strong, or Very Strong.

Fluorescence

Inclusions

It is a clarity characteristic found within a diamond. All kinds of internal imperfections formed before or after crystallization of a diamond and all imperfections rising from the surface and developing into the interior of the stone are included under inclusions.

They could be pin-points, crystalline objects, feathers, clouds, needle, twinning wisps, internal grainings or even air bubbles trapped inside the diamond. Inclusions can vary in size, colour and relief. Location of the inclusion also has a significant impact on the value and look of a diamond

Black Inclusion

Presence of a black impurity in a diamond. The following table guides u on the size and location of the Black Inclusion in our diamonds

White Inclusion

is our reference to the feather in a diamond. They can vary in sizes. The following table guides u on the size and location of the White Inclusion in our diamonds

CENTER BLACK SIDE BLACK
NONE - NO BLACK INCLUSION NONE - NO BLACK INCLUSION
VLBC - VERY LIGHT BLACK IN CENTER VLBS - VERY LIGHT BLACK IN SIDE
LBC - LIGHT BLACK IN CENTER LBS - LIGHT BLACK ON SIDE
BIC - BLACK INCLUSION CENTER BIS - BLACK INCLUSION SIDE
MBC - MAJOR BLACK IN CENTER MBS - MAJOR BLACK ON SIDE
VLBCS - VERY LIGHT BLACK CENTER & SIDE BCS - BLACK IN CENTER & SIDE
LBCS - LIGHT BLACK IN CENTER & SIDE MBCS - MAJOR BLACK IN CENTER & SIDE

CENTER WHITE SIDE WHITE
NONE - NO FEATHER INCLUSION NONE - NO FEATHER INCLUSION
VLFC - VERY LIGHT FEATHER IN CENTER VLFS - VERY LIGHT FEATHER ON SIDE
LFC - LIGHT FEATHER IN CENTER LFS - LIGHT FEATHERIN SIDE
FIC - FEATHER INCLUSION CENTER FIS - FEATHER IN SIDE
MFC - MAJOR FEATHER IN CENTER MFS - MAJOR FEATHER IN SIDE
VLFCS - VERY LIGHT FTR IN CENTER & SIDE FCS - FEATHER IN CENTER & SIDE
LFCS - LIGHT FEATHER CENTER & SIDE MFCS - MAJOR FEATHER CENTER & SIDE

Shade

Colour (shade) of a diamond refers to the amount of yellow or brown tints in a white diamond. Diamonds are given a colour grading based on the intensity and prominence of the colour seen. Brown diamonds are usually referred as an equivalent colour grade.

 Diamonds are generally white or they progressively move down in colour, in shades of yellow. Occasionally the colours of diamonds are in shades of brown. Diamonds are given a colour grading based on the intensity and prominence of the colour seen.

The following table guides u on the intensity of brown shades in our diamonds

Shade

Milky

It is any hazy or cloudy inclusion in a diamond. These inclusions appear misty white or grey Clouds may be either confined to a small area or may be spread throughout the stone. They usually affect the lustre and brilliance in a diamond

Shade

Eye Clean

Is a term we use for clarity in diamonds, where the piece when viewed FACE UP looks clean to the un-aided/naked/open eye

Shade

Hearts and Arrows Diamonds

Diamonds cut with precisely aligned and optimally proportioned facets produce a fascinating  pattern called Hearts & Arrows (H&A), a visual phenomenon that appears in the finest Ideal Cut diamonds when viewed through a gemscope.

Diamond Ideals will provide you with your own Hearts & Arrows Viewer with the purchase of a 1/2 carat diamond or larger. Not all AGS Triple Ideal Diamonds display Hearts & Arrows. The AGS parameters outlined above still allow for a great deal of variance in the look of the diamond. The AGS document does not in itself guarantee the sparkle of a diamond. There is, however, a sweet spot: a narrow range within the AGS parameters that produces unbridled brilliance and scintillation. This narrow range also shows Hearts & Arrows. Not all Hearts & Arrows Diamonds are AGS Triple Ideal Diamonds. It is possible, to see a Hearts & Arrows pattern in a stone if the polish or proportions are not ideal. Polish has very little to do with the pattern. Poor polish on an otherwise Ideal diamond, will create a wavy effect when viewed through a scope, visible only to the trained eye. Poor polish will decrease the diamond's brilliance.

AGS Triple Ideal with Hearts and Arrows is the ultimate diamond

Perfect Hearts and Arrows

When a diamond is accompanied by an AGS Triple Ideal Cut lab report and displays a perfect Hearts & Arrows pattern, you can be assured that the cut of this particular diamond has achieved the highest standards anywhere. This is truly a masterpiece of workmanship and the culmination of a marriage between technology and nature. Elite Selection Ideal Cut diamond sold by Diamond Ideals is an AGS Triple Ideal with Hearts & Arrows.

Do you need to pay for additional technology? The simple answer is NO. The Arrows Scope is the most important tool. It is low-tech: It does not require batteries or an internal light source, nor does it require years of schooling to interpret. All the other machinery available, the BrilliantScope, the Ideal Scope, the Sarin Diamension or MegaScope and the FireTrace are great devices that can be used to confirm that these stones are indeed top performers. At this level of manufacturing, minor differences in these readings are noticeable to a computer but essentially invisible to the human eye. We provide many of these technologies in order to help you make the most informed and comfortable decision possible.

Property and Symmetry

Perfect proportions coupled with perfect symmetry produce the beautiful Hearts & Arrows effect of these Super Ideal Cut diamonds. The AGSL grades symmetry according to where the facet junctions meet. This does not take into consideration the differences between facet angles or the relative ratios of the different facets. This explains why Ideal Cuts can lack Hearts & Arrows patterns.

It takes a total of 6 facets (2 lower girdle facets, 2 pavilion main facets and 2 upper girdle facets) to create one heart. The arrowhead is separated from the heart by the lower girdle facets. If the lower girdle facets are asymmetrical or disproportionate with the angles of the pavilion main facets one will not achieve perfect Hearts. Any deviation from perfection will be seen through the H&A Viewer.

Hearts and Arrows viewer

The H&A Viewer is merciless when it comes to detecting any deviation from perfection. This device, as low-tech as it is, can clearly show even the untrained eye how well or how poorly a diamond is cut. We have assembled a few images below, to give you a clearer idea of what you want to avoid.

Bad Hearts

These diamonds are graded by the AGSL as Triple Ideal but are not Hearts & Arrows. Bad Hearts are uneven in size and shape, grooved, misshapen or nonexistent.

Bad Arrows

Bad Arrows are not properly aligned and shafts or points fail to appear.

Bad Arrows

What you want to look for:

Good Hearts

These diamonds are AGSL Triple Ideal Cuts with Hearts & Arrows. Good Hearts display a perfect pattern, consisting of symmetrical, equally sized and shaped hearts.

Hearts Good

Good Arrows

Good Arrows consist of a perfectly symmetrical pattern of equally sized and shaped arrows aligned on the shaft.

Good Arrows

Minor Inconsistencies

The H&A Viewer is not a scientific tool and should not be used to try to analyze the beauty of the diamond. Minor inconsistencies such as slightly pronounced grooves in the Hearts or the presence or absence of flares on the arrows has no bearing on the visual beauty of the diamond. These inconsistencies are often due to the particular setup used in photography. In viewing the Hearts it is important to look at the overall consistency of size and shape of the Hearts. Good Arrows are properly aligned with the arrowhead centered on the shaft.

Pefect Hearts and Arrows

Perfect Hearts

Perfect Hearts - viewed bottom-up or through the pavilion A perfect pattern, consisting of symmetrical, equally sized and shaped hearts.

Perfect Arrows

Perfect Arrows - viewed through the top or table. A perfectly symmetrical pattern, consisting of equally sized and shaped arrows.