Diamond Education

Cutcut

Why is cut so important? A diamond cut with the ideal proportions for its shape reflects more light out of the top, producing dramatic fire and brilliance. A diamond that is poorly cut, with proportions that are incongruous, will look dark and dull. This is because the poor cut permits light to escape out the sides and bottom of the diamond. In other words, a well cut diamond sparkles brilliantly because it reflects and refracts light better than one that is poorly cut. Needless to say, a good cut increases price.

cut-scale

Color

Not all white diamonds are colorless.  In fact, the spectrum ranges from light yellow to totally colorless. To determine the amount of color in a diamond, a lettering system is used. The system ranges from D to Z with D being awarded to only the rare, totally colorless diamonds. A colorless diamond can be graded D, E or F; near colorless, G, H, I or J. A white diamond’s beauty and value increase the more colorless it is.

color-scale

Clarity

Because it requires tremendous heat and pressure from deep within the earth to form a diamond – the process can result in inclusions and blemishes. In other words – imperfections.  While no diamond can be considered perfect, the more closely it approximates perfection the higher its value.  While inclusions rarely effect a diamond’s aesthetics, they do impact the price.

clarity-scale

Carat

caratCarat weight refers to size and weight.  The larger the diamond – the more valuable it is. This is because large diamonds are scarce.  Even so, two diamonds with the same carat weight can vary greatly in value, depending on their clarity, color, and most importantly, their cut. For example, a half-carat diamond with high color and clarity ratings may cost more than a three-quarter carat diamond with lower color and clarity ratings, but identical cut.  Ultimately it’s a matter of deciding what is most important to you – size or quality – then finding the combination of size, color and clarity that best meets your budget.

Fancy Color

The more rare the diamond, the greater the value.
fancy-color-diamondIn the common range, absence of color is more rare and therefore more valuable in a diamond.  But when a diamond falls outside the common range, as is the case with fancy or colored diamonds, the most rare and valuable diamonds are saturated yellows, pinks, blues and greens.  Even very slight color differences can have a major impact on value. But with diamonds outside the normal range with less color are considered
Compared to fancy yellows and browns, diamonds with a noticeable hint of any other hue are considerably more rare. Even in light tones and weak saturation, as long as a diamond shows color in the face-up position, it qualifies as fancy color. Green, blue and red diamonds with medium to dark tones and moderate saturations are extremely rare.

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