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The Four Cs and more
Knowledge of the Four C’s – Cut, Colour, Clarity, and Carat weight – will allow you to select a diamond with expertise, just as a jeweler would.
The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. A carat is a unit of weight for diamonds and other gemstones. One carat = 200 milligrams which = 0.200 grams. When diamonds are mined, large diamonds are discovered much less frequently than small ones, which make larger diamonds much more valuable. So a 2-carat diamond of a given quality is always worth more than two 1-carat diamonds of the same quality.
Diamonds without visible inclusions (scratches, traces, minerals or other tiny characteristics that are a distraction from its pure beauty) are more valued than diamonds with few inclusions. However, most inclusions cannot be seen without 10X magnification. Clarity is graded based on the location, size, type and number of the inclusions found in a diamond.
Tip: Clarity is not as important in fancy coloured diamonds
Although inclusions are not a desired characteristic for most gems, fancy coloured diamonds are the exception to this rule. Some inclusions may add to the diamond’s brilliance and the price of a fancy coloured diamond is based primarily on how esthetically pleasing it is to the eye.
F: Flawless. Shows no inclusions on the surface or internally under 10X magnification. They are considered the rarest and most beautiful diamonds, making them also the most valuable.
IF: Internally Flawless. No visible inclusions under 10X magnification. This category of diamond has minimal blemishes that are too small to take away from its almost flawless beauty.
VVS1 – VVS2: Very, Very Slight Inclusions. These diamonds have very, very minor inclusions that can only be seen with 10X magnification. However, diamonds in this category are still excellent quality.
VS1-VS2: Very Slight Inclusions. Inclusions still cannot be seen with the naked eye but can be seen with 10X magnification. These diamonds are still great quality, but less than VVS1-VVS2.
SI1- SI3: Slight Inclusions. Inclusions are visible and identifiable under 10X magnification but hard to see with the naked eye. An SI1 diamond will have inclusions that cannot be seen at all by the naked eye. The brilliance of a diamond in this category may be affected depending on where its inclusions are located.
I1-I3: Inclusions. A diamond in this category will have inclusions that can be seen by the naked eye.
Diamonds come in a variety of colours but it is important that you understand the difference between fancy coloured diamonds and diamonds in the normal colour range often referred to as “clear diamonds.”
Tip: Choose the right colour for your setting
To Colour Grade Z and beyond
On the other end of the colour spectrum is a group of diamonds that are naturally coloured called fancy coloured diamonds. Beware! Naturally coloured diamonds are extremely rare. If a jeweler claims a diamond is not colour enhanced, request a certificate of authenticity to be sure it is a natural colour. As well, the price difference between a colour enhanced diamond and one naturally coloured in the earth is drastically different and can be 10 to 100 times the difference in price.
How do diamonds get their colour?
Naturally coloured diamonds gain their colour by having remained deep below the earth’s surface staying under extreme heat and pressure for a longer time than a clear diamond. This allows the impurities within the diamond to cause a colour change. The price of most natural fancy coloured diamonds is extremely high, and the majority of people cannot afford them. Thankfully, science has come up with a few ways to help coax the colour out of clear diamonds through a method called HTHP (High Temperature High Pressure). Munami uses this method as it’s the best and most permanent method for colouring diamonds. This process essentially imitates the conditions a diamond would have faced had it stayed deep below the earth’s surface for a longer period of time. This process has allowed more people to enjoy quality fancy coloured diamonds at an affordable price.
The cut of a diamond has the most effect on its sparkle, and overall brilliance. Many gemologists consider a diamond’s cut to be its most important characteristic. The width and depth have the greatest effect on how light travels within a diamond and how it exits in the form of brilliance. Ideally a well cut diamond will reflect light out the top of the stone revealing fire. If a cut is too shallow, the light is lost out of the sides causing the diamond to loose its brilliance. If a cut is too deep the light escapes out of the bottom causing the diamond to appear dark and dull.
The GIA have created five cut grades to help determine which diamonds are cutfor maximum brilliance. The scale ranges from Excellent to Poor.
Tip: Know the importance of cut
When it comes to fashion everyone has their own unique preferences. This is why Munami offers a variety of diamond shapes for you to choose from. You can add luxury to your fashion by choosing the shape that best represents your sense of style. So whether you want a romantic heart diamond or a modern cushion shape, you can add elegance to your look exactly the way you want.
The polish grade describes the smoothness of a diamond’s facets after it has been polished by a cutter. Thin white marks are left on a diamond’s surface as a result of the polishing process. A diamond’s polish is evaluated using 5 grades- excellent, very good, good, fair and poor. Excellent would represent a diamond with very few, hard to find polishing marks and poor would describe a diamond with obvious polishing lines on several facets. A poor polish will create a blurred or dull sparkle since the surface of the diamond will be dull as well.
The symmetry grade refers to the precision of a diamond’s proportions and the balanced placement of its facets. A diamond’s symmetry will affect the way its brilliance, fire and scintillation are displayed. When a grader evaluates the symmetry of a diamond they look for things such as the table or culet being off center, facets that do not point properly, a wavy girdle and the way in which facets are aligned. Poor symmetry may cause light to be misdirected as it enters and exits a diamond, decreasing the quality of fire. A diamond’s symmetry is evaluated with the same 5 grades used to evaluate its polish- excellent, very good, good, fair and poor.