The word diamond comes from the Greek, “Adamas,” or Latin’s “Diamas,” both of which means unconquerable. Diamonds are almost indestructible, that makes them the perfect symbol of everlasting love.
Natural Mined Diamond
“A Diamond is a natural mineral consisting essentially of pure carbon crystallized with a cubic structure in the isometric system. Its hardness in the Moh’s scale is 10; its specific gravity is approximately 3.52; it has a refractive index of 2,42 and it can be found in many colours.” Definition by the DTC.
Physical Properties of Diamonds
Simple in composition: C carbon---99.95%. Diamond is the only inorganic gemstone that consists of only one element Chemically it is simple carbon. Its crystal form gives it three desirable optical properties:
Hardest gemstone known to man. Diamond’s hardness enables it to accept a higher polish than any other gemstone, making it most brilliant.
Melting point is 6,900 degrees F -4,000 degrees C –
Does not undergo thermal expansion (water to ice).
Four times more reflective than glass
The Anatomy of a Diamond
'Girdle' Of A Diamond
The widest part of the diamond is referred to as the the Girdle. It is the perimeter of the diamond. Usually the girdle is the part of the diamond where the prongs hold it in place.
The 'Crown' Of A Diamond
The portion of the diamond above the girdle is the CROWN. The crown is topped off by the table - large and flat which is the biggest facet on the diamond. This is where light enters the diamond and the brilliance begins.
The 'Pavilion' Of A Diamond
The pavilion is the space below the girdle. This is usually the noticeable “V” shape or the base of the diamond. The pavilion is the part of the stone that reflects light back through the crown.
The 'Culet' Of A Diamond
The culet is the very tip of the bottom of a diamond. This facet is cut to help protect the diamond from splitting or cleavage. It helps the tip from being chipped. Culets are sometimes cut parallel to the table of the diamond adding more brilliance and refraction.
The 'Table' Of A Diamond
The "table" of a diamond is the largest facet, and it is the flat facet at the very top of the diamond. Where the most light enters and reflects out. Sometimes called the "face" of the diamond. The table spread is the percentage of space the table takes up of the entire area of the crown. This will determine the amount of light let into the diamond and the overall performance.
The cut of a diamond
A diamond’s cut refers to how well-proportioned the dimensions are, and how the surfaces, or facets, are positioned to create sparkle and brilliance. These factors determine the diamond’s beauty and price.
Ideal: The rarest, it reflects most of the light that enters the diamond.
Very Good: It reflects nearly as much light as the ideal cut, but for a lower price.
Good: It reflects most of the light that enters, not as much as a Very Good cut grade.
While 35% of the diamond market is made up of fair or poor cuts, we stay away from them. Lower cuts appear dull, and smaller.
The characteristics of a well-cut diamond are superior brilliance (reflection of white light), fire (dispersion of light into the colors of the rainbow), and scintillation (play of contrast between dark and light areas).
This makes up the sparkle!
The color of a diamond
Colorless diamonds are very rare… In fact, diamonds are found in almost any naturally occurring color, such as: gray, white, yellow, green, brown, and pink. Part of diamond valuation is determined by the absence of color. Only certified grading professionals should determine a diamond’s color grade.
Diamond color is very important when buying a diamond, like all the 4c’s. Color is more visible in large diamonds. The GIA color grade scale is an industry standard and starts at “D.” D is colorless and ranges to Z showing like brown or yellow. People ask why the GIA diamond grading scale starts at D. Arcane systems used grades of A-C, 1-3, and I-III, etc. The GIA set out to standardize these diverse systems and started their scale fresh with a grade of D. We recommend I or better color. There is a difference between white diamonds and fancy colored diamonds. Diamonds occur in the natural rainbow spectrum of colors—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink, purple, and more. These are known as colored diamonds. Only 1 in every 10,000 diamonds possess natural color, and the more intense the color, the rarer and more valuable the diamond. Fancy-colored diamonds are graded on a separate color scale and can be even more valuable than white diamonds.
The Clarity of a Diamond
Diamond clarity is the assessment of small imperfections or characteristics on the surface and within a diamond. Surface flaws are called blemishes, internal defects are called inclusions. Internal characteristics, flaws or imperfections are what give a natural diamond its character. Diamonds with the fewest and smallest inclusions receive the highest clarity grades, are rarer and usually more expensive. All diamonds are unique. Being made underground through pressure and heat, inclusions and blemishes are inevitable. The term “eye clean” means that the diamond’s inclusions are too small to see without magnification, we recommend SI (slightly included) and VS (very slightly included) because magnification would be needed to see flaws.
Size, Position, Color and Diamond Shape are all important when looking at the characteristics of a diamonds, therefore it’s important to look at your diamond in person before you purchase, they could look different on paper.
The GIA diamond grading scale is divided into 6 categories and 11 diamond clarity grades:
I1, I2, I3 (Included Diamonds) I clarity diamonds have obvious inclusions that are likely to be visible with the naked eye and could impact beauty.
SI1, SI2 (Slightly Included Diamonds) SI Inclusions are noticeable at 10x magnification.
VS1, VS2 (Very Slightly Included Diamonds) VS Minor inclusions are difficult to see at 10x magnification and almost impossible to an untrained eye.
VVS1, VVS2 (Very Very Slightly Included Diamonds) VVS diamonds have minuscule inclusions that are difficult for trained eyes to see at 10x magnification, rare.
IF (Internally Flawless Diamonds) IF some small surface blemishes may be visible under a microscope, no inclusions within the stone.
FL (Flawless Diamonds) FL diamonds have no internal or external characteristics or flaws, less that 1% of all diamonds and are the most rare.
Diamond Carat Weight
Carat refers to a diamond's weight, not its size. Carat has the biggest impact on price, as diamonds are usually priced per carat. When it comes to diamonds, bigger is not always better. Focus on a balance of the 4Cs: cut, clarity, color, and carat to make the best purchase for you.
Different settings can make a diamond appear larger or smaller.
A popular setting to achieve a larger look is the halo. This setting has a ring of small diamonds around the center stone.
Band width affects the look of a diamonds size/carat. A thin band creates a perspective that makes the center stone appear larger.
Know total carat weight (CTW), total carat weight is the measurement of all the diamonds in any given piece combined. Be sure you know the weight of the center stone alone.