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DIAMOND AND 4C’s to make your jewelry more beautiful

July 2020 | vijay rai

Diamond is a precious gemstone made of single element carbon crystallized in a cubic isometric arrangement besides graphite. According to science, this carbon comes from the melting of rocks in the Earth’s upper mantle. And it comes to the earth's surface through a volcanic eruption. Apart from this, it is also found in the sediment deposited by rivers or melting glaciers.

In about 25 Countries diamonds are mined these days. As naturally occurring Diamond is now needed to be mined that’s why now it is produced synthetically in a lab.

Why choose Diamond?

When it comes to clarity, color, and hardness, it is considered an extremely top quality among the minerals. It’s much more expensive than any other natural minerals.  As it is a durable stone it increases the shine of any design.

What are the physical properties of Diamonds?

 If we talk about its physical properties then it’s important to inform you that its crystalline structure holds a strong covalent bonding and this property allows Diamond to hold out against high pressure.

If we talk about its physical properties then you must note out that it is a transparent, translucent, and opaque substance with excellent brilliance due to its high refractive index that is 2.42 and it is a thermal conductor. On the Mohs scale (scale characterizing scratch resistance of various minerals) of mineral hardness, it is 10. Its hardness is directional means it is the hardest parallel to the octahedral planes and softest parallel to its cubic planes. Because of its hardness, it is exceptionally resistant to scratching, breaking, and any crack which makes it extremely durable. Diamond shows fire and shine when it’s cut well. Its dispersion rate is 0.044. Its specific gravity ranges between 3.4-3.6 which shows it is the hardest naturally occurring mineral and is the hardest of any silicate mineral. It has perfect octahedral cleavage in four directions and is adamantine which means it has the highest level of luster for a non-metallic mineral. And if we talk about its streak it is known as “none” or “colorless” and diamond is harder than a streak plate. Its optical dispersion is relatively very high means it has the ability to disperse light of different colors.

Mostly the diamonds are brown or yellow in color. Its availability in different hues like red, orange, green, blue, pink, purple, violet, and yellow are very rare that it’s selling price is very high. Black, gray and white diamonds are also cut and used as gems.

How to evaluate the value of a diamond?

With the help of 4C’s one can evaluate the value of a diamond. 4C stands for cut, color, clarity, and carat weight established with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). GIA created a standard to describe the diamond. Diamond's grading is done based on this language that determines the rarity and value of Diamond. Globally this method is used to assess the quality of any diamond around the world. And it gives the customer an unbiased assessment result.

 

Cut- It shows the greater influence on diamonds sparkle and beauty. Cut helps to determine the interaction of a diamond’s facets with light because well-proportioned dimensions and position of facets or surface help to create sparkle and brilliance.

Now a question must have arisen in your mind that which cut is best. You should know that it depends on the budget of the people and secondary it depends on the choice of the people because each cut is best. Cut enhance the beauty of the diamond.

There are different cut grades like Ideal, Good, Very good and all these grades represent the top percentage of the diamond cut quality. Cut helps in reflecting most of the light that enters the diamond. And if a diamond is cut with low grades then it looks glassy or very plain and dull and does not stand at the standard quality and value of the diamonds.

GIA has established cut parameters for the brilliant round cut diamonds. A well-cut diamonds have superior brilliance, fire, and scintillation. Now, what are these? These three are the main characteristics of well-cut diamonds which increase the shine, beauty, and price of the Diamond. Brilliance is related to the reflection of white light, fire is related to the dispersion of light into the colors of the rainbow and scintillation is the sparkle that is a play of contrast between dark and light areas.

To understand it deeply let’s see the anatomy of a Diamond.

The largest facet of a diamond is known as the Table.

The facet at the tip of a diamond is known as the Culet. It is graded as ‘none’ or ‘small’ and one can not see it with an unaided eye.

The bottom portion of a diamond is known as a Pavilion that extends from the girdle to the culet.

Girdle defines the circumference of a diamond by intersecting the crown and pavilion.

Crown is the top portion of a diamond extending from the girdle to the table.

Depth is the height of a diamond that is measured from the table to the culet. And diameter is measured from one girdle edge of a diamond straight across to the opposing side.

The cut of a diamond helps in assessing the performance of light by determining its proportion, symmetry, and by reading the overall surface condition of the diamond’s facets.

 

Which cut is the most expensive cut of a diamond?

This question always comes in the mind of the buyer. It is believed that the price of diamonds is increased by increasing carat. But its price is mainly based on the cut of the diamond. The excellent cuts are the most expensive and highest grade diamond cut because it optimizes the light performance by creating and unleashing the most amazing sparkle. This category of the diamond represents 3% of all diamonds. The precise cut of the diamond captivates more eyes.

 

Color- The second C refers to the color. Diamond is available in many hues ranging from colorless to light yellow or light brown (gray, white, yellow, green, brown, and pink). It’s hard to identify the color of the diamond from face up. The grade of a diamond increases with the absence of color in diamonds. Price is affected by the color of the diamond. And the beauty of a diamond is also affected by the color. GIA has made a standard on which the color is graded. This grade ranges from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). D grade is the highest color grade which is extremely rare. It's very expensive that only 8 percent of buyers go for D or E grade color diamond and some go for a near colorless diamond.  A diamond that falls in the 'D-F' range is colorless which is very rare and this rarity makes it more expensive. A diamond that falls in the 'G-I' range is completely white to most observers and for this reason, it sometimes gets a better value than a colorless diamond. Color grade beyond 'J' is in a yellow or brown color that is not liked by everyone and easy to detect a yellow or brown tint.

It all depends on the budget of the people to get the best color grade diamond with the best cut which can give them more sparkle. A natural, chemically pure, and structurally perfect diamonds are consequently colorless and have a higher value. It's hard for the untrained eyes to discern the color difference in some diamonds. Color and cut of diamond play a significant role in a diamond's quality and price. GIA's color grading scale is like a tool to measure the degree of colorlessness which is used by every reputed diamond seller.

Color diamonds are considered more valuable and more fashionable because they occur naturally.

Brown Diamonds- Brown diamonds are a very common color variety of natural diamonds. This color diamond is less attractive as it does not have that much glimmer. It is used for industrial purposes also. In Australia diamonds mined are mostly brown in color and the United States, have brown diamonds that are valued as precious gemstones these days and it is also known as chocolate diamonds. Treatment is there that helps to convert brown diamonds into yellow or even colorless diamonds with high-pressure and high-temperature. This treatment helps in removing all lattice defects present in brown diamonds.

 

Orange Diamonds- Orange diamonds contain some nitrogen atoms in a very specific way that helps in absorbing light in the blue and yellow region of the spectrum which produces the orange color. 

Most of the orange diamonds come from Africa. In 1997 when this color in diamond was introduced at that time the 5.54-carat orange diamond, was the largest variety of orange diamond ever found. It may contain pink, brown, and yellow as a modifying color. 

Yellow Diamonds- Yellow diamonds also contain some nitrogen atoms in a very specific way while diamond formation. Like orange diamond nitrogen present in yellow diamond also absorb light in the blue region of the spectrum producing a yellow color. This color diamond can contain an orange, green, or brown as a modifying color.

Primarily the large yellow diamond was in South Africa. The Allnatt, a 101ct cushion shape fancy yellow diamond is considered as the most important and famous yellow diamond in history. It was named after its original owner Major Allnatt in the 1950s.

Green Diamonds- Green diamonds get this color from naturally occurring radiation in the ground.  This radiation helps diamonds to absorb light in the red and yellow regions of the spectrum producing a green color. This color diamonds can contain a yellowish, bluish, or gray as a modifying color.

Green diamonds are found mainly in the regions of Africa and also in South America. Dresden Green Diamond is the most famous green diamond.

Blue Diamonds- The blue diamonds contain some boron to carbon atoms in specific ways that help in absorbing the red, yellow, and green parts of the spectrum producing a blue color. This Diamond may contain a gray, violet, or green as a modifying color.

Blue diamonds are mainly mined from the Cullinan mine and the Golconda region.

Pink Diamonds- Pink Diamonds are produced by the heat and pressure present inside the deep earth which leads to the distortion of the crystal lattice. While distortions Diamonds absorb green light and hence produce a pink color. Pink Diamonds may contain orange, brown, or purple as a modifying color.

This pink diamond is present in different shades like light, very light, intense, fancy, deep, and vivid colors. The intense color has a higher price.

Pink diamonds are mostly found in Brazil, Russia, Siberia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Canada. And the majority of these pink diamonds are mined from the Argyle Mine in Australia (owned by Rio Tinto).

Red Diamonds- Red diamonds are the strong and dark pink colored diamonds. This is produced due to the same, crystal lattice distortions. They are the most expensive diamond of all because these diamonds are extremely rare. This combination is so rare that most jewelers and diamond dealers have never even seen a natural red diamond. The largest known red diamond has been 5.11-carat Moussiaf Red.

Purple Diamonds- Purple diamonds are also very rare. It has a similar cause of color as pink and red diamonds that is crystal distortion. Mostly they are found in Siberia but they are found in smaller sizes. Having a purple diamond above 5 carats is hard because it is extremely rare. It does not have the vivid color grades.

 

Violet Diamonds- Violet diamonds are also very rare. The majority of violet diamonds are mined from the Argyle, pink diamonds are also found here in this mine.

It is believed that this color is due to the presence of Hydrogen, but this mechanism is not sure yet. It is found in a very small size that it gets hard to get a diamond above 1 carat because of its rarity. Violet colored diamonds commonly contain a gray component. The intense and vivid violet diamonds are mined in countable numbers each year.

Olive Diamonds- Olive diamonds looks like green diamonds, but it has a different space and value in colors. Olive diamonds are a mixture of yellow and green color with a little bit of brown or gray color. These color diamonds can be found in different sizes ranging from small to large above 10+ carats. The mainly olive color is described as yellow, green, and brown.  Olive diamonds are also known as chameleon diamonds because it changes its color when it is heated or left in the dark.

Black Diamonds- Naturally occurring black diamonds are very rare. It is said that this dark color is due to the presence of dark inclusions within the diamond which is made up of graphite. This color is because of the dark inclusions present inside the diamond. It is usually made up of graphite. It does not have a spectrum of colors. Naturally, black diamonds are found mainly in Brazil and central Africa. Black diamonds are cheap than any other colored diamonds. The Black Orloff, is the most famous black diamond, of 67.50 carats.

White Diamonds- Natural occurring white diamonds are white in color but are not colorless. Pure White diamonds are very translucent and opaque that make it white and it is because of the sub-microscopic inclusions present inside the diamond. These diamonds are highly considered among connoisseurs.

Gray Diamonds- Gray diamonds look like steel and it seems to be colorless that it gets harder for the untrained eye to identify the difference. The difference is visible if it’s viewed from side by side. Gray diamonds are also known as a masculine color diamond. It is hard to get a pure gray diamond because it’s rare.

 Naturally occurring diamonds have fancy colors which are very rare and that is why very expensive. And if anyone wants color diamonds at fewer prices then they can have color-treated diamonds where they can have desired fancy colors at very less price.

 

Clarity- The third's' refers to Clarity. It represents the degree to which inclusions or blemishes are present in a diamond. Higher the inclusion or blemishes less the brilliance will be because these imperfections or flaws hinder the path of light through the diamond. Imperfection present inside the diamond is called inclusions and imperfection present on the surface of the diamond is called blemishes. Naturally occurring diamonds carry some flaws inside out. Diamonds are cut with a cutter in a way to remove those inclusions. Mainly inclusions are present under the bezel facets that are near the girdle that is hard to see.

GIA has set a standard or clarity scale to grade diamond clarity where GIA uses the diamond's number, size, reflectivity, color, and also the position of flaws visibility through 10x loupe magnification. This clarity scale or grade ranges from Flawless to Imperfect 3.

Flawless or Internally Flawless (FL/IF) diamonds do not reveal any flaws or imperfection even less than 10x magnification.

Very Very Slight Inclusions (VVS 1/VVS 2) diamonds need 60 x magnifications to discern the inclusions clearly. Under 10x magnification, even a skilled grader is unable to see the flaws.

Very Slight Inclusions (VS 1/VS 2) diamonds uses 30 x magnifications to see inclusions clearly. It is considered to be a good choice balancing quality and affordability both.  Less than 10x magnification skilled grader has to apply little effort to see imperfections.

Slight Inclusions (SI 1/SI 2) diamonds typically uses 10 x magnifications to see the inclusions clearly. Sometimes inclusions are visible to the naked eyes in large carat weight diamonds. And people can consider each stone carefully and accordingly. One can find its best value based on it.

Included (I1) diamonds also known as Eye-Visible Inclusions are preferred for earrings or pendants. People having a limited budget can go for it.

Included diamonds (I2/I3)- Mainly this diamond is not considered good for any practical jewelry applications because it affects the transparency and brilliance of the diamond.

 

Carat Weight- The fourth ‘C’ refers to the Carat Weight of a diamond. It measures a diamond’s weight according to its size where a metric cut is equal to 0.2 grams. The weight of a diamond is measured to the third decimal or says a hundredth decimal place where one carat is subdivided into 100 points which represent a very precise measurement of a diamond. Larger diamonds have larger values because large diamonds are rarer. And it gets easy to identify the ideal cut and color in larger diamonds. But we should keep in mind that two diamonds of the same carat weight may have very different values or prices depending on the other three C’s of the diamond is Cut, Color, and Clarity.

Diamond’s value is determined by checking all the four factors of the diamond established by GIA diamond grades. A diamond chart helps in illustrating different grades that eradicate all the confusion prevailing in the market regarding Diamonds. Among all the 4 C’s we can say the high-quality cut is more important because it greatly affects the beauty and brilliance of diamonds. A right cut can make a .9 carat round diamond with K color and VS2 Clarity look stunning.

Does the shape of the diamond really affect its price?

A geometric outline or physical form of a diamond is called shape. Each diamond has its own specifications and attributes that affect the price and quality of the diamond. A cut always gives shape to the diamond and each shape affects the size of the diamond as well. Different diamond shapes are available in markets like Round Brilliant Shape, Princess Shape, Emerald Shape, Marquise Shape, Oval Shape, Pear Shape, Cushion Shape, Radiant Shape, Asscher Shape, and Heart Shape. Among them, Round diamond has an excellent brilliance with higher demand which leads to an increase in manufacturing costs. Its price is higher than the other shapes. Apart from the round brilliant shape, all those diamond shapes are known as fancy shapes.

 

Round diamond- Round diamond shape has been in the public eye from the very beginning. It is the most famous shape that represents 75% of all the diamonds sold. Round diamonds typically carry the proper reflection of light with maximum brightness. It has optimum fire and brilliance as this round shape balances the cut, color, and clarity grade with maximum sparkle that one wants. Maximum brilliance is achieved through the ideal cut with excellent polish and symmetry.

 

Princess-Cut Diamond- Princess diamond is the most popular fancy diamond shape. Firstly this shape was created in 1980. It is also known as a square-cut diamond because of its pointed corners. Princess cut diamonds are considered very suitable for engagement rings.

 

Emerald-Cut Diamond- Emerald diamonds are given this shape by cutting it with rectangular facets. To get this shape a diamond is needed to have a step-cut of its pavilion and its large, open table which gives it a very unique optical appearance. Inclusions are easily visible in this diamond shape, so before purchasing it one must review the clarity grade chart on the diamond certificate.

 

Asscher Cut diamond- Asscher Brothers of Holland has produced this shape in 1902. This diamond shape is very similar to emerald cut diamond shape but it is square in shape. To get this shape pavilion is cut with larger step facets, higher crown, and a smaller table just like an emerald. It is meant to show a bit of color in the corners. So to avoid it one must go for higher color grade and should also check the clarity grade chart to avoid the inclusions in it.

Marquise-Cut Diamond- It is a modified brilliant-cut in the shape of a football that is long and narrow. This shape maximizes the carat weight and has the largest surface areas among all the shapes.

Pear-Cut Diamond- It is a combination of round and marquise shapes with a single point and rounded end. This unique shape has made it a popular choice among the buyer as it gives a slimming effect on the finger of the wearer.

Oval-Cut Diamond- It has a beautiful fire and brilliance similar to a round diamond. It has an elongated shape that looks larger in size.

Cushion Cut Diamond- This shape is a combination of square cut with rounded corners and large facets which gives it a look of pillow. It has popularity just like a round diamond. Its larger facets increase its brilliance and inclusions that are clearly visible in it. It is popular for more than a century because of its unique cut.

Radiant Cut Diamond- This diamond has a rectangular cut with a complete brilliant-cut facet pattern with trimmed corners that is applied to both the crown and pavilion which make it a more vibrant and beautiful diamond.

Heart-Shaped Diamond- This shape has a distinct fan base because it is unique and also a symbol of love. One must purchase it with high color grade because it shows a slight color in its point.

 

From all this, we get to know that along with the 4C’s shapes of diamond also affect the price of a diamond. The shape allows the diamond to look larger notwithstanding with carat weight. All these shapes give an abundance of glamour and elegance to any jewelry.

The cut and shape bring life to the diamond by increasing its sparkle, brilliance, and fire. All these shapes have an appealing effect to the eyes. This knowledge will help the one to have diamonds according to their budget and desire after getting the idea about its 4C’s and shape. They can compare each shape side by side to have a shape that fits their personality and style.

All these shapes help the wearer to have the experience of grace and luxury as it offers an abundance of a bold and elegant look.

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