Diamond Grading 101 – Everything You Need to Know About diamond Grading
The more you learn about diamonds, the more you realise just how little you know about these miracles of nature. From pressure, darkness and eventually a volcanic catastrophe, natural diamonds are borne of nothingness into one of the most valuable commodities this world has to offer.
That being said, how is a diamonds price or value determined? Size is certainly a factor, however, there are four main criteria when grading a diamond: the magical 4 C’s!
Diamond Grading Scale: Carat
Carat is a unit of weight, not size. There are 5 carats in a gram. The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. A carat is divided into 100 parts, called points. The more points, the better!
1 carat =1.00 carat=100 points
1/2 carat= 0.50 carat= 50 points
1/4 carat=0.25 carat= 25 points
Diamond Grading Scale: Clarity
Practically all diamonds contain naturally occurring internal characteristics called inclusions. The size, nature, location and amount of inclusions determine a stone's clarity grade and affect its cost. Clarity is determined using 10X magnification. By definition, if something is not visible at 10X, it does not affect the clarity.
Flawless | VVS1 | VVS2| VS1 | VS2 | SI1 | SI2 | I1 | I2| I3
Flawless/Internally Flawless= No inclusions visible, by an expert at 10X magnification
VVS1-VVS2= Very, Very slight inclusions very difficult for an expert to find under 10X
VS1-VS2= Very slight inclusions difficult for an expert to find under 10X
SI1-SI2= Noticeable, relatively easy to find under 10X. Not visible w/o magnification in a face-up direction.
I1-I3= Obvious under 10X, may be visible to the unaided eye, I3's inclusions may affect the stone's durability.
Diamond Grading Scale: Colours
The colour of a diamond refers to the relative amount of yellow, brown or gray body colour that a stone possesses. The G.I.A. scale starts at "D" and goes through "Z", with "D" being void of any body colour, and "Z" having a light yellow, brown or gray colour.
Diamond Grading Scale: Cut
The quality of a diamond's cut makes all the difference in how the stone appears. A poorly cut "D", Flawless stone, can look dead and lifeless, whereas an ideally proportioned diamond of much lower colour and clarity will appear radiant and dazzling. So, why aren't all diamonds ideally proportioned? The answer is quite simple. Diamonds are sold by weight. Stones cut to ideal proportions waste more of the diamond crystal, therefore weigh less than stones that are cut to maximize weight.
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