The ancient generations believed that Diamonds were splinters of stars fallen to the earth. It was even said by some that they were the tears of God. Since the very beginning, diamonds have always been associated with romance and legend – imagine… across 3.3 billion years and 4 continents to end on a woman’s hand.
A few facts about diamonds – Even though the diamond is the hardest of all gemstones known to man, it is the simplest in composition, being made of pure carbon. The Diamond has a melting point of 6900 degrees, which is two and a half times greater than the melting point of steel.
Billions of years ago, the elemental forces of heat and pressure miraculously transformed the carbon into diamond in the cauldron of boiling magma that lay deep below the surface of the earth. The volcanic mass in which this crystallization took place, then thrust upwards and broke through the earth’s surface to cool in kimberlite pipes. It is in these kimberlite pipes that most diamonds are found today and this is actually the creation of diamonds.
Diamonds are cut by the manufacturers to yield the greatest amount of carat weight from the rough, which they also buy by the carat. After a diamond has been cut and polished it passes to the jeweler and his staff of skills, which create the setting that will show the diamonds to their maximum effect. All diamonds are rare, but some are more rare then others – and they are more valuable. The diamond price is judged by four distinct factors that combine in a number of ways to calculate its value. These are called the 4C’s.
So, the simple plain truth: there is no great mystery about how to buy a diamond. You just need a reason and the knowledge and you are ready to take the challenge of buying a diamond(s).
The 4 C’s
Diamond prices are influenced by four factors, known as the 4 C’s: Color, Clarity, Carat Weight, and Cut. Each factor affects the price of the diamond. The better these factors, the more valuable the diamond will be. If you know the 4 C’s and understand the grading system, you can get the most bang for your buck.
The first quality grade of a diamond to be judged is its color grade. Color is dependent on the atomic structure of the diamond, which is composed of crystallized carbon. Traces of the elements boron and nitrogen may be incorporated into the carbon composition of a diamond while it is formed. These traces tint the stone brown or yellow.
While the most common colors of diamonds are brown and yellow, they can come in other colors such as black, green, blue or pink. These colored diamonds are rare but very beautiful.
The amount of color a diamond possesses is graded by range from those with a barely perceptible yellow or brownish tint, up to those that are very rare and described as colorless. The color scale began from D (colorless – very rare, most valuable.) to Z (light yellow – less costly but not necessarily less beautiful).
Most diamonds look colorless to the naked eye, but usually they do have at least a hint of color. For their value, remember – the closer a diamond is to colorless ( D ), the more valuable it becomes.
Diamonds that are called “Fancies” are actually totally colorless diamonds. They’re found very occasionally and are very expensive. Precise color grading is done by a comparison to scientifically graded master Diamonds.
The effect color has on the cost of a diamond can be dramatic. This is why you should get a certificate attached to your diamond from a reliable diamond laboratory, especially if this is your first diamond purchase.
– Remember, the color of your diamond will be simply a matter of personal taste and your budget
Diamond Color Scale:
Clarity grade is the second quality of a diamond. Clarity is the amount of “inclusions” (also called “flaws”) in the diamond crystal. The fewer there are, the rarer the diamond will be–more light will reflect from the diamond, and the diamond becomes more valuable.
Almost all diamonds contain minute traces of non-crystallized carbon, the element from which diamonds are created. When a diamond is viewed under 10 power (10X) magnification the clarity grade is determined by the amount, size, location and nature of those “inclusions”. Large “inclusions”, located in critical positions within the stone, obstruct the passage of light and can seriously reduce the durability of the stone.
The clarity of Diamonds moves between the grades – flawless (IF – free of internal or external inclusions, extremely rare) to the grade -Imperfect 3 (I3 – lower cost). Inclusions, nature’s fingerprints, make every diamond quite unique. Each diamond possesses its own individuality.
Since it is very rare to find a diamond that has no inclusions (Most diamonds contain very tiny natural birthmarks), the closer to flawless it is, the greater the value.
This is a scale ranging from IF – flawless, to I1-3 – diamonds which have inclusions visible to the naked eye:
The third quality characteristic is the diamond’s weight. A carat is a measuring unit of the diamond weight–and therefore the size.
The weight term “carat” originated from the seeds of the carob tree. These seeds are extremely consistent in weight and that made them the ideal weight unit for the ancient gem traders to weigh their diamonds, until the system was standardized and one carat was fixed at 0.2 grams (a five-carat diamond weighs 1 gram).
One carat is equal to 100 points. A diamond of 25 points is described as quarter of carat or 0.25 carats and a diamond of 75 points weighs 0.75 carat.
It is interesting to know that in 250 tons of diamond bear, there is only a single one carat diamond that is gem quality. That is why diamonds are divided into weight groups. A one-point difference in a diamond weight can change the weight group of this diamond and make a huge difference in value.
Carat weight is a major factor in determining value and it is possible to estimate diamond weight only by using special gauges.
Carat weight is the easiest of the 4 C’s to determine and it is your primary consideration when making this purchase. As the carat weight of a diamond increases so does its rarity and its price, but remember – big is not necessarily better.
The shape and size of the stone may also influence the carat weight. A one-carat round diamond may look smaller than a one-carat emerald cut.
Direct Diamond Network offers diamonds in any carat size you may desire.
This is a scale of the Carat weigh groups:
Of all the 4 C’s, Cut is directly influenced by the human element. When we speak of Cut, we are more interested in the proportions of the diamond and how it uses the light in the best way to increase it’s fire and sparkle. Every diamond gets it’s brilliance by cutting and polishing the diamond facets to increase the maximum amount of light that enters through its top and reflected back to the eye of the observer. The way a diamond is cut and polished is crucial.
Good proportions – When a diamond is cut into good or ideal proportions, the diamond is better able to handle light. The light that enters from the top of the stone is reflected from one facet to another in the stone and then dispersed back to the top ofthe diamond. This creates the sparkle and the scintillation to the eye of the observer.
Shallow cut – A diamond which is cut too shallow for the weight of the stone, will cause the light that enters into the stone to leak out through the bottom or the pavilion of the gem before it can be reflected back. This diamond will look bigger but will weigh less and may appear glassy, not allowing the maximum beauty of the diamond to be realized.
Deep cut – A diamond, which is cut too deep allows light to escape through the opposite side of the pavilion facets before it can be reflected back to the diamond’s top facets
The first and easiest way to evaluate cut is to compare the Diamond’s weight with the next proper diameter size:
Ideal cut diamond model will have a diameter measure of 6.5mm in order to reflect Light to its optimum.
The shallow cut model will measure 6.5mm+ and will “leak” light.
Deep cut diamond will measure only 6.Omm and will have the physical size of a .85 Carat diamond.
Diamonds that are cut into good proportions will have more value. The maximum amount of light will be reflected and greater brilliance will appear. Cut is a matter of beauty, craftsmanship, mathematics and value. If proportions are very important to you and you wish for an “ideal make” Direct Diamond Network inc. will provide it.
Brilliant Cut – A round diamond with 58 facets.
Carbon – The raw material of which diamonds are made. Occasionally a diamond will contain tiny pockets of carbon which can be seen as black spots within the stone.
Culet – The bottom facet of a diamond, usually very small. If it is too large, when you look straight down through the table it will look like the diamond has a hole in the middle. sometimes polished with a very tiny facet, sometime pointed without facet.
Dispersion – Dispersion is the ability to create spectral colors as light exits the diamond.
Eye-clean – Refers to a diamond that has no inclusions or blemishes visible to the naked eye.
Facet – A polished surface on a diamond. A round, hill-cut diamond usually has 58 facets, 33 on the crown and 25 on the pavilion. On a well-proportioned stone, these facets will be uniform and symmetrical. If they are not, the diamond’s ability to refract and reflect light will suffer.
Flawless – Diamond without external or internal blemishes or inclusions seen.
Fluorescence – Refers to a diamond that glows blue under ultraviolet light.
Girdle – the widest part of the diamond. This is the edge of a cut diamond where the facets of the table meet the facets of the pavilion.
Inclusions – Natural impurities in a diamond, formed during the crystallization process.
Laser-Drilled – A diamond that has been treated with a laser to remove carbon spots.
Loupe – A small magnifying glass used to view gemstones.
Pavilion – The bottom part of the diamond below the girdle.
Refraction – The bending and slowing of light as it passes at an oblique angle from the medium of one optical density into a medium of greater optical density.
Shape – Not to be confused with cut, shape means the geometric for of the stone. Popular Shapes include the round brilliant, marquise, emerald cut, pear, and oval.
Sparkle – Flashing effect produced when a diamond is moved in the light.
Symmetry – Symmetry is the quality of efficient light reflection and return.
Table – The top of the diamond, largest and most important facet in a diamond.
The wearing of jewelery is as ancient a custom as any on record and appeared in early societies to be of primary importance after the seeking of food and shelter. It has been conjectured that the wearing of pretty stones was originally motivated by a desire to remember the spring with its promise of food and warmth, and later became the personal adornment or the symbol of rank or wealth that it is today.
Large diamonds were badges of rank worn by rulers and also convenient portable wealth in the early days of India. Most of the historical diamonds that still exist are Indian and all have had eventful and sometimes bloody histories. ‘Diamonds’ effect on social history has been mainly because they are possibly the greatest concentrated form of wealth which is negotiable almost anywhere. They have played a part in many upheavals and during recent world wars paid the way for the escape of refugees from totalitarian tyrannies. From at least the fourth century B.C., India traded in diamonds, taxed them and exported them. There had long been trade between India and Babylon, Mesopotamia, Syria, Israel, Egypt, Ceylon, and Arabian countries.
Diamonds that reached the western part of the Roman Empire were prized for their magical powers, but Rome also re-exported them to China as tool bits set in iron holders for cutting jade and drilling pearls during the first five centuries A.D. There were no superstitions in China to deny this use and, even as tools, they were still regarded as presents fit for kings. The Arabs and Persians monopolized trade between the Roman Empire and East Asia and, during the Middle Ages, between Europe and East Asia, until the sea route to India was discovered. It appears that they retained for themselves many of the finest diamonds from India and sold the poorer and smaller ones. The Arab, Teifasehius, issued the earliest price list of diamonds that has been discovered in the twelfth century.