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Diamond Guide

THE 4C'S OF DIAMONDS

Every diamond is unique and one of the quality that diamond retains is that every diamond is different from other. Like Finger prints, no two diamonds are exactly alike, and there are variety of factors which affects the price of a diamond. Focus on those factors most important to you, and choose a diamond that satisfies your individual standards for beauty and value.

To help diamond customers know exactly what they were about to purchase, a grading system, set up by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), was implemented to evaluate diamonds based on four aspects.

These four grading systems are known as the "4C's" and they are as follows

COLOUR:

When jewellers speak of a diamond's colour, they are usually referring to the presence or absence of colour in white diamonds. Colour is a result of the composition of the diamond, and it never changes over time.

Diamonds have various tints and are graded on how colourless they are. Starting from grade D, being colourless or exceptional white which are rarer and so more valuable, up to grade Z.

Clarity:

Natural diamonds are the result of carbon exposed to tremendous heat and pressure deep in the earth. This process can result in a variety of internal characteristics called 'inclusions' and external characteristics called 'blemishes.

The GIA Diamond Clarity Scale has 6 categories,

Flawless (FL): No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification

Internally Flawless (IF): No inclusions visible under 10x magnification

Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): Inclusions are so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification.

Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): Inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification, but can be characterized as minor.

Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification.

Included (I1, I2, and I3): Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance.

CARAT WEIGHT:

Diamond carat weight is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs. A metric "carat" is defined as 200 milligrams. When buying diamonds, size does matter. Even to the untrained eye, differences in size are clearly visible.

When buying a diamond ring you should choose a carat weight that suits the wearer's fingers.

CUT:

Cut does not refers to a diamond's shape (e.g. round, oval, pear, etc.) but to a diamond's proportions, symmetry and polish. The polish describes the smoothness of the diamond's facets and the symmetry refers to alignment of the facets. With poor polish, the surface of a facet can be dulled and may create blurred or dulled sparkle.

The beauty of a diamond depends more on cut than any other factor. Though extremely difficult to analyse and quantify, diamond cut has three primary effects on appearance:

Brilliance: The brightness created by the combination of all the white light reflections from the surface and the inside of a polished diamond

Fire: The dispersion of light into the colours of the visible spectrum, seen as flashes of colour

Scintillation: The flashes of light and dark, or sparkle, when a diamond or light source is moved.

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