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Shopping for diamonds is a fun and exciting experience. The glitz and go-with-anything glamour of diamonds make finding “the one” worth the hunt. We at Sheiban Jewelers want to make your experience even more successful, ensuring you understand the basics of diamonds. This information can help guide you through understanding more about diamonds and features that should be considered when choosing the diamond that's right for you.
Diamond is the hardest natural material on Earth. Many diamonds formed more than a billion years ago, roughly 100 miles below the Earth’s surface, under high pressure and extreme temperatures, then brought to the surface by volcanic eruptions. Diamonds are graded based on the 4 Cs of Diamond Quality: color, cut, clarity and carat weight. They are a symbol of love and commitment. Diamond is April's birthstone, a near-universal symbol for marriage, and the gemstone of 60th and 75th wedding anniversaries.
Diamond Color: D, E, F
A diamond's color grade is based on how noticeable the color is, GIA refers to this as the D-Z range, also known as the depth of color. The difference in color grade can have a significant impact on price and appearance.
Grades D, E, and F are considered colorless, D and E diamonds have virtually no color, and an F has a nearly undetectable amount of color that shows only in the facedown position. The differences between these grades are actually very slight, in diamonds smaller than .25 ct. they are almost indistinguishable. Diamonds in this color range are extremely rare and valuable.
Diamond Color: G, H, I
These grades are near-colorless. Diamonds with these grades look colorless face-up and nearly colorless face-down. They might have slight traces of color that aren't noticeable to the untrained eye when the stone is mounted. All Sheiban Diamonds are a Grade I or better. Diamonds with a Grade K and below present from faint to light yellow cast. Once a diamond goes beyond the Z color range it enters the fancy color range starting with Fancy Light Yellow.
GIA'S strict guidelines for each color range make communication about diamond color dependable and accurate. A GIA graded F-color Diamond is an F-Color Diamond, no matter where you are. Your diamond should always be accompanied by a GIA grading certificate.
A well cut diamond can make light perform in breathtaking ways, resulting in a magnificent display of three important diamond attributes: brilliance, fire, and scintillation.
Brilliance is the brightness created by the combination of all the white light reflections from the surface and inside of a polished diamond.
Fire is the flashes of color you see in a polished diamond.
Scintillation is the flashes of light you see when the diamond, the light, or the observer moves.
Other factors indicate the care the polisher used when finishing the stone. These include the symmetry of the facets and their relationship to one and other, as well as the finesness of the polish. These elements all contribute to the overall apperance of your diamond.
Diamond Clarity: FL, IF
Evaluating diamond clarity involves determining the number, size, relief, nature, and position of these characteristics, as well as how these affect the overall appearance of the stone. While no diamond is perfectly pure, the closer it comes, the higher its value. The GIA Diamond Clarity Scale has a 11 specific grades, amongst 6 categories.
Flawless (FL) - A Flawless (FL) diamond has no inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification.
Internally Flawless (IF) - An Internally Flawless (IF) diamond has no inclusions visible under 10x magnification.
Diamond Clarity: VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) - These diamonds have inclusions that are so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification.
Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) - These diamonds have inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification but can be characterized as minor.
Diamond Clarity: SI1, SI2, I1, I2, I3
Slightly Included (SI1, SI2) - These diamonds have inclusions that are noticeable under 10x magnification.
Included (I1, I2, and I3) - These diamonds have inclusions that are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance.
Many inclusions and blemishes are too tiny to be seen by anyone other than a trained diamond grader. To the naked eye, a VS1 and an SI2 diamond may look exactly the same, but these diamonds are quite different in terms of overall quality. This is why expert and accurate assessment of diamond clarity is extremely important.
Diamond Carat Weight
The metric carat is divided into 100 points. A pt. is one-hundreth of a carat. An easy way to remember this is to think of carats as dollars and cents. They are even written the same way: $1.34 means one dollar and 34 cents, and 1.34 carats means one carat and 34 points.
The larger the stone the more limited the availability. Larger stones are quite simply rarer; this impacts the relationship between rarity and value. The more scarce something is the more it is worth. A larger stone doesn't just cost more, it costs more per carat.
A 1.00 ct diamond weighs the same as four .25 ct diamonds, but even if all the other quality factors are equal, the larger diamond is worth more than the sum of the four smaller stones.