4 MAIN DETERMINERS TO HELP YOU RECOGNIZE THE BEST TYPES OF DIAMONDSeusr
Diamonds have always been a woman’s best friend. But when you examine the best types of diamonds, things get confusing. All Diamonds are beautiful and unique because they are the products of time and natural changes. It is an overwhelming process to test the types of diamonds. So, it is essential to follow the general standards of evaluation.
In this article, you will learn about:
- The 4Cs, and how important they are in recognizing a diamond’s quality.
- The factors to consider when you are –like most people- concerned in sparkle and clarity.
- Choosing the best diamond that you could afford.
As we speak of the best types of diamonds, it is worth mentioning that until the middle of the twentieth century, there were no specific standards to evaluate the quality of diamonds accurately. Later on, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) created a universal standard to assess and describe diamonds, which is called the 4Cs.
The 4Cs standard analyzes diamonds according to their:
- Carat weight.
This standard allows diamond purchasers to get an exact background of what they are about to buy. Following is a detailed description of how each of the 4Cs affects the quality of a diamond.
1- Diamond Color: the absence of color:
The general rule about diamonds’ color is that the more colorless a diamond is, the more valuable it becomes. Thus, a diamond’s lack of color is an advantage because it is an indication of chemical purity. To measure a diamond’s colorlessness degree GIA has published the (D-to-Z diamond color grading system). A diamond is examined by putting it under specific lighting and viewing conditions to determine its colorlessness degree. The GIA diamond color grading system starts with grade D because some other methods that were followed previously have used grades A, B, and C to rate diamonds colors. The GIA intended to start fresh by using D as the first grade. Diamonds Colorlessness Grading System Guide:
- Colorless Diamonds: these are the rarest diamonds that mark the highest quality and prices.
- D to F Diamonds: near-colorless, no recognizable color with high quality and value.
- G to K Diamonds: These diamonds are faintly-colored diamonds, budget-friendly, with beautiful shades of yellow gold.
Conclusion: Diamond’s quality and prices, according to colors, are determined by the diamond’s alphabetical order on the scale. For example, the F-grade diamonds are of less quality and fewer prices than the D-graded ones.
2- Diamonds Clarity: the absence of inclusions and blemishes:
But what are inclusions and blemishes? When natural diamonds were once pieces of carbon buried deep in the earth, they got exposed to tremendous heat and pressure. As a result, each diamond gained a variety of internal and external characteristics. The internal characteristics are called “inclusions,” while the external ones are known as “blemishes.” Diamonds clarity evaluation depends on the nature, number, size, and position of those characteristics, and how they affect the diamond’s overall appearance. Eventually, no diamond is 100% pure, but the closer it gets to purity, the higher rating it receives..
Diamonds Clarity Grading System Guide:
This system is divided into six categories. Some of those are also broken into sub-categories. As a result, we get 11 specified grades.
- Flawless (FL): no blemishes and no inclusions are visible under 10x magnification. This type is very rare, as only less than 1% of all diamonds are FL.
- Internally flawless (IF): no inclusions are visible under 10x magnification. Only some slight surface blemishes may exist.
- Very, very slightly included (VVS1 & VVS2): slight inclusions that are difficult to observe under 10x magnification even for a skilled grader.
- Very slightly included (VS1 & VS2): minor inclusions could be observed with effort under 10x magnification.
- Slightly included (SL1 & SL2): inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification. In some cases, certain inclusions of this type could be visible to the naked eye of a professional grader.
- Included (I1, I2 & I3): Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification, which may affect transparency and brilliance. The naked eye could spot inclusions of this grade.
Conclusions: When buying a diamond, keep in mind that FL and IF diamonds are so rare and start choosing from VVS and downwards, as those are considered to be the best available types according to clarity.
3- Diamonds Cut: sparkle release:
Out of all the 4Cs, the cut is the most important one and has the primary effect on a diamond’s sparkle and brilliance. So, when buying a diamond, it is wise to put this factor as a priority. Usually, when diamonds cut are mentioned, people think of it as something related to the diamond’s shape (round, heart, oval, marquise, pear, etc.). Still, a diamond’s cut +actually refers to the interaction between a diamond’s facets and surfaces with light. Grading a diamond’s cut quality is done through calculating the measurements of a diamond’s facets proportions because the accuracy of those proportions is what mainly increases the diamond’s interaction with light to produce a sparkling look. Each diamond produces specific visual effects. Following are the most essential three effects to evaluate cut grading:
- Brightness: the total amount of light reflected from inside and outside the diamond.
- Fire: the scattering of white light into all the colors of the rainbow.
- Scintillation: the pattern of dark and light areas within a diamond, which produces a diamond’s sparkle.
There are other factors to consider grading a diamond’s cut, which are:
- Weight ratio.
- The diamond’s facets symmetry.
- The quality of the facets’ polish.
According to the previous factors, diamonds cut grading system ranges from excellent to poor.
Diamonds Cut Grading System Guide:
- Excellent: diamonds have even patterns of bright and dark areas. Excellent-cut diamonds rank first among all the grade-setting determinants.
- Very good: the combination of this set of proportions causes some darkness in the pavilion mains. However, this darkness is slight and wouldn’t necessarily cause lower brightness and scintillation.
- Good: diamonds from this grade are limited by their scintillation; the shallow pavilion angle produces dark pavilion mains.
- Fair: this type combines shallow pavilion angle and shallow crown angle, causing a lack of contrast and general darkness.
- Poor: this type almost stands up to the fair standards. However, the fact that it combines a slightly steep crown angle, a very steep pavilion angle, and a large total depth, causes these diamonds to have a very dark table area and a very dark upper girdle area.
Conclusion: it is now clear that the cut quality is what creates a diamond’s fire, sparkle, and brilliance, which are the essential characteristics of a diamond and what charm people the most. As a result, the best types of diamonds in the world must always have an excellent cut grade, or at least very good.
4- Diamonds Carat Weight: a diamond’s apparent size:
In simple words, a diamond’s carat weight is its actual weight on the scale. There are some general essential measurements related to carats. One carat equals 200 milligrams, and each carat is divided into 100 points. This system guarantees accurate measurements. For example, any diamond below one carat could be measured by its points alone. So, a diamond that weighs 0.75 carats could be referred to as a “seventy-five pointer.” On the other hand, diamonds that weigh more than one carat are described by carats and decimals. For instance, a 1.05-carat diamond is referred to as “one, point O five” carats. Conclusion: the higher a diamond’s carat weight reaches, the more expensive it gets because large diamonds are rare and desirable. However, if two diamonds have equal carat weight, their prices and values will be different according to the three previous factors: color, clarity, and cut.
What is the best type of diamond for you as a purchaser?
After reaching this part of the article, you become aware of the factors that determine the quality of a diamond, and the categories each factor includes, ordered from the highest to the lowest quality. But those universal factors are a bit general, and you still need some buying tips to choose the best type of diamonds according to you. Following are those buying tips that you would find handy when you need to pick the best diamond according to your budget:
- To avoid confusion, look for G-J color grades of diamonds when you are buying a diamond under 1 carat because those diamonds look like a colorless diamond to the naked eye. But since the shades of colors are more detectable in large diamonds, look for G-H grades when you intend to purchase a diamond over 1 carat.
- Diamonds look like higher-color graded ones when placed on a ring or any other piece of jewelry. So it is much better to invest in a higher cut rather than a higher grade of color, as cuts are the most important factor in a diamond’s sparkle and brilliance.
- Concerning a diamond’s clarity, if you are looking just for the perfect diamond with no flaws, even ones that you can’t see, then choose VVS2 or better diamonds, nearly 10% of all the sold diamonds are ranked in this range. While the most available range of all time is the VS1-VS2 diamonds, this range made almost half of all the sold diamonds, because these diamonds seem flawless to the naked eye. Still, they are considerably less expensive than a genuinely flawless diamond. In case you are much lower on budget, SL1 would be the best type of diamonds for you as the inclusions won’t be obvious enough to affect the overall appearance.
- When it comes to considering a diamond’s cut, you should keep in mind that this is the factor which you should invest most of your money in to get the best sparkle and brilliance. It is also crucial to know that when you buy an excellent or very good cut of a diamond, you could make slightly lower options of color and clarity, and your diamond would still look fascinating.
- It is clear that the best option for a diamond’s cut would be ranging in excellent or very good categories, especially when buying round-shaped diamonds. But in case you can’t afford that, then look for a fancy-shaped diamond of a good cut. However, in this case, you have to make sure that the diamond’s symmetry and polish are very good or even excellent so that the impact of the almost average cut won’t be noticeable.
- Never buy a poor cut diamond no matter how low you are on budget. Despite their low prices, they are a complete waste of your cash.
- Carat weight could be tricky. First, stick to the popular carat scales such as 1/2 ct., 3/4 ct., etc. because those diamonds are usually a little less expensive than diamonds of full weight. For instance, a 0.90 ct. diamond will always cost much less than a 1ct. One, but they are visually the same, and the differences could not be distinguished by a naked eye.
- If you are disappointed by your budget after choosing the best diamond for you, ask for a diamond of the same specifications, but with a little bit lower carat weight. A carat weight difference up to 10% of your first choice will be very difficult to notice.
Have you ever wondered about the order to follow when you intend to reduce the quality without affecting the appearance? We advise you to start reducing the diamonds carat weight, then the clarity grade, later on, comes color, while the diamond’s cut ranks last on the quality reducing scale. Try never to reduce a diamond’s cut grade.
At last, when we think of the amazing process of diamonds formation, and that each diamond is between 1 billion and 3 billion years old, we will realize that there could never be a bad diamond. But as diamonds became the most sought-after gemstone, it is now a must that we treat ourselves or our loved ones with the best types of diamonds that would amaze every observer.