Diamond Education

Diamond Guide – Diamond Education

This Diamond Education defines the most essential characteristics of a diamond along with tips for its care. By understanding these characteristics, you”ll be able to shop with confidence.
 Cut
Rather than describing the shape of a stone, cut refers to the proportion, symmetry brilliance and polish of a diamond. This means that the diamond cutter has taken into account the inherent characteristics of each individual stone and chose the best way to shape it to accentuate its beauty. A diamond gets its brilliance and scintillation by the cutting and polishing of its facets, allowing the maximum amount of light that enters through its top to be reflected and dispersed back through the top. It is very essential to know Diamond Anatomy before understanding Cut.
 Diamond Anatomy
Diamond Anatomy

  • Diameter: Width of a diamond measured through the Girdle.
  • Table: Largest facet of a gemstone.
  • Crown: Top portion of a diamond extending from the Girdle to the Table.
  • Girdle: Intersection of the Crown and Pavilion which defines the perimeter of the diamond.
  • Pavilion: Bottom portion of a diamond, extending from the Girdle to the Culet.
  • Culet: Facet at the tip of a gemstone. The preferred Culet is not visible with an unaided eye (graded “none” or “small”).
  • Depth: Height of a gemstone measured from the Culet to the Table.

The cut of a diamond establishes how it reflects light, which is responsible for its sparkle or brilliance. Cut has following three components:

Diamond Cut by ShapeA Diamond Cut by Shape describes the outline of the stone and pattern of the facet arrangement. A stone can be cut in various Shapes like Round, Princess, Heart, Oval, Pear etc. We will understand various diamond shapes in Shape part.Diamond Cut by Shape

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diamond Cut by Depth

With proper cutting (diagram 1 below) the light passes through the top, bounces off the sides, and then travels back out the top, giving the diamond optimum brilliance. If the diamond is cut too deep (diagram 2), light passes through the side of the diamond. If the diamond is cut too shallow (diagram 3), light passes through the bottom of the diamond, also inhibiting maximum brilliance.

cut diagram

 

Diamond Polish and Symmetry

Polish and symmetry are two important aspects of the cutting process. The Diamond Polish expresses the smoothness of the diamond”s facets where as the Symmetry refers to alignment of the facets. A poor Diamond Polish, or rough facets, can diminish a diamond”s brilliance, as well as its value.

Diamond Polish and Symmetry

Color

While white or colourless stones are traditionally used in diamond engagement rings, diamonds are found in a wide spectrum of colours. Engagement ring diamonds are graded from D to Z, with D being the prized colourless diamond. The hue of D, E and F coloured diamonds is difficult to differentiate to the untrained eye, but the amount of colour becomes more apparent as the alphabet progresses. Z graded diamonds are a pale yellow or brown colour, and anything falling outside of this range is considered a fancy coloured diamond. The colour of the metal in a mounting can either mask or enhance the diamond colour. Yellow gold makes slightly yellow or brown diamonds appear more colourless. If a diamond is mounted in white gold or platinum, the colour becomes more apparent

Diamond Color Grade Table

Color Grade Description On Unaided Eye Inspection
Colorless Colorless Stone looks absolutely clear and transparent, with no hint of color.
Near Colorless Near Colorless Stone looks clear and transparent. Color will be noticeable by experts only when compared to diamonds of better grades.
Faint yellow Faint yellow Color slightly detectable and will be noticeable by experts only.
Very Light yellow Very Light yellow Stone shows an increasing yellow tint, even to an untrained eye.
Light yellow Light yellow Stone appears yellow, even to an untrained eye.
Fancy Fancy Bright, remarkable color – usually blue, pink, yellow, Red etc.

 

Fluorescent Diamonds

Fluorescence is not formally a colour grading term. Many diamonds glow when exposed to light which contains relatively high amounts of ultraviolet. This is due to a natural interaction between the light’s energy and the atoms in the diamond. Some diamonds (about 10%) fluoresce strongly enough so as to be somewhat noticeable in regular (incandescent) light. Generally, for very light yellow colour diamonds, fluorescence is considered to be beneficial since it makes the diamond appear whiter.

Clarity

Diamonds you buy from Affinity are graded according to the GIA, the worldwide standard for grading gems. Most diamonds contain internal “birthmarks”, called inclusions, which make each diamond individual. There are 11 grades of diamonds, ranging from the rarest Flawless (FL) which contain no inclusions when viewed under 10x magnification, to I3, where the diamond contains inclusions easily apparent to the naked eye. Master cutters take into account these inclusions when shaping the diamond, and they don’t endanger the beauty or durability of the diamond. Diamonds graded SI2 and above are generally considered “eye clean” with these marks only visible under magnification. When you buy a diamond at Affinity, one of our diamond experts will show you examples of different grades to help you choose the perfect diamond.

Diamond Clarity Grading Scale Table

Image Clarity Grade Scale Description On Inspection through 10x magnification
Flawless F Flawless Clear Stone, no inclusions or blemishes. Exceptional and beautiful diamonds.
Internally Flawless IF Internally Flawless No inclusions and only insignificant surface blemishes. Rare and beautiful diamonds.
Very, Very Slightly Included – 1 & 2 VVS1 – VVS2 Very, Very Slightly Included – 1 & 2 Tiny inclusions, which are extremely difficult to find, even under 10x magnifications. An excellent quality diamond.
Very Slightly Included – 1 & 2 VS1 – VS2 Very Slightly Included – 1 & 2 Minor inclusions, which are difficult to see under 10 x magnification. These stones are less expensive than the VVS1 or VVS2 grades.
Slightly Included – 1 & 2 SI1 – SI2 Slightly Included – 1 & 2 Inclusions, which are easy to see under 10 x magnification. A good diamond value.
Included – 1, 2 & 3 I1 – I2 – I3 Included – 1, 2 & 3 Inclusions, which are easy to see under 10 x magnification and sometimes, may be visible with the unaided eye. A good diamond value. Generally I3 grade is not used for jewelry purposes and mostly used in industrial applications.

 

Carat

Refers to the weight of a diamond. It is a metric unit used to measure the weight of gemstones and pearls.  One carat is equal to 200mg.  Furthermore, each carat is divided into 100 points. Therefore, ¼ carat diamond is considered as 25 points and ½ carat diamond is considered as 50 points. Although size is an important factor in determining the value of a diamond (the greater the carat weight, the rarer and more valuable the diamond becomes), the cut, color , and clarity are equally important.

Diamond’s Carat Weight Scale

Diamond''s Carat Weight Scale

Shape
A Diamond Cut by Shape describes the outline of the stone and pattern of the facet arrangement. Although diamonds are available in various shapes like Round, Princess, Heart, Oval, Pear etc., but when most people think of diamonds, what comes to their mind is the modern round brilliant cut because in jewelry industry, this shape is sold more than 75% of all diamonds. All other non-round shapes are called fancy shapes and these different diamond shapes show individual”s style and personality.

The most popular and stylish shapes are defined as under:

 

Round Brilliant Cutround The Round Brilliant Cut diamond is the most traditional and popular of all the diamond shapes. Many experts consider this shape ideal for a diamond because it maximizes its sparkle. It has 58 facets: 1 table, 8 bezel facets, 16 upper-girdle facets on the crown, 8 pavilion facets, 16 lower girdle facets, and usually a culet on the pavilion. This shape of diamond is most commonly used in solitaire diamond engagement rings.
Princess Cut
princess
Second only to the round brilliant diamond in popularity is the square-shaped princess cut diamond. Originally patented as the Quadrillion diamond, this versatile shape can stand alone as a solitaire, or make a real statement with shoulder accents or a diamond-set band. The ideal princess cut will have length to width ratio is as close to 1.00:1.00 as possible, as princess cut diamonds can range from this perfect square through to almost rectangular. When choosing a princess cut diamond, be on the lookout for girdles which are extremely thin and can be prone to chipping.
Emerald Cut
emerald_cut_diamond
 The Emerald Cut diamond is a square or rectangular shaped stone with cut corners. This is also known as Step Cut because it has rows of facets, usually 48 to 50, that resemble a staircase. Due to its larger, more open table, this shape highlights the clarity of a diamond but with fewer facets brings less brilliance than the other shapes.
Oval Cut
oval
The Oval Cut is also a beautiful shape and provides great brilliance and fire through its 56 facets. A well cut Oval shaped diamond can be almost as bright as a well cut Round Brilliant shaped diamond.
Marquise Cut
marquis
The Marquise Cut is a traditional shape having elongated ends at both edges. The pointed ends make this shape the most fragile and the most expensive of brilliant style cuts. It has a total of 56 facets, construction of which requires a lot of experience and the delicacy of its sharp points demands utmost precaution. Now-a-days this shape is very popular for engagement rings.
Pear Cut
pear-cut-diamond
 The Pear Cut diamond is often called a teardrop due to its single point and rounded end with 56 to 58 facets. This shape is popular for its uniqueness and brilliance. Pear Shape diamond is mostly used in pendants and also a good choice for a hand with smaller fingers.
Asscher Cut
 asscher
The Asscher Cut is a modified version of the Emerald Cut. This shape is named after Joseph Asscher of Holland who was an eminent diamond cutter. In 1902, his company, Asscher Diamond Co., developed and patented the Asscher Cut, a squarer step cut with an almost octagonal outline. This new cut enhanced the fire and light of the stone; it had a small table, a high crown, wide step facets, a deep pavilion and square culet.
 Radiant Cut
radiant_side
The Radiant Cut is a rectangular or square stone with cut corners. This shape comes with 62 to 70 facets and offers the elegance of the emerald shape with the brilliance of the princess shape. Trimmed corners are the signature of this shape, and they help to make the radiant cut a popular and versatile choice for jewelry. Diamonds with radiant shape look very good when adorned with baguettes or round side stones.
Heart Cut
heart
The human heart is the ultimate symbol of love and the Heart Cut is regarded as the most romantic of all the shapes. The Heart shaped diamond is essentially a pear-shaped diamond with a cleft at the top and it typically contains 59 facets. Due to the complexity of the shape, skilled cutting is necessary to maintain the diamond’s brilliance. Generally people prefer a heart shape diamond for sentimental purposes. This shape is mostly used in pendants, but also suitable for most jewelryitems.
Cushion Cut
cushion
Cushion Cut diamonds are also known as “pillow cut” diamonds. This shape ranging from square to rectangular and it has rounded corners and larger facets to increase its brilliance. These larger facets also highlight the diamond”s clarity.
Trilliant Cut
trillian
The Trilliant Cut is one of the unusual cuts and the diamond with this shape displays a very sharp brilliance or fire. This triangular shaped diamonds may either have pointed corners or more rounded corners.

 

Certificate

Acquisition of a Diamond or Diamond Jewellery is an important expression of love or accomplishment but on the same time it also represents a major investment of money. It is essential for you to know the credentials of the diamond and obtain confidence in the integrity of what you have acquired.

A Diamond Certificate or Diamond Grading Report is a statement, issued by an independent Gemological Laboratory, that at the time of evaluation, the diamond in question has been examined, measured, and scrutinized by experienced Diamond Graders, using various gemological instruments, and determined to contain the characteristics as stated in the Certificate or Report.

In other words, a diamond certificate can be accurately described as the blueprint of a diamond. This Certificate or Report includes an analysis of the diamond’s characteristics in an easy to understand format. Generally a certificate or report covers following characteristics of a diamond along with the laboratory and certificate details:

 

  • Name of the Laboratory
  • Certificate Number
  • Shape and Cutting Style
  • Measurements of the Diamond”s diameter
  • Carat Weight
  • Colour Grade
  • Clarity Grade
  • Cut Grade
  • Finish, Polish & Symmetry
  • Fluorescence
  • Comments
  • Plotted diagram of the diamond for the imperfections.
  • Key to Symbols that helps us to identify characteristics marked in the plot.
  • Security Features for the Certificate
  • Graphical image of Diamond Structure
  • Information about Diamond’s Depth, Table, Girdles, Culet and Facets etc.

 

This certificate doesn’t state monetary value of a diamond.