Archive for Diamond Grading
A diamond without sparkle is a bit like a shark without teeth. Regardless of who is wearing the diamond, man or woman, a diamond is expected to sparkle. Sparkle is caused by the light working with the color of the diamond. The diamond cutters are well aware of how important light is and they cut the diamond to realize the most light within the diamond.
The diamond cutters who are the least in the trade often try to create as many facets as they can on the diamond in order to get as much sparkle as possible from a fairly cheap stone. The consumers who do not know better get taken by what appears to be more sparkle. Warped diamonds are often used to create this illusion in an effort to pocket the money of an unsuspecting buyer. This means that the market place can be the province of the shyster as well as the professional. Great care has to be taken when considering sparkle.
When not being awed by the sparkle of a diamond, there are other things that must be considered before purchasing what appears to be a great diamond. There are so many places that will sell only “perfect” diamonds. Be very careful with the term “perfect” as it means different things to different people. Unless you know something about the lab that graded the diamond one should take the lab grading as a bird in the bush. If the lab is super well known with a reputation for truth, chances are the diamond is safe. Other labs are only interested in obtaining their money and will fudge a bit in accepting a stone as being a perfect diamond.
The FTC came out in the late 1960’s and addressed what it considered as a perfect diamond. According to the FTC, only a D Flawless could be called “Perfect”. Now a word change has taken place and diamonds have gone from “Perfect” to “an ideal cut diamond.” The FTC has not stepped in as of yet, but will probably within the next few years to return to the accepted definition of a perfect diamond. When purchasing a diamond, always ask about the class of cut a diamond is. There are hard and fast rules governing the cut. Remember that a perfect diamond will have the required sparkle about it.
Sparkle can lead one astray in the purchasing of a diamond. Too many people purchase diamonds based on what they can see in the showroom. It is easy to understand that jewelers can make any diamond look good in the display case. The right lighting can make every diamond sparkle and shine, but when one gets the diamond under different light conditions, the sparkle is all but gone.
The purchasing of diamonds on the internet can present certain problems for the buyer. There isn’t any possible way for one to judge what is being purchased from a picture on the website. The only protection that a buyer has is the reputation of the internet dealer and that may take some searching to discover with whom one is dealing. One thing that a buyer must do is try to protect himself as best he can which may involve a third party acting as the purchasing agent with access to the original stone and who can judge the quality of the stone.
Even a diamond that looks flawless to a naked eye can have subtle factors which affect the market value of the diamond. This is where things can get tricky. Most jewelers use the diamond grading system developed by GIA to price a diamond. The grading system is based on a diamond’s color, cut, clarity and carat weight and is most commonly known as the 4C’s or four C’s of diamonds. Before you purchase a diamond it is important that you understand the 4C’s so that you can find a great certified diamond based on your personal preference and budget.
If you are just trying to buy a diamond ring for personal satisfaction like a diamond engagement ring, then don’t get too caught up on making sure that your diamond meets the GIA textbook definition of a perfect diamond. Instead, look for a brilliance and radiance of a stone. Don’t go crazy over finding a perfect diamond but do get a basic understanding of the GIA grading system and you’ll be sure to find a great stone for your money.
Our guides will help you understand the 4c’s of diamonds and help you understand diamonds.
The 4 C’s Made Easy
Cut (Is the diamond cut in a way so that as much light as possible can travel into the diamond?)
The cut of the diamond is the most important of the 4C’s as it controls 98% of the diamond’s brilliance. If a diamond is cut properly it will still be very brilliant (sparkly) even if it’s clarity or color isn’t that great. We recommend looking for diamonds with AGS ideal cut proportions grade.
Clarity (Is the diamond cloudy?)
Clarity is how clean the diamond is. Some diamonds have cloudiness and that’s what you want to stay from. The recommended clarity of a good diamond is SI-1 or VS-2 for most people; however, if you want to spend more money you can buy an even cleaner diamond. A diamond may have inclusions inside the diamond that can be air bubbles, cuts, and or breaks to name a few. Blemishes are flaws on the outside of the diamond including scratches, nips and chips to name a few.
Internally Flawless: IF
Very Very Slightly Included: VVS-1 and VVS-2
Very Slightly Included: VS-1 and VS-2
Slightly Included: SI-1 , SI-2 , SI-3
Color (How close is it to being colorless?)
An ideal diamond is completely colorless. A white diamond is graded on a scale from D-z, D being the best and z being the worst. So a good diamond should stay in the realm of D-colorless to I-near colorless. With the exception of natural fancy colors such as red, pink, blue, green colorless diamonds (D,E,F) sell at the highest prices. But like we mentioned the cut is more important than color, if the diamond is AGS ideal because of its cut and brilliance then that will be the dominant factor.
The carat weight of a diamond is the least important facet of the diamond. Some women want a big diamond to wear as a status symbol but when choosing a diamond as an investment then size is not the first thing you should look for, cut and clarity is.