When discussing diamond education, the best place to start is with the shape. The shape of a diamond, not to be confused with the cut, refers to the outline of the stone. Round, as seen in the round brilliant cut, is the most common shape. Fancy shapes, like non-round diamond shapes, include pear, rectangle, oval, marquis, and even triangle.
Four C’s Of A Diamond
In the middle of the 20th century, GIA created the four C’s, the universal measure for assessing the quality of diamonds so that customers could know what they were purchasing and that diamond quality could be assessed in a universally accepted language.
The rarest diamonds are colorless, like pure water. Consequently, colorless diamonds have higher value. The most widely accepted measurement of a diamond’s color is GIA’s D-to-Z color-grading system. GIA’s system evaluates the lack of trace minerals in the stone. The scale begins with D, or a complete absence of color, and progresses to the letter Z. D, E, and F are often referred to as colorless, while G, H, I, and J are considered near colorless. As you move closer to Z, the diamonds pick up more warmth and earthy tones.
Diamonds are naturally formed as carbon is exposed to massive heat and pressure deep in the earth. Clarity relates to the minerals or characteristics that the diamond produces when it is still liquid carbon. Evaluating a diamond’s clarity involves determining these characteristics. The amount, size, and scale of mineral characteristics determine a diamond’s clarity, affecting its sparkle.
Renowned for their ability to transmit light and sparkle brilliantly, the cut of a diamonds determines its sparkle . Not to be confused with a diamond’s shape, a diamond’s cut relates to how the diamond interacts with light for maximum brightness, fire, and scintillation. The quality of cut is vital to the diamond’s final beauty and value. Of all four Cs, cut is the most complex and challenging to evaluate.
Carat weight is the measurement of a diamond’s weight. A metric “carat” is defined as 200 milligrams. Each carat is subdivided into 100 ‘points.’ A diamond with a larger carat weight is more expensive because larger diamonds are rarer. Conversely, two diamonds with equal carat weight can have very different values and prices. This is because not all cuts, clarities, or colors are equal. A diamond’s value comes from not just the carat weight but a combination of all four C’s.