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Carat, Cut, Color and Clarity: how do they impact the quality?

The carat is the international measure of weight used for diamonds and other gemstones. It is usually represented by the acronym CT. Each carat equals 0.2 grams. In addition, the carat can be split into points: 1 carat has 100 points. In jewelry, it is very common to use the term ‘points’ to describe the weight of a diamond. That is why, you hear that a stone has 50 points.

The weight measurement is very clear: when two diamonds of similar quality – color, cut and clarity – are compared, the heavier one will be more expensive. Thus, diamond cutters often choose to sacrifice cut quality in order to produce the largest possible diamond. That’s why cuts like the heart shape are so rare and expensive. Even though more carats means a more expensive diamond, the size of the stone does not always increase in proportion to the weight.

Another issue that deserves attention is that the quality of the diamond cut influences the size and weight. The price per carat will always increase according to the rarity and quality of the stone. Do not forget, yet, that all other characteristics such as color, cut, shape and purity also influence the price and classification of the stone. Buy your diamond engagement ring from Alexander Sparks. When it comes to quality and affordability, it is better to trust the genuine seller.

Learn About 4 C’s Diamonds – Cut Rating

The cut of a diamond is one of the characteristics analyzed in the 4 C’s classification method of the GIA – Gemological Institute of America. Some experts consider the cut to be the main characteristic when evaluating a diamond, when common sense usually gives more importance to the color. The cut of a diamond concerns the quality of the cut. Several factors are analyzed, such as proportions, symmetry and polishing. So, do not confuse the cut classification with the diamond shape.

As the diamond has a very high refractive index, any cutting work will increase the brightness of the gem. However, when the cut is made in the ideal proportions, the amount of reflected light will increase. That is, the brilliance of the diamond will be much higher. The proportion is the balance between the shape, weight, size and angle of each facet of the diamond. When light hits a diamond, approximately 20% of the beams are reflected by the stone’s surface, the other 80% penetrate the gem. In this way, the ideal cut seeks to take advantage of the light that enters the diamond, while an imperfect cut wastes much of it. When light penetrates a diamond with a very deep cut, it ends up escaping the sides of the stone. In this way, the diamond loses some of its shine. The GIA created the cut quality rating which is the industry standard: Great, Very good, Good, Reasonable and Bad.

Learn About Diamonds: 4 C’s – Color Classification

The DZ model was created in 1952 and put an end to the confusion that existed in the classification of diamonds. Until the development of the DZ method, there was no lamp that could simulate daylight. Color is one of the most important characteristics of a diamond. Currently, the DZ color classification method is universally used by the jewelry and diamond industry.

The DZ system uses daylight as standard classification lighting. According to this method, diamonds are classified from colorless to slightly yellowish. The ideal diamond is colorless and is labeled with the color D. However, most diamonds have nitrogen atoms, which absorb the spectra of blue light. The result is a yellowish tint. As the yellow color becomes more evident in the diamond, it loses value and is lowered in the scale – D, better classification – Z, worst rating. A J diamond is more yellow than an F.

Colorless, Almost Colorless, Very faint yellow, Light Yellow: the diamonds in this class are considered the most valuable, according to the color classification. The difference between them is very subtle. It takes special equipment and trained eye to distinguish between diamonds D, E and F. These diamonds usually are very valuable and are often featured in major auctions. They must be used in white gold or platinum jewelry, as rosé gold and yellow bring color to the stone.

Diamond Quality Chart: Prices, Clarity, Cut, Color

Learn About Diamonds: 4 C’s – Clarity Rating

As diamonds are formed in the depths of the Earth, under extreme pressure and intense heat, they usually have small birthmarks, both external (spots) and internal (inclusions). The clarity or purity of a diamond measures the absence / presence of these small imperfections. Clarity is one of the four characteristics used by the diamond classification method known as 4 c’s. Five criteria are evaluated in relation to inclusions: quantity, position, size, nature and color. According to the criteria, diamonds must be analyzed with magnifiers with 10x magnification.

Before being cut, a diamond is carefully studied. The challenge of the cutter is to discard the largest number of inclusions, without compromising the size of the diamond.

  • FL / IF – Flawless / internally flawless – A diamond classified as FL-IF is perfect when analyzed with a 10x magnifier. That is, it has no spots and inclusions. Diamonds with this degree of clarity are extremely rare.
  • VVS1 / VVS2 – Very-very small inclusions – Inclusions of a VVS diamond are difficult to find when using 10x magnifying lenses. These inclusions cannot be identified with the naked eye.
  • VS – Very small inclusions – VS diamond inclusions can be identified by a professional with 10x magnification lenses. Only an extremely trained eye can identify the imperfections of a VS with the naked eye.
  • SI – Small inclusions – Inclusions of an SI diamond can be identified with a 10x magnifying glass by inexperienced people. In diamonds of the SI2 class, it is possible to observe imperfections.
  • I – Imperfect or imperfect – Diamonds classified as “I” have many imperfections, which are visible to the naked eye and can influence the structure of the gem. Inclusions of a diamond I also compromise color and brilliance.

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