A diamond is essentially the hard substance found in nature. They are composed of carbon atoms which are formed over millions of years at about 100 miles beneath the earth's surface, in stable portions of the continental crust known as cratons. With the right conditions of high pressure and high temperature, carbon atoms found is melting rocks bond together forming diamonds.
Traditionally, the quality of a diamond is reflected in characteristics which include Color, Cut, Clarity, and Carat Weight. Each of these characteristics affects a diamond’s beauty and value.
Diamond color refers to the amount of color and hue available in a diamond’s composition. The color range of diamonds falls under the D-Z Scale, D being colorless, and Z having the most color and hue. A chemically pure diamond, which contains no color and hue, has a higher value due to rarity. Diamonds that fall in a scale after the Z-Range are considered to be Fancy Colored Diamonds. It is important to understand that in each scale of color, there is a range of colors; two F-Color diamonds might not be the same absolute color, even to the naked eye.
Diamond cut is an essential factor to a diamond’s sparkle and brilliance. ‘Cut’ refers to the placement of the facets, symmetry, proportion, and polish of a diamond. The brilliance of a diamond depends heavily on its’ cut. A well cut diamond will shine far brighter than a diamond with a poor cut. It is important to understand that Diamond cut is not the same as the diamond shape. Shape refers to the general external appearance of the diamond. Popular diamond shapes include round, oval, emerald cut, heart-shaped, marquise, and pear-shape.
Diamond clarity describes the quality of the diamond in relation to existing and visible appearances of surface flaws (blemishes) and internal impurities (inclusions). A diamond with no blemishes or inclusions is referred to as Flawless, being the most valuable. The number, color, size, location and visibility of inclusions, which are graded under a 10 x magnification, affect the clarity of a diamond.
Diamond Carat Weight
Diamond carat weight is a metric measurement which refers to how much a diamond weighs. Each ‘carat’ is equivalent to 200 milligrams. As a diamonds carat weight increases, so does its value, as larger diamonds are rarer and more sought after. It is important to understand though, that two diamonds of the same carat weight do not necessarily have the same value, as clarity, color and cut play major roles in the value of the diamond.
Diamond Character is a 5th characteristic that is important to consider. It is nearly impossible to find two identical diamonds. Each and every diamond has its’ own unique and inimitable personality whether it is due to the color, cut, carat weight or clarity. You might find a diamond with an ‘S’ shaped inclusion naturally formed in it, which cannot be reproduced or found in any other diamond. That is what makes every single diamond unique with its’ own personality and character.