DIAMOND

 

Diamonds are the most prized and valued of all gemstones. It is the hardest known substance yet has the simplest chemical composition, consisting of crystallized carbon, the chemical element that is fundamental to all life. First mined in India over 4000 years ago and was the only source of diamonds until the beginning of the 18th century, except for minor deposits found in Kalimantan, Borneo. Today the most prized diamonds are still known as the ‘diamonds of Golconda,’ a region located between the lower reaches of the Godavari and Krishna rivers. Golconda diamonds are believed to be the finest and purest of any gemstones. They have a perfect internal crystal structure, exceptional transparency and are without any trace of colour.

 

 

It is believed that Alexander the Great brought the first diamonds to Europe from India in 327BC, instigating the expansion of trade routes between Europe and the East. Ancient Greeks believed diamonds to be ‘tears of the gods’ and splinters of falling stars. The word ‘diamond’ is derived from the Greek word ‘adamas’, meaning invincible, indestructible, and later translated into Latin as ‘Diamas’. By the early part of the 18th century Indian mines became increasingly depleted and at this time Brazil had surfaced as the next biggest supplier of diamonds. However, sources slowly dwindled in Brazil after only 150 years and a new discovery was made in South Africa.

 

 

In 1866, a child found an unusual pebble near Orange River at Cape Colony. This turned out to be a diamond of approximately 21 carats and that was named ‘Eureka’. The following year another stone was discovered, later confirmed as 83.5 carats. This was to become known as the ‘Star of South Africa’. The largest and most magnificent of all time was found in South Africa in 1905, weighing 3,106 carats and named the ‘Cullinan’. The great diamond rush had started, and new deposits continued to be discovered, larger than any the world had ever known. At the beginning of the 20th century South Africa had established itself as the world’s top diamond producing country, and was followed by other countries within the African continent and beyond. This marked the start of a new chapter in the history of diamonds. Currently, the major diamond producing countries by volume are Russia, Botswana, DR Congo, Australia, Canada, South Africa and Angola, with the African continent seeing the most development.

 

DIAMOND THE 4C's

DIAMOND VALUE

There are four main factors by which the value and quality of a diamond is determined. These factors are: COLOUR, CLARITY, CUT and CARAT. The 4C’s (as they are commonly known) and any combination of these factors will make it possible to understand the quality and the value of a gem.

COLOUR

Colour is the most important characteristic of a gemstone and it is one of the key factors to be considered when determining the value of a diamond. The ideal colour is the total absence of all body colour (colourless) except in fancy colours of yellow, pink, blue, green, champagne, black and the very rare red, where an intense hue is an asset. A very precise scale of colour grading is in general use today in the diamond trade as defined by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America).

DIAMOND COLOUR CHART

D Exceptional White + The Exceptional White (+) diamond with a grade of D is the very rarest of the diamond colour range. The diamond will be completely colourless. This makes it the most valuable coloured diamond. Grade: Colourless.
E Exceptional White The Exceptional White diamond with a grade of E is also very rare. The difference between D and E is hard to detect when compared. This diamond is graded colourless. This also makes it very valuable. Grade: Colourless.
F Rare White + The Rare White (+) diamond is the third highest coloured graded diamond achievable. Its graded F as the diamond is colourless when viewed through the crown. Grade: Colourless when viewed through the crown.
G Rare White The Rare White is a fine alternative to the top three colour grades. This colour still makes for an outstanding diamond. Its grade of G is colourless when viewed through the crown. Grade: Colourless when viewed through the crown.
H White The White coloured diamond has a small noticeable colour difference when compared to the top 4 colour grades. Its grade of H is colourless when viewed through the crown. Grade: Colourless when viewed through the crown.
I Slighty Tinted The Slightly Tinted White is a great staring point if your buying a diamond on a budget. The colour difference is still very slight making it hard to tell the difference when compared to other grades. Its grade of I is slightly coloured. Grade: Slightly coloured.
J Slightly Tinted White Still only slightly tinted but this J grade diamond is normally the cut off point for many retail diamond stores. The J grade still offers great value for money and is also near colourless. Grade: Slightly coloured.

CLARITY

The clarity of a diamond is assessed by examination of imperfections, inclusions,(internal objects) and blemishes(external marks) under magnification of 10x. Almost all diamonds contain minute traces of non-crystallized carbon or small non-diamond crystals and are nature’s fingerprint making every diamond unique. Most of them are not visible to the naked eye and require magnification to be apparent. However, the fewer there are, the rarer the gemstone will be.

DIAMOND CLARITY CHART

FL Flawless FL (flawless) - no inclusions or blemishes of any sort are visable to a skilled diamond grader using 10x magnification.
IF Internally Flawless IF (internally flawless) - no inclusions and only blemishes are visable to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.
VVS Very very small Inclusions VVS1 and VVS2 (very very slightly included) - inclusion are difficult for a skilled grader to see using 10x magnification.
VS Very small Inclusions VS1 and VS2 (very slightly included) - inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.
SI Small Inclusions SI1 and SI2 (slightly included) - inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.

CUT

The cut of the diamond, its proportions and symmetry are of extraordinary importance as they have the greatest influence on the brilliance, liveliness or sparkle of a stone. This is the one factor most influenced by man as the other three are dictated by nature. The polisher’s skill is also important for shaping the stone. The most popular diamond shape is the round brilliant cut. Other shapes, such as the emerald-cut, oval, pear, heart, princess cut and marquise are referred to as ‘fancy cut’.

Diamond Cut Chart

Anatomy Of a Diamond Explained

Diamond can be cut into many different shapes and sizes. The final cut of a diamond is very important as it contributes to the overall brilliance. The main anatomy of a diamond consists of the girdle, table width, crown, pavilion and culet. Please review the diagram below for reference. The cut is very important as it has a significant outcome in respect to the reflective qualities of the diamond. If a diamond is perfectly cut light from all sides are bent towards the centre of the stone and are reflected back towards the crown and create a rainbow spectrum.

Ideal Cut Diamond

Ideal cut diamonds have been cut to exact proportions and polished with great attention to detail. As more time is required for the most skilled diamond cutters, and more of the rough material must be sacrificed in order to produce ideal cut diamonds the final product is considered very valuable. The ideal cut diamonds hold more value in comparison to Deep or Shallow cut diamonds.

Deep Cut Diamond

Deep cut diamonds will reflect much of the light to the opposite facets, causing the light to reflect at the wrong angle. This effect means light is lost through the side of the diamond. The diamond may appear darker in the center.

Shallow Cut Diamond

In a diamond cut too shallow, the light will be lost through the bottom of the diamond (Pavilion) and the naked eye may see a duller reflection.

Click here to view the Diamond Cut Guide

CARAT

DIAMOND SIZE CHART

The carat is a unit of mass equal to 200 mg (0.2 g; 0.007055 oz) and is used for measuring gemstones and pearls. The current definition, sometimes known as the metric carat, was adopted in 1907 at the Fourth General Conference on Weights and Measures, and soon afterward in many countries around the world. The carat is divisible into one hundred points of two milligrams each. Other subdivisions, and slightly different mass values, have been used in the past in different locations. Ref. Wiki

Diamond Image Size are displayed approximately.

0.03cts (2.0mm)

0.05cts (2.5mm)

0.07cts (2.7mm)

0.10ct (3.0mm)

0.15cts (3.4mm)

0.20cts (3.8mm)

0.25cts (4.1mm)

0.30cts (4.5mm)

0.40ct (4.8mm)

0.50cts (5.2mm)

0.65cts (5.6mm)

0.75cts (5.9mm)

0.85cts (6.2mm)

1.00ct (6.5mm)

1.25cts (7.0mm)

1.50cts (7.4mm)

1.75cts (7.8mm)

2.00cts (8.2mm)

2.25ct (8.6mm)

2.50cts (9.0mm)

3.00cts (9.3mm)

4.00cts (10.2mm)

5.00cts (11.0mm)

6.00ct (11.7mm)

7.00cts (12.4mm)