Diamonds are renowned for their ability to transmit light and sparkle so intensely. We often think of a diamond’s cut as a shape (round, heart, oval, marquise, pear), but what a diamond cut does mean is how well a diamond’s facets interact with light.
Achieving the best cut for a diamond reflects in the stone’s final beauty and value.
The cut of a diamond is determined by what will create the most desirable visual effects, such as:
Diamond Colour or a lack of colour
Understanding what diamond colour means helps in choosing the right diamond. Interestingly, the diamond colour evaluation of most gem-quality diamonds is based on the absence of colour. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue, like a drop of pure water and, consequently, a higher value. The D-to-Z diamond colour-grading system measures the degree of colourlessness by comparing a stone under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions to master stones of established colour value.
Many of these diamond colour distinctions are so subtle that they are invisible to the untrained eye; however, these distinctions make a massive difference in diamond quality and price. Coloured Diamonds, such as yellow, pink, champagne etc., have a different grading process.
Natural diamonds result from carbon exposed to tremendous heat and pressure deep in the earth. This process can result in inclusions and blemishes.
Evaluating diamond clarity involves determining the number, size, relief, nature, and position of these and how they affect the stone's overall appearance. No diamond is perfectly pure. But the closer it comes to purity, the better its clarity.
The Clarity Scale has six categories, some of which are divided, for 11 specific grades.
A diamond carat weight measures how much a diamond weighs.
A metric “carat” is defined as 200 milligrams. Each carat is subdivided into 100 ‘points.’ This allows exact measurements to the hundredth decimal place. A jeweller may describe the weight of a diamond below one carat by its ‘points’ alone. For instance, the jeweller may refer to a diamond that weighs 0.25 carats as a ‘twenty-five pointer.’ Diamond weights greater than one carat are expressed in carats and decimals. A 1.08 carat stone would be described as ‘one point oh eight carats.’
Diamond price increases with diamond carat weight because larger diamonds are rarer and more desirable. However, two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values (and prices) depending on the three other factors of the diamond 4Cs: Colour, Clarity, and Cut.
While you know what carat means, it’s important to remember that a diamond’s value is determined using all of the 4Cs, not just carat weight.