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Diamond Guide

DIAMOND EDUCATION :

All Diamonds come in different shapes, cut and unique characterise. Beautiful. Exceptional. Esteem. Each diamond is unique and is a miracle of time, place and change. And each has specific qualities that establish its value. Every diamond is unique, and there are a variety of factors which affect the price of a diamond. Focus on those factors most important to you, and choose a diamond that satisfies your individual standards for beauty and value. This might be a very different diamond than someone else with a similar budget would choose. At Emirates Diamonds, we want to help find the best diamond for you. Accepted standard for describing diamonds: Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight. Today, the 4Cs of Diamond Quality is the universal method for assessing the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world. The creation of the Diamond 4Cs meant two very important things: diamond quality could be communicated in a universal language, and diamond customers could now know exactly what they were about to purchase.

Color :

The color evaluation of most gem-quality diamonds is based on the absence of color. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue, like a drop of pure water, and consequently, a higher value. GIA’s D-to-Z color-grading system measures the degree of colorlessness by comparing a stone under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions to masterstones of established color value.

The GIA grades diamonds on a scale of D (colorless) through Z (light color). All D-Z diamonds are considered white, even though they contain varying degrees of color. True fancy colored diamonds (such as yellows, pinks, and blues) are graded on a separate color scale.

Below is the GIA diamond color chart with definitions, accompanied by further Explanatory comments from Emirates :

 Colorless

 

While there are differences in color between D, E, and F diamonds, they can be detected only by a gemologist in side by side comparisons, and rarely by the untrained eye.

D-F diamonds should only be set in white gold / platinum. Yellow gold reflects color, negating the diamond’s colorless effect.

 Near Colorless

 

While containing traces of color, G-J diamonds are suitable for a platinum or white gold setting, which would normally betray any hint of color in a diamond.

Because I-J diamonds are more common than the higher grades, they tend to be a great value. An I-J diamond may retail for half the price of a D diamond. Within the G-J range, price tends to increase 10-20% between each diamond grade.

 Faint Color

 

Beginning with K diamonds, color (usually a yellow tint) is more easily detected by thenaked eye.

Set in yellow gold, these warm colored diamonds appeal to some, and are an exceptional value. Others will feel they have too much color. Due to its perceptible color tint, a K diamond is often half the price of a G diamond.

Very Light Color

 

Diamonds in the N-R color range have an easily seen yellow or brown tint, but are much less expensive than higher grades.

 Light Color

 

For almost all customers, S-Z diamonds have too much color for a white diamond.

Clarity :

Diamond clarity is the assessment of small imperfections on the surface and internally. The surface flaws are called blemishes, and internal defects are known as inclusions. These tiny, natural blemishes and inclusions are microscopic and do not affect a diamond’s beauty in any way. Diamonds with the least and smallest inclusions receive the highest clarity grades.

Clarity is one of the 4Cs of diamond grading and quality. Diamond clarity is the least important factor when choosing to buy a diamond because most diamonds have blemishes and small inclusions that are microscopic, unable to be seen with an untrained or unaided eye.The position of an inclusion affects how easily it can be seen. Diamond cutters make every effort to cut a stone so that inclusions are not visible through the table of the finished diamond. The preferred position for inclusions is under the bezel facets or near the girdle because they are harder to see there.

Below is the GIA diamond color chart with definitions, accompanied by further Explanatory comments from Emirates :

FL

Flawless:No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.

Extremely rare, less than 1 in 5000 jewelry quality diamonds are rated FL.

IF

Internally Flawless:No inclusions, only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.

FL and IF diamonds appear identical unless viewed under 10x magnification by a skilled grader. Less than 3% of jewelry quality diamonds are rated IF.

VVS1

VVS2

Very, Very Slightly Included:Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification.

VVS1 inclusions are typically only visible from the pavilion, while VVS2 inclusions are visible from the crown. In each, the inclusions are invisible to the eye, appearing identical to the higher grades unless viewed under 10x magnification by a skilled grader.

VS1

VS2

Very Slightly Included:Inclusions are clearly visible under 10x magnification but can be characterized as minor.

Inclusions are not visible to the naked eye. Perhaps 1 in 100 untrained observers can detect VS2 inclusions with the naked eye, on close inspection under ideal conditions.

SI1

SI2

Slightly Included:Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.

SI1 is the lowest grade with flaws often invisible to the naked eye. SI2 inclusions are usually visible to the naked eye, although they will require close inspection.

I1

I2

I3

Included:Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance.

I1 diamonds have inclusions that are almost always visible to the naked eye.

Because I2-I3 diamonds have pronounced inclusions, and in the case of I3 may even affect the diamond’s durability.

Cut :

The diamond cut is the most important element to consider when buying a diamond. The cut is the biggest factor in creating sparkle and fire, and without a high cut grade even a diamond of high quality can appear dull and lifeless. A diamond cut poorly and too deep can face-up smaller than it actually is. Use our buying tips, diamond cut grading scale and comparison chart, and expert tips to help you choose the best diamond cut for your budget.

The cut of a diamond has the single biggest impact on the overall beauty of the diamond and is, therefore, considered to be the most important aspect of the selection process. The better the cut the more the diamond sparkles (the greater the brilliance). Customers should try to maximise the cut specification selection within their own budget.

Please remember:

  • The cut has the largest impact on the brilliance (sparkle) of a diamond
  • The cut has the biggest impact on the beauty of a diamond
  • The cut is considered to be the most important characteristic of a diamond
  • The Emirates gemologist team recommend putting “cut” as the most important variable in the selection process

Cut grade is assigned by the GIA using the following scale:

Excellent

Maximum fire and brilliance. Reflects nearly all of the light that enters the diamond, creating exceptional sparkle and life.

Very Good

Properly reflects most of the light that enters the diamond, producing superior fire and brilliance. Under normal lighting conditions, appears very similar to Excellent Cut, but for a lower price.

Good

Reflects a majority of the light that enters the diamond, for an above average appearance. An excellent value compared to higher cut grades.

Fair

Allows much of the light entering the diamond to escape from the sides or bottom, reducing perceived fire and brilliance. More acceptable in diamonds of less than .75 carats, where differences in sparkle are more difficult to perceive.

Poor

Allows most of the light entering the diamond to escape from the sides or bottom. The diamond may appear noticeably dull and lifeless, even to an untrained eye.

Carat :

Diamond carat is often misunderstood and refers to a diamond’s weight, not necessarily its size. When comparing diamond carat sizes, take a diamond’s cut into consideration as well: a high-carat diamond with a poor cut grade may look smaller, often cut deeper, than a diamond with smaller carat weight and a better cut. Use our buying tips, diamond carat size chart, and expert tips to help you choose the best diamond carat weight for you.

Two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different costs based on other factors (such as cut, color, and clarity). In understanding the importance of carat weight, know thy partner. If the recipient’s heart is set on a certain size diamond, then carat weight will probably be the most important factor in your search until the desired size is attained. At that point, other criteria will take on more importance. Most women can tell you the carat weight and shape of their ideal diamond, and most men can tell you the price. As the carat size of a diamond increases, the diamond’s price increases at an increasing rate. Why? Because the larger the diamond, the more increasingly rare it is. Fewer than one in one million mined rough stones are large enough to produce a finished 1 carat diamond. So, as carat weight increases, you will typically pay more not only in total, but on a price-per-carat basis as well.

Two diamonds of equal carat weight may also appear very different in size based on the shape of the diamond. For instance, a 1 carat marquise tends to appear larger than a 1 carat round. The chart below illustrates why. For each diamond, the chart shows the following:

– Approximate size. The diamond images shown are a very close approximation of the actual size of a 1 carat excellent cut for each shape. Visually, the longer shapes (oval, marquise, pear, emerald) tend to appear larger to the eye than the round and square shapes.

– Measurements (Length x Width). The measurements correspond to the shape shown above, and are typical for excellent cut diamonds of 1 carat weight.

– Crown Area – The total surface area (mm2). The area gives the true size of the diamond face up (as it would appear when set in a ring). For example, while the oval diamond image appears larger than the round image, the actual surface area is the same for the two shapes, meaning the difference in size is one of perception, not reality. In contrast, the oval not only appears larger than the princess cut, it actually has a larger surface area (approximately 10% larger in this example), meaning the difference is not simply an illusion created by the elongated shape.