What Makes One Diamond More Valuable Than Another?
We’ve seen the evolution of the diamond. Since we opened in 1891, we’ve witnessed new cuts emerge and old ones become classics. Each cut has its own personality, which makes choosing the type of diamond shape an important part of finding the perfect diamond for each special occasion. Whichever shape you select, be assured that it represents outstanding quality and value.
Even The Most Humble Diamonds Are Rare
Two hundred and fifty tons of earth must be moved to produce a one carat polished diamond. It requires on average a 3 1/2 carat rough diamond to produce a 1 carat polished diamond. Of all the diamonds ever discovered, only a small percentage is of gem quality. Diamond is the hardest substance known to man, so it is highly prized for its uses in mining and manufacturing as well as in jewelry.
The 4 C’s – Cut
The beauty and value of a diamond rests partially in the hands of the craftsman. A vital aspect of a diamond’s value is cut. The quality of the cut determines its fire, or brilliance. A well cut diamond maximizes the reflection of light. The proper angle and symmetry of the facets, in conjunction with the stone’s polish, unleash the diamond’s fire and enhances its natural beauty. Therefore, the more delicate and precise a cut is, the more the diamond will sparkle and the more brilliant it will be.
The 4 C’s – Clarity
Like people, all diamonds are unique. As diamonds are being formed, small amounts of minerals are trapped in them during the crystallization process. These mineral characteristics identify individual diamonds, much like fingerprints do for people. Called “inclusions”, their locations, number, sizes and color determine the diamond’s value. The fewer imposing inclusions there are, the higher the clarity of the diamond. It will reflect more light, and the diamond will be deemed more valuable. A diamond without visible inclusions is a rare act of nature. It will return the most light to the eye, since there is nothing to distort the light’s path.
Characteristics Which Affect Diamond Clarity:
|Cleavage or feather, occurs along atomic grain Fracture, irregular crystal break Included crystal Carbon spot, included crystal (dark) Pinpoint, small included crystal (white) Cloud, group of pinpoints Internal grain line Laser drill hole Bearded or Feathered girdle, minute to small hairline fractures extended from the girdle into the stone
|Natural, unpolished surface, original “skin” of the rough diamond Pit, small indentation on a facet surface Cavity, opening on surface nick, minor surface chip Grain/Twinning line, irregularity in atomic grain, the crystal growth Scratch, small groove Abraded facet junction, can be from normal wear
The 4 C’s – Color
Diamond is the only gemstone prized for its lack of color. Color is graded against a set of master stones under a special light which simulates northern sunlight. While many diamonds appear colorless, subtle differences exist, and diamonds may have subtle yellow or brown tones. A tint of yellow or brown in a diamond is due to nitrogen trapped inside. How close a diamond is to colorless determines its value, so the less color a diamond has, the more valuable it is.
Very rarely, some diamonds have intensely strong colors. The strong colors of these diamonds, termed “Fancies”, exist due to trace elements being trapped in the diamonds. The colors can include the entire spectrum. These “Fancy” diamonds are often more valuable than even a colorless diamond.
The 4 C’s – Weight in Carats
What does the unit carat represent?
Interestingly enough, it is the weight of one carab seed, a product of the locust tree. These seeds are nearly uniform in weight and therefore were used by early gem traders as a unit of weight by which to measure their diamonds.