A stones “cut” refers to the diamond’s reflective qualities, not the shape. The quality of the “cut” does affect the overall look of the stone.
A good cut gives a diamond its brilliance, which is the brightness that seems to come from the inside of the stone. The angles and finish of any diamond are what determine its ability to handle light, which leads to brilliance.
When a diamond is well-cut, light enters through the top of the stone and travels to the pointy end where it reflects from one side to the other before reflecting back out of the diamond through the top and to the observer’s eye. This light is the brilliance we mentioned, and it’s this flashing, fiery effect that makes diamonds so mesmerizing.
Clarity refers to the presence of identifying characteristics within the stone, called inclusions, that occur during the formation process. Most diamonds have flaws or inclusions. It is extremely rare to find a stone with no internal flaws.
Inclusions are flaws such as air bubbles, cracks, and non-diamond minerals found in the diamond. Diamonds with no or few inclusions are more highly valued than those with less clarity because they are more rare.
Diamonds are graded for clarity under 10x loupe magnification. Grades range from Flawless to Slightly Included. Diamonds that are clear create more brilliance, and are therefore more highly prized and priced.
- F – Flawless: No internal or external flaws. Extremely rare.
- IF – Internally Flawless: no internal flaws, but some surface flaws. Very rare.
- VVS1-VVS2 – Very Very Slightly Included (two grades): Minute inclusions.
very difficult to detect under 10x magnification by a trained gemologist.
- VS1-VS2 – Very Slightly Included (two grades): Minute inclusions seen only with difficulty under 10x magnification.
- SI1-SI2 – Slightly Included (two grades): Minute inclusions more easily detected under 10x magnification.
Remember that no two diamonds are ever the same. It is not like buying a TV where the working parts are identical and your decision is about the choice of brand and the cost difference. This is a different kind of purchase and we are here to help you learn about how to make the best choice for yourself.
A diamond’s colour refers to the presence or absence of colour in white diamonds. Colour is a result of the composition of the diamond, and it does not change over time. Colourless diamonds are considered the most desirable since they allow the most refraction of light (sparkle), they are also the most rare. Off white diamonds absorb light, inhibiting brilliance. However, many of our customers appreciate the unique beauty of off white diamonds and we do not want to suggest that any colour is “better” than another. The whiter a diamond’s colour is, the greater its value.
To grade ‘whiteness’ or colourlessness, most jewellers refer to a professional colour scale that begins with the highest rating of D for colourless, and travels down the alphabet to grade stones with traces of very faint or light yellowish or brownish colour. The colour scale continues all the way to Z.
Note: Diamonds graded G through I show virtually no colour that is visible to the untrained eye.
A carat is the unit of weight by which a diamond is measured. Because large diamonds are found less commonly than small diamonds, the price of a diamond rises exponentially to its size. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams. Be sure not to confuse “carat weight” with “karat,” the method of determining the purity of gold.
These details are meant to give you a brief overview of the factors that go into to pricing diamonds specifically. Coloured gemstones are graded individually based on each of their unique characteristics and we are happy to give you more details about that based on your needs. When you visit our gallery we have a variety of charts and visual tools to help you understand more about diamonds and their grading qualities. When you sit down to meet with one of our in-house designers they can got into much more detail with you as well.