While nature determined the colour and clarity of a natural diamond, man is responsible for the cut quality which brings it to life.
The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance.
Put simply, the better a diamond is cut, the more sparkle it will have. The shape is a matter of personal taste, the most popular is the round brilliant. Other shapes include the emerald, pear, marquise, princess, oval and heart.
Take a look at our Gemstone Cuts Guide.
A diamond’s colour grade refers to the lack of colour. The closer a diamond is to colourless, the rarer and more valuable the stone.
The rarest and most expensive are diamonds in the colorless range graded D,E and F on a scale that descends to Z. Diamonds with more color than Z, or in other shades such as orange, pink, blue, etc. are classified as “Fancy Colored Diamonds” and are graded on the IGI Colored Diamond Report.
To determine the correct color, all submitted diamonds are compared to an internationally accepted master set of stones, the colors of which range from D, or colorless (the most sought after) to Z, the most yellow/brown – aside from “fancy” yellow or brown.
Since diamonds form under extreme heat and pressure, internal and external characteristics are common. These characteristics help gemologists separate natural diamonds from synthetics and simulants, and identify individual stones.
Almost all diamonds have tiny imperfections – many are so small they cannot be seen by the naked eye. These are nature’s fingerprints and make every diamond unique. Diamonds with few or no imperfections receive the highest clarity grades.
Clarity is the term used to indicate the extent to which a diamond is free of these inclusions under a 10 times magnification. Currently a stone is termed flawless by the GIA if it has no surface characteristics or internal inclusions. It is also deemed internally flawless if it has minor surface characteristics.
This is the term with which people are most familiar, but bear in mind that carat is specifically a measure of a diamond’s weight.
The weight or size of a diamond is measured in carats (ct.). One carat weighs 1/5 of a gram and is divided into 100 points, so a diamond weighing 1.07 ct. is referred to as “one carat and seven points.”
0.75 carat = 75 points
1/2 carat = 50 points
1/4 carat = 25 points