5 Ways To Check The Quality Of Your Diamond
Buying a diamond is a risky way of investing your money if you do not know how to spot a diamond imperfection. Due to several fake diamonds on the market, extra care and precautions must be taken to avoid falling prey to this misfortune. A guaranteed way of going about it is to use the GIA standards to assess the physical and chemical properties of the stone.
Diamonds come in several forms from loose diamond beads to clear diamonds set in rings and everything in between. These forms include colored diamonds and lower quality diamonds.
Four C’s That Govern Diamond Quality
Named as the famous four C”s, they each highlight a single characteristic of the diamond and grade it based on its performance. Let me give you a detailed explanation of each quality parameter, their respective gradings, and how to assess them.
The word carat is a measurement of weight concerning diamonds and is adopted by diamantaires across the globe. A carat has an approximate value of 0.2 grams in regular real-world measurements; this is done to standardize the diamond weight across the world to make global trading fair.
Although this seems odd for you and me, for people in the diamond industry, it makes work much more accessible and provides a means of accuracy. This is why you will be given a weight value in carats as one carat usually has a fixed price attached to it.
When valuing a diamond, you own a diamond or one you are buying; it is essential to know that these stones do not double in value for a doubled carat weight. Instead, the price rises exponentially and cannot be left at a stagnant price. Because of such high prices, it has become a regular occurrence to find diamond carat weights in a range of decimal values. The introduction of decimal carat weights allows diamonds to become more affordable to the public.
The minimum carat weight that diamond stores deal in is 0.5 and range in other decimal quantities till the value reaches one carat.
Cut has less to do with the shape of the stone but rather with the symmetry, dimensions, and polish. Cut describes three main features:
Brilliance refers to all the white light that is reflected from the inside and the outside of the rock.
- Scintillation is responsible for the sparkling effects when the diamond is twisted in the light or when the light source is moved around the diamond.
Ever seen all the colors of the rainbow when looking at a diamond? Fire is the dispersion of light into the full spectrum of colors.
These parameters are vital as they are responsible for determining a fair price for a diamond. It is worth noting that people are willing to pay more money for a larger stone than a higher quality stone (besides some imperfections are invisible to the naked eye).
As for diamond symmetry and proportions, 20% of the light hitting a diamond is reflected (as glare), from the remaining 80%, some will escape through the lower portion. To take full advantage of all of the light entering the stone, shaping each facet accordingly is required.
You might think that this is simply based on the directly visible colour of a stone. This is incorrect. Apart from finding highly prized pink, blue, or red diamonds, several transparent clear diamonds might have a pale tint in them. The ideal clear diamond should have absolutely zero tinct or coloration.
So based on this color analysis, a grading system has been devised for colour, they are:
The GIA diamond color grading system is used worldwide to deduce the specific colour of the stone based on a grade score ranging from D to Z.
- Colorless (D-F)
- Near Colorless (G-J)
- Faint Color (K-M)
- Very Light Color (N-R)
- Light Colour (S-Z)
Diamonds are known for their clear perfect appearance. Some diamonds have imperfections inside them known as inclusions. Others have marks which appear on the outer surface of the stone, and these are called blemishes. These imperfections affect the way light is passed through the rock as it now hits these imperfections and deviates from the original path. Based on this deviation, the diamond is graded based on a pre-set clarity scale.
The clarity scale has six categories:
- Flawless (FL)
- Internally flawless (IF)
- Very very slightly included (VVS1, VVS2)
- Very slightly included (VS1, VS2)
- Slightly included (SI1, SI2, SI3)
- Included (I1, I2, I3)
Flawless denotes the highest clarity of diamonds which are rare and therefore expensive. Included are on the lowest side of the clarity spectrum. This clarity dreading system is based on an assessment of the stone under 10X magnification.
Certification and Documentation
Although every diamond is precious and an object of high value and importance, care should be taken to ensure that the diamond is legitimate and has been legally obtained. Specific documentation and certificates will be able to form that they are genuine and conflict-free. NEVER buy diamonds without receiving these documents from the seller.
Also, before buying a diamond or getting one evaluated, make sure the shop is a registered diamond vendor that is trustworthy. This will make your certificate and evaluation worth more as opposed to an unregistered diamond vendor.
Certification of the diamond should have authorization from an International Diamond Organization or committee that deals with global diamond assessments to assure complete legality of the stones in the way they are mined and then purchased from the mining company. The most reputable diamond grading organisations include the following examples:
- Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
- American Gemological Society (AGS)
- European Gemological Laboratory (EGL)
- Diamond High Council (HRD)
For a diamond to have an adequate evaluation, assessment in every aspect of the four C’s needs to be done by a trained professional who has vast experience in assessing these natural stones. Make sure to check the quality of your stone with caution as they are precious objects.