Don’t ask me why I write this article. It’s just that… I like to learn new things… Everything. Just sometimes I get enough with my daily IT life, then why don’t I learn something new. Let’s say, a diamond 😉
I have learned around, and got simple answer to pick a diamond: Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat. It’s about 4C, no matter who come first – but I prefer Color and Clarity as first two, then followed by Cut and Carat.
As easy as the word means, Color will define the color of a diamond. According to GIA (Gemological Institute of America), a name related with diamond certification, there are range from D to Z to define the color of a diamond. D means colorless diamond, while Z mean yellowish diamond. Colorless diamond means higher price (so a diamond with D color grade will be more expensive compared to a diamond with G color grade). Most diamond on the market (for jewelry or wedding ring) will have F or G grade (shouldn’t go beyond G if you want a colorless diamond). This grade should be expensive and colorless enough for common eyes. You will need a reference/master color set of diamond to do the comparison. Get the colorless diamond if you plan to combine diamond with silver/white gold, while you can go with lower color grade (yellowish) diamond if you plan to combine it with yellow gold. Another kind of diamond color is red or pink. This is very rare and expensive also. Here’s is some color classification (the color naming guide may vary a little bit, but most expensive “real” diamond will not go beyond G color grade):
– D-F: Colorless
– G-J: Near Colorless
– K-M: Faint Yellow
– N-R: Very Light Yellow
– S-X: Light Yellow
– Y-Z: Yellow
Clarity will define the perfectness of a diamond (means no internal scratch caused by cutting process or the nature when the diamond was formed). It’s not easy to get a perfectly born diamond or perfectly cut diamond. Some minor scratch usually exist inside. It doesn’t take a genius to say that the less the scratch, the more expensive the diamond will be. There are some common abbreviation used for this Clarity, like:
– FL (Flawless): Flawless is flawless 😉
– IF (Internally Flawless): Some external flaw, can be removed by polishing the stone
– VVS1 and VVS2 (Very Very Slight Inclusion): Both need an expert’s eyes with 10x magnification to see the flaw. A diamond will be graded as VVS1 if the inclusion could be seen from the bottom and VVS2 if from the top.
– VS1 and VS2 (Very Slight Inclusion): Typical eyes could see with 10x magnification, but it takes some time to identify the flaw (not really easy to see it) and most of them need to be pointed out, otherwise, it will be hard to identify the flaw.
– SI1 and SI2 (Slight Inclusion): Quite noticeable under 10x magnification, but not with naked eyes.
– I1, I2, and I3 (Inclusion): Noticeable with naked eyes. Avoid I2 and I3 diamond.
Cut refers to diamond reflective quality (not about the shape itself). Although easily to forget, actually, Cut is one of the most important factor. This reflective quality will show the real magic of a diamond. A diamond with a perfect cut will reflect the light perfectly and show its brilliance. Some people says that a perfectly cut diamond will shine as if the shine comes from the diamond’s heart 🙂 A diamond with good cut will have a “sparkling light” sensation under even low light. This is because the light is perfectly reflected back to the eyes, not leaks through the bottom/side of the diamond (this will give dull/dead sensation of a diamond). There are 3 factors that you should consider:
– Brightness: The white light reflected from the surface and the internal of the diamond.
– Fire: Colored flashes from a diamond.
– Scintillation: Sparkle of light from a diamond and also the pattern of bright and dark areas from a diamond when you see if from the top.
One Carat equals to 1/5 of a gram in weight. So a 1ct diamond is 200 milligram in weight. Sometime, a Carat also expressed in 100 points. So half Carat equals to 50 points or 100 milligram in weight. Since Carat is not used to measure the size, so two diamonds with same Carat may have different size (thinking 1 Kg of Wood and 1 Kg of Steel will have different size, right?). The higher the Carat should be the higher the price also, but remember those other 3 factors… 1ct of a poorly cut, bad clarity, and yellow color diamond means nothing compared to 0.25ct of perfectly cut, VVS1, and F grade!
That’s all folks!