Diamonds are beautiful and natural. When you look at a diamond, you expect to see a lovely white and sparkling diamond. However, not all diamonds are like this.
To help people - both within the industry and retail customers alike - an international diamond grading system was founded in the 1930s by the world renowned diamond grading laboratory, the GIA (Gemological Institute of America). The GIA introduced a system whereby any diamond could be judged by cut, carat size, colour and clarity. This international diamond grading system is also commonly known as the "4Cs" of diamonds. Let's look at these in turn.
CUT - This is also commonly known as the shape of the diamond. Most common shapes of diamonds are brilliant round cut diamonds, princess cut diamonds, marquise cut diamonds, oval cut diamonds, emerald cut diamonds, pear cut diamonds and heart cut diamonds.
CARAT - The weight of a diamond, not the physical size. Expressed as "ct". A one carat diamond, therefore, would be displayed as 1.00ct.
COLOUR - Diamond colour represents how white the diamond is. Obviously, the whiter the diamond, the better (and the more valuable it is!). The whitest diamond is colour D, and the most yellow is Z.
CLARITY - Diamond clarity refers to the number of, and position of, inclusions in the diamond. An inclusion can take the form of a tiny black pinpoint, crystal or feather effect. The more inclusions there are in a diamond, the more obstacles there are to internal light refraction and therefore the less brilliance the diamond will display. The fewer inclusions there are in the diamond, the more valuable the diamond will be. That is why you hear people talking about flawless diamonds. The position of the inclusions is also important, especially bearing in mind the shape of the diamond. An inclusion in the middle of the diamond is less important for brilliant round cut diamonds than for emerald cut diamonds, for instance, being as brilliant round cut diamonds have more facets than their emerald cut diamond counterparts.
Diamonds are available either certified or non-certified. Diamond grading certificates will contain all the above information, which is critical for you as a customer in the market for diamonds and engagement rings. With non-certified diamonds, you simply don't know what you are buying and are making your buying decision based on what you are being told by the jeweller, not by any accompanying documentation.
The international diamond grading system enables you to have complete peace of mind in the quality and integrity of your diamond.
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