The name diamond comes from the ancient Greek word “Adamas” meaning invincible and unconquerable. Every diamond is unique and no two are alike. They are the hardest substance on earth and have been desired as well as admired since they were first mined in India 2,800 years ago. In ancient times, Kings led battles wearing heavy leather breastplates studded with diamonds and other precious stones as the former was believed to bring luck and success to the wearer. In addition, they were thought to give a person strength, power, invincibility, courage, and magical powers over the dark side of life. Although Louis IX of France (1214-1270) passed a law saying diamonds could only be worn by the king, a century later diamonds could be seen in royal jewellery for both men and women and by the 18th century, the diamond represented the ultimate symbol of wealth and power.
Valuing diamonds can be confusing. A diamond’s beauty, rarity, and price depend on the interplay of all the 4Cs—cut, clarity, carat, and colour. The 4Cs are used throughout the world to classify the rarity of diamonds. Diamonds with the combination of the highest 4C ratings are rarer and, consequently, more expensive. No one C is more important than another in terms of beauty and it is important to note that each of the 4Cs will not diminish in value over time.
Carat is the weight of a diamond is often confused with size even though that is a measure of weight. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. One carat can also be divided into 100 “points.” A .75 carat diamond is the same as a 75-points or 3/4 carat diamond. A 1-carat diamond would cost exactly twice the price of a half-carat diamond but it doesn’t. Larger diamonds are found less frequently in nature, which places them at the rarest level of the Diamond Quality Pyramid. Hence, a 1-carat diamond will cost more than twice a 1/2-carat diamond (assuming colour, clarity and cut remain constant). Also, cut and mounting can make a diamond appear larger than or smaller than its actual weight
As we have mentioned, every diamond is unique. Nature ensures that each diamond is as individual as the person who wears it. Naturally, occurring features know as inclusions, provide a special fingerprint within the stone. Inclusions are natural identifying characteristics such as minerals or fractures, appearing while diamonds are formed in the earth. They may look like tiny crystals, clouds or feathers. To view inclusions, we use a magnifying loupe which allows us to see a diamond at 10x its actual size so that inclusions are easier to see. The position of inclusions can affect the value of a diamond. There are very few flawless diamonds found in nature, thus these diamonds are much more valuable. Inclusions are ranked on a scale of perfection, known as clarity, which was established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The clarity scale, ranging from F (Flawless) to Included (I), is based on the visibility of inclusions at a magnification of 10x. Some inclusions can be hidden by a mounting, thus having little effect on the beauty of a diamond. An inclusion in the middle or top of a diamond could impact the dispersion of light, sometimes making the diamond less brilliant. The greater a diamond’s clarity, the more brilliant, valuable and rare it is.
Diamonds are found in almost every colour of the rainbow, but white-coloured diamonds remain the most popular. Diamonds are graded on a colour scale established by the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) which ranges from D (colourless) to Z. Warmer coloured diamonds (K–Z) are particularly desirable when set in yellow gold. Icy winter whites (D–J) look stunning set in white gold or platinum. Colour differences are very subtle and it is very difficult to see the difference between, say, an E and an F. Therefore, colours are graded under controlled lighting conditions and are compared to a master set for accuracy. Truly colourless stones, graded D, treasured for their rarity, are highest on the Diamond Quality Pyramid. Colour, however, also comes down to personal taste. This is where we can help as we are able to show you a variety of colour grades next to one another to help you determine your colour preference. Nature has also created diamonds in intense shades of blue, green, yellow, orange, pink and rarest of all, red. These diamonds are called ‘coloured fancies’ and are extremely rare and highly treasured.
Nature determines so much about a diamond, but it takes a master cutter to reveal the stone’s true brilliance, fire and ultimate beauty. Based on scientific formulas, a well-cut diamond will internally reflect light from one mirror-like facet to another and disperse and reflect it through the top of the stone. This results in a display of brilliance and fire, thereby placing well-cut diamonds higher on the Diamond Quality Pyramid than deep or shallow-cut diamonds. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in less brilliance. Cut also refers to shape—round, square, pear, or heart for example. Since a round diamond is symmetrical and capable of reflecting nearly all the light that enters, it is one of the most brilliant of all diamond shapes. Non-round shapes, also known as “fancy shapes,” have their own guidelines to be considered well-cut.