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Choosing a diamond for an engagement ring, wedding band or any piece of fine jewelry is an important decision, and one that can often be a bit intimidating. Here’s hoping we can simplify the basics of Diamond grading for you-
WHAT IS DIAMOND GRADING?
Diamond grading is a process of evaluating the quality of a Diamond based on its characteristics, the 4 C’s, which you’ve heard before- cut, colour, clarity, and carat. This system is recognized and practiced universally to determine the value and worth of a Diamond which is an essential part of the Diamond buying process.
The cut of a Diamond is one of the most important factors when evaluating its quality. It’s determined by the angles and proportions of the stone, evaluated by how the facets interact with light. A well-cut Diamond will reflect light in a way that creates what is known as a “brilliant” sparkle and is graded on a scale from ‘Excellent’ to ‘Poor’.
Premium cuts of any Diamond will optimize brightness and fire, or sparkle, along with its arrangement and relative size
Most Diamonds are graded on an alphabetical scale from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow) and are evaluated based on the absence or presence of colour in the stone. A Diamond with a colour grade of D is the most valuable colour grade due to its rarity from its perfect colour.
Diamonds can most commonly carry a yellow colour due to traces of nitrogen in the environment to which the stone is mined- the more nitrogen present, the more yellow the Diamond will appear. Fancy yellow Diamonds have their own unique colour scale which is determined by an even greater intensity of colour and saturation present than seen on the D-Z scale.
The clarity of a Diamond refers to the visual translucency or purity of inclusions or blemishes, which are tiny imperfections that occur organically within natural mined Diamonds. The clarity of a Diamond is graded on a scale from FL (Flawless) to I3 (Included).
Most inclusions are only noticeable with a visual aid between 10-20x magnification, which means they’re tough to spot with the naked eye. Each inclusion is unique to the characteristics of each Diamond, marking the fingerprint and individuality of any stone.
The carat weight of a Diamond is the unit used to measure the total weight of a Diamond. One carat is equal to 0.2 grams- roughly the weight of a Vancouver raindrop. The carat weight isn’t always about how big the Diamond may appear, it’s important to consider the precision and proportions of the cut and shape of a Diamond. Carat weight is all about personal preference that can vary from shape to shape.
IT'S ABOUT YOU
There’s a lot of information about Diamonds out there, we are constantly comparing, browsing, wishing and wanting- what’s important to remember are the qualities and characteristics of a Diamond that are most important to you, and to find a jeweller that can help you find what you are looking for.