How a diamond is graded
Every diamond glittering in the sunlight will look the epitome of perfection. The many facets will reflect the light off the carefully polished finish and there are few who will realize that every diamond sold is different in many ways. Most also don’t know that every natural diamond will have been graded with regards to a number of aspects of its quality.
There are a number of different organizations in the diamond industry which grade diamonds; the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the American Gem Society, the International Diamond Council (IDC), the European Gemological Laboratory and the Confédération Internationale de la Bijouterie, Joaillerie, Orfèvrerie des Diamants, Perles et Pierres (CIBJO).
The grading system most often used is that of the GIA. It focuses on the ‘4 Cs’ which are the:
- Carat weight
Each diamond is inspected in great detail by highly trained experts and the outcome is a report which gives findings on the quality in each of the four areas. This in turn means a financial value can also be given to the stone.
To those who aren’t specialists, colorless diamonds have no color, but other than those which are the absolute premium specimens, just about every diamond has some color to it. The lower the amount of color, the more quality is attributed within this area of grading. The higher the purity, the more perfect it is seen to be and so has a higher financial value. Grading with the GIA is on a scale of letters from D through to Z. Any diamond with a D grading is completely clear with no color. A diamond with a Z grading has the most amount of color.
The clarity of a diamond refers to the number of blemishes it has. These are known in the industry as inclusions and occur because of the pressure of heat and the surrounding stone whilst the diamond is still deep beneath the earth. To have the highest quality diamond means having as few inclusions as possible. The GIA Clarity scale is divided into 6 categories and then a further 11 specific grades. The scale begins with the best stones being declared Flawless with the lowest grade being Included. Even though Flawless is the most sought after grade of clarity, even those lower down the grading scale won’t have any blemishes which can be seen by the naked eye.
The cut of a diamond is how the facets react and interact with natural light. The grading looks at Brightness, Fire and Scintillation which means that the diamond is examined for the amount of reflected white light and how it is scattered. How much sparkle is produced is also important. Grading results range from Excellent to Poor.
The carat is often thought to be the actual size but in fact it’s the weight of the diamond. The unit of measurement used is points. One carat weighs 200mg and anything less is then measure in points so the weight can be given in a very exact way.
Combined together, the 4C’s are used for a final report and grading. There can often be cases where large diamonds have a rarity value because of the weight but be lower in value because there are many inclusions. A small diamond would not weigh as much but could be colorless and have hardly any inclusions which would give it a higher price tag.
Whatever the outcome, every piece of jewelry set with a diamond such as the diamond rings from Whiteflash look stunning and give pleasure for years to come.