Before You Buy, Know the 4 C’S of Diamonds.
The diamond’s cut refers to the angles and proportions of a diamond. The cut of a diamond pertains to the exact proportions, quality of polish and the arrangement of a diamond’s facets. While nature regulates a diamond’s clarity, carat weight and color, the skills of a master craftsman is essential to bring out the diamonds’ fire and sparkle.
A diamond’s clarity refers to the presence of inclusions in a diamond. Inclusions are natural distinguishing characteristics such as minerals or fractures, that are created when diamonds are being formed. They may appear as tiny crystals, clouds or feathers. Inclusions are commonly viewed at 10x magnification. The position of inclusions can greatly affect the value of a diamond. 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 affect the dispersion of light, causing the diamond to be less brilliant. Inclusions are ranked on a scale of perfection called the clarity scale. The scale ranges from F (Flawless) to I (Imperfect) and is based on the visibility of inclusions at 10X magnification.
The color of a diamond refers to the degree to which a diamond is colorless. The farther from colorless that a diamond’s grade is, the more common and therefore less valuable it is. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grade diamonds on a scale they established, which ranges from D (Colorless) to Z.
A diamond’s weight is measured in what is known as a “carat”, which is a unit of measurement equal to 200 milligrams. Carat is not a measure of a diamond’s size, but instead is a measure of a diamond’s weight. One carat can also be divided in 100 points. A .75 carat diamond is the equivalent to 75 points or 3/4 carat diamond. Larger diamonds are more valuable because they are less commonly found in nature. Therefore, the value of a 1 carat diamond will be more than twice that of a 1/2 carat diamond, assuming other qualities are similar
Lab Diamonds v. Natural Diamonds
What’s the difference?
Lab diamonds (also known as man-made or synthetic diamonds) and natural diamonds have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties. They are both considered real diamonds. This is because they are both made of carbon and are arranged in the same crystal structure. Here are the differences between the two.
- Lab Diamond: Created in a controlled laboratory environment using advanced technological processes like High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) or Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).
- Natural Diamond: Formed deep within the Earth’s mantle over billions of years under high pressure and temperature.
- Lab Diamond: Can be produced in a matter of weeks or months using either HPHT or CVD methods.
- Natural Diamond: Requires volcanic eruptions to bring them closer to the Earth’s surface, from where they are mined.
- Lab Diamond: Typically less expensive than natural diamonds of similar quality because of lower production costs and no mining expenses.
- Natural Diamond: Usually priced higher due to mining costs, long supply chains, and perceived value associated with rarity.
Inclusions and Imperfections:
- Lab Diamond: Inclusions in lab diamonds might be different from those found in natural diamonds. Some lab diamonds may have inclusions unique to their production process.
- Natural Diamond: Contains inclusions or imperfections (like feathers, pinpoints, clouds) that have occurred naturally over time.
- Both types can be differentiated using specialized equipment. For the naked eye or even under a jeweler’s loupe, it is often very difficult to tell them apart due to their identical properties.
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