Choosing The Cut Of A Diamond
There are many different cuts of diamonds
to choose from. The cut essentially refers to
the shape that the diamond is cut into –
unless you are in the diamond or jewelry
business - but this shape has a great impact
on how much the diamond sparkles.
The most popular cuts are heart, marquise, oval, pear, princess, round, trillion, and emerald cuts. The shape has an impact on how much the diamond sparkles, but the actual cutting itself – when the diamond cutter actually cuts the diamond into a particular shape – also matters a great deal. If the diamond is poorly cut, it will lose its sparkle.
However, in the diamond industry, the cut of a diamond doesn’t refer to its shape at all. Instead, this is a reference to the stone’s depth, width, brilliance, durability, clarity, and other aspects of the diamond. Common cutting problems include a missing or off center culet, misalignment, a diamond that is too thick or too thin, cracks, or broken culets.
When shopping for a diamond, you should of course choose the shape that you like the best, but then look at several different diamonds of that shape to find the one with the best cut – the one that sparkles the most, in all types of lighting.
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About the Clarity of Diamond
Clarity is an important aspect of a diamond, and it is important to know how to grade the clarity of a diamond before you buy one. It is actually quite easy to learn how to grade the clarity of a diamond. There are basically two things that you must understand:
Diamonds with visual inclusions and blemishes, and those that are ‘eye clean’ meaning that there are no inclusions or blemishes that can be seen with the naked eye. From there, the clarity of a diamond is further broken down into subcategories.
Many people mistakenly think that diamond clarity refers to how clear it is. This isn’t so. Clarity actually refers to the internal and external imperfections of the diamond. The best diamonds, of course get a grade of FL or IF – Flawless or Internally Flawless – meaning that it is perfect. A grade of I-1, I-2 or I-3 means that the diamond is imperfect, with a grade of I-3 being the worst.
Other grades are VVS1 and VVS2, which means that the diamond is very, very slightly imperfect; VS1 and VS2, meaning the diamond is very slightly imperfect; SI-1 and SI-2, which means that the diamond is slightly imperfect.
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About Diamond Weights
Diamonds are measured in Carat Weight.
One carat weighs 200 milligrams. If a
diamond is referred to as four grains, this
also means that it is a one carat diamond.
The word Carat comes from the word carob.
A carob is a bean that grows on a tree in the
Mediterranean. In times past, if a diamond
weighed the same as a carob bean, it was
one carob, or one carat.
However, in the far east, where Carob trees do not grow, rice was used to measure the weight of a diamond. If a diamond weighed as much as four grains of rice, it was four grains – or one carat as we know it to be now. The majority of diamond purchases are for diamonds that are 1/3 of a carat.
Beware when shopping for diamonds that are already set or mounted. If more than one diamond is used in the piece, the tag on the jewelry will give the CTW or Carat Total Weight – it does not tell you the carat weight of each stone in the piece. You need to ask the jeweler for the total carat weight of the largest diamond in the piece to truly understand what you are buying.
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