Understanding Diamond Quality
Diamonds come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and even colours, but how do you verify the quality of the diamond?
Well, luckily there are quite a few ways of checking the quality of your diamond.
The 4 C’s
Colour, clarity, cut and carat weight. All of these are important and should 100% be considered when judging the quality of your diamond. The 4 C’s are what professional jewellers and gem experts use, so you can be certain that these are important factors to look into.
Colour can unsurprisingly have a large impact on the overall quality of the diamond. It’s worth bearing in mind that the perfect diamond is colourless. Tinges of yellow or brown can see the value and the quality take a big hit.
Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple as if it’s judged to be a ‘fancy colour’ the value can increase. For instance, a red diamond is incredibly rare and therefore super valuable.
There’s an official colour grading scale ranging from D to Z, with five sub-categories; colourless, near colourless, faint, very light and light. Be sure to only inspect the colour of the diamond in surroundings that will not influence your perception of the colour of the diamond. The best way to do it is to turn the diamond face down on a white sheet of paper in a well-lit room.
There are six clarity grades when it comes to diamonds; Flawless (FL), Internally Flawless (IF), Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2), Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2), Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) and finally, Included (I1, I2 and I3).
A flawless diamond is incredibly rare but will have no inclusions or surface imperfections at all. However, diamonds with poor clarity grades are more likely to chip, crack or even shatter. When inspecting diamonds, be sure to look at it outside of the jewellery shop with their fancy lights; these are specifically designed to increase brilliance and to help hide any inclusions.
The cut is important aesthetically for your diamond. If your diamond is well cut you’ll notice that it dazzles from all angles and in total there are three optical effects to look out for; brightness, fire and scintillation.
You need to have that balance between the light and dark areas of your diamond, and be aware of the 10-point grading system: Ideal Cut (0), Excellent Cut (1), Very Good Cut (2), Good Cut (3 to 4), Fair Cut (5 to 7), Poor Cut (8 to 10).
This is the most objective of the C’s. Larger diamonds tend to be worth more than those that are smaller, people tend to believe that the weight is associated with the weight, however, it’s not that simple. All of the other C’s have to be taken into account as well and it is possible to have a small diamond with a high quality that ends up being more valuable than a large, low quality diamond.
As a flawless diamond is incredibly rare, it’s often recommended to set your sights on VVS diamonds. There’s a handy comprehensive guide to these here: https://www.whiteflash.com/about-diamonds/diamond-education/vvs-diamonds-1600.htm