It is difficult to escape the magnetic lure of diamonds for sure. The sparkling stones found deep in the
earth have been the reason for many a war waged. Kingdoms have toppled and blood have been shed
often over diamonds too. Yet all diamonds are not equal. The finished diamond is cut in various shapes
so that its innate brilliance shines through. The value and thus the price of a diamond depends on its
qualities though and no two stones match each other as far as quality is concerned.
A special formula for grading and assessing the quality of these brilliant stones had been formulated by
GIA back in the 1950s. Recognized worldwide as the 4 Cs of diamonds, the quality of each stone is
assessed by checking each factor individually. All the four factors are then compared with other similar
stones before setting a value for the diamond in question.
It is time now to learn more about them…
A diamond is cut carefully by a master craftsman so that all the angles or facets allow light to enter and
get reflected thereby dazzling you completely. The value of a diamond also depends on its cut and how
well it uses the light. A good diamond may sometimes look unattractive and dark depending on its cut
where the light enters and leaves the stone at the wrong positions. Various optical effects on a diamond
also depends on its cut and brightness (reflection of white light), fire (flashes of color) as well as
scintillation ( alternate light & dark areas) are determined to set the value of a particular diamond
Diamonds are usually colorless but even a slight hint of color can drastically alter its value. A faint yellow
deepening gradually to a brownish tint is normal enough for a naturally occurring diamond though.
These are of the highest value that is assessed by comparing them in the GIA laboratory with stones of
recognized colors called master stones. 35% of all diamonds reveal fluorescence when exposed to ultra
violet light. Fluorescence may be of different colors but blue is by far the most common. A very strong
blue florescence in a diamond makes it appear almost colorless in bright sunlight. The diamond looks
kind of smoky or cloudy when it emits a very strong fluorescence. This property lessens its value
A perfect diamond is rare indeed! Much of it depends on the clarity of the stone as each of them may
contain certain inclusions or internal features and blemishes in the form of irregularities on its surface. A
flawless diamond contains no inclusions and no blemishes and can cost a fortune. They are extremely
rare, however. Diamonds with inclusions are noticeable easily although the tiny imperfections are not so
obvious and can be seen under 10X magnification only. There are a total of 11 different gradations
based on clarity.
The unit of measuring diamonds is known as carat. A metric carat ( Ct) = 0.2 of a gram or 0.007 of an
ounce. The diamonds are weighed up to a thousandth of a carat and then rounded off. A diamond
which weighs more is not necessarily more valuable though. Carat is only one of the four factors that
determine the quality of a diamond.