Diamonds 101

Diamonds are an ultimate symbol of love. And it’s not a surprise, considering that the conditions for diamond formation are incredibly specific. 

 

Most natural diamonds are formed at incredibly high temperatures and pressure, and in one of two places: underneath continental plates, as deep as 100 miles into the Earth’s mantle, or at the site of a meteorite strike.  

Although these are interesting facts, there is much, much more to know about the beloved diamond, and we at Trent Jewelers believe it’s important for our customers to be informed of key information when shopping for diamonds.


Below you will find a brief description of the “4Cs”, the GIA’s (Gemological Institute of America) own tool used to objectively compare and evaluate diamonds. Additionally, you can find more information on the GIA's website.

GIA's 4Cs

Carat refers to the size, or weight of a stone. One carat is equal to 0.20 gram. Similar to one dollar equaling 100 pennies, 1 carat equals 100 points; therefore, 75 points is equal to .75 carat, or ¾ of a carat.

Carat

When it comes to color in diamonds, the less you see, the better - although this does not apply to fancy color stones, such as yellow, pink,  or blue.  GIA's color grading scale begins at D and goes to Z, with D - F identified as Colorless, G - J as Near Colorless, K - M as Faint Yellow, N - R as Very Light Yellow, and S - Z as Light Yellow. A single increase in color grade can boost a diamond's value by thousands of dollars, depending on the stone's size.

Color

Most diamonds contain inclusions (internal markings) and blemishes (external markings). Inclusions are natural and are created when the diamond is being formed. These inclusions are referred to as non-crystallized carbon, feathers and clouds. Inclusions range from dark to light. The amount of inclusions in a diamond determines the grade of clarity, which the diamond receives according to GIA standards.  According to the clarity scale, a diamond may be graded as follows:  FL – Flawless, IF – Internally Flawless, VVS1 and VVS2 – Very, Very Slightly Included, VS1 and VS2 – Very Slightly Included, SI1 and SI2 – Slightly Included, or I1, I2, and I3 – Included.

Clarity

The cut of a diamond greatly impacts its appearance.  The most used cut is the round brilliant, all other cuts are referred to as “fancy cuts”.  There are three main attributes to the cut of any diamond: brilliance (the light reflected from a diamond), fire (how light is dispersed into the colors of the spectrum), and scintillation (how a diamond sparkles, or flashes light, when it is moved).  Additionally, cut refers to the proportions, symmetry and polish of a diamond.  Through the GIA’s grading system, diamond cut is evaluated and graded on a scale ranging from Excellent to Poor​​​​​

Cut

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