What Makes A Good Diamond?

They say that Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but there are all types of diamonds out there. From man-made industrial diamonds to the splendid rare gems pulled from the earth. These precious stones are found throughout the world and is estimated that US$ 13 Billion worth of rough diamonds are processed each year. It is estimated that over 60% of the world’s rough diamonds come from Africa, making it a much needed and lucrative commodity. Within modern society today, as there is such a large amount of money in diamonds, people are trying to educate the masses in what is known as conflict diamonds or blood diamonds. These are diamonds which come from a country where there is a war on and used to fund insurgents. Diamonds come in all different shapes, sizes, colours and quality. All of these factors having a bearing on diamond grading and ultimately priced.
Diamond Clarity
Diamond clarity is a way of measuring the purity diamond. It relates specifically to both the internal characteristics of the stone and also the visual appearance. If there is a slight flaw internally within the stone, then this is called an Inclusion. Any defects which appear on the surface of the stone are called Blemishes. Although diamonds of a higher clarity are more popular because of the way the stone can reflect light and sparkle, there is no difference at all to the structural quality, meaning that the diamonds of a higher clarity are not only more popular but also more expensive.
Diamond Colour
The colour of the diamond is called Hue. A completely chemical and structurally perfect diamond has not hue and is completely transparent. However, these are extremely rare and a gem size perfect diamond is an extremely uncommon site. The colour in the diamond is created by either chemical impurities or defects within the diamonds structure itself. The value of the diamond can either be reduced or added to depending on the intensity of the hue. You can get diamonds in white, yellow pink, orange, green and blue amongst others, but the most expensive and rare amongst these are natural orange and red diamonds.
The Carat Weight of a Diamond
The unit of measurement used to judge a diamond is called the Carat. This is not only used for diamonds but also other precious stones such as rubies and emeralds and also pearls. The Carat is a measure of mass equal to 0.2 grams. If you are talking about really small diamonds then it is also common to “points” rather than carats. There are 100 points to each carat. This means that each point is one hundredth of a carat. So a 25 point diamond is equal to a quarter of a carat.
Diamond Cut
A diamond cut is the guide or style used when you shape and proportion a diamond for polishing. There are lots of different shapes such as the Emerald, Brilliant, Oval and Pear. The shape that a diamond is cut into depends on the other characteristics of the stone and a cut will be chosen to best suit the stone. Taking into account any internal flaws or blemishes inside the stone or on the surface. A diamond cut is an arrangement of symmetrical facets which are positioned to best enhance the natural properties of the diamond. Two of the most important aspect of the cut is polish and symmetry. The polish refers to the smoothness of the facets of the diamond while the symmetry refers to the alignment of each facet and its symmetry to each of the other facets as well.
Choosing is Personal
When choosing a diamond for a ring or necklace, it really is a person thing. One person may see a flaw in a diamond as giving it character while someone else may just dismiss it. So when choosing a diamond it is all down to your personal taste as well as budget. Always make sure though that you purchase a diamond from a reputable and ethical source.
Image by Devoteam via Flickr
This article was written by Mark Johnson, owner of UK diamond jewellery specialist, Serendipity Diamonds. Mark is passionate when it comes to sharing his thoughts, knowledge and experiences with those seeking information on how to select the finest diamond wedding rings and diamond jewellery available.