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About Diamonds

Everything you need to know about diamonds

We at DiamondsByMe are aware of the fact that buying a piece of jewelry is a special occasion. To help you a little along the way, we would like to tell you more about the different diamonds. Buying a diamond sometimes requires some more advice and information. The price of a diamond depends on many factors. Our diamonds are conflict free and approved by Kimberly. The Kimberly Process is an international classification which is about fair and legal trade.

You can view the video below for a explanation about diamonds or read the complete story.


Explanation diamonds with GIA certificate
Buying a diamond is a special purchase for a special moment. It is therefore important that you buy with assurance.

1. Introduction

We start with the explanation of two phrases; brilliants and diamonds.

A brilliant cut represents a perfect cut whereby the light is reflected in the best way. To get this perfect result the stone has to be cut in the right proportions. Each stone is hand-cut making each stone different. Therefore one stone may be worth more than the other. The price of the stone is also determined by the color of the diamond. The whiter, the better and more expensive. Want to know more about diamonds? Please take a look at our page about diamonds.

2. Diamond and the 4C

The main characteristics of a diamond are also known as the 4Cs. They stand for Cut, Carat, Color and Clarity. That is why these characteristics have an impact on the price. Each factor is explained in detail below.

A. Cut

Main points of the cut:

  • The cut is one of the main points of a diamond.
  • Without a proper cut there is no "fire" in the stone.
  • This is what makes the diamond a desirable stone.

The fire of a stone is mainly determined by the cut of a diamond. This process of grinding and polishing determines the shape of a diamond. A diamond is a rare stone that is found in a variety of sizes and impurities. For this reason it often happens that the cutter must make concessions during cutting. Therefore it may happen that sometimes a cut diamond deviates significantly from the perfect proportions. A stone that has a cut that is too deep is called a nail. It is as though the light leaks from the stone. A stone that has a cut that is too shallow is called a fish eye. With a perfect cut the light goes into the stone and is internally reflected, causing the light to emerge at the top, the table, of the diamond again.

A proper cut meets the following criteria:

  • The number of facets
  • Symmetry and size of the facets
  • Ratio to the culet en pavilion
  • Ratio table to girdle
  • Thickness of the girdle
  • The cut is perfect when the light reflects in the most optimal way, thereby you can get the highest "fire" color from the diamond.

The cut is also divided into four grades:

Excellent = Ideal
When a brilliance is free from spots it is called a perfect brilliance. The best proportions and symmetry; all of the light entering the diamond, is fully reflected.

Very Good
An excellent brilliance with no or barely visible external imperfections; Very good proportions and symmetry.

Good
A proper brilliance with a number of external blemishes, ratios show slight defects, components have good symmetry.

Fair
A slightly reduced brilliance; some large outward imperfections; proportions and symmetry show abnormalities.

These grades are always shown on a certificate and are therefore very important to pay attention to. This actually lets you know whether a stone has brilliancy or in other words has fire.

B. Carat

Main Points:

  • The weight of a diamond does not determine the size of a diamond. If the diamond is not cut correctly it can be smaller or larger.
  • The weight of 1 carat is 0.2 grams.

When we talk about carats in a diamond we are talking about the weight of the diamond. In the old days they had no precise measuring instruments, it was weighed with the seeds of the carob tree. The seeds that came from this tree, always had an exact weight of 0.25 carats which is 0:05 grams. As 1 Euro consists of 100 cents one carat consists of 100 points. We call a half carat diamond 50 points and so forth. A half carat will be indicated as 0.50 ct. The size of the diamond has no direct relation to the weight. If the diamond is poorly cut it may be larger or smaller. For this reason we also always provide an average size of a stone on our site. Of course you can assume that the higher the weight of the carat, the bigger the diamond will be.

Finding large diamonds is a tricky issue. As a result of this the price of a diamond increases extremely rapid from 0,50 carat upwards. Below you can see the difference in an example, based on a diamond in a simple frame with superb quality.
0.25 ct price 650, -
0,50 ct price 1600, -
1,00 ct price 5300, -

When buying a diamond, it is also important to look at the size of your own fingers. If you have small fingers a diamond in an open setting may quickly be a nice size for you. If you have have big fingers, the diamond might look smaller.

C. Color

Main points:

  • Color D is the most beautiful and color Z the least.
  • With a diamond it is actually about which diamond has the least color.

Did you know that with a diamond it is actually about which one has the least color? The white color of a diamond is very rare! 90% of the diamonds which are found have a yellowish color. The color of a diamond is classified on a scale from D to Z, where D represents the finest diamond. The price of the diamond is determined by the color: the whiter and colourless the stone is, the higher the value! These color codes are generally used in certificates. In the past names as River, Top Wesselton and Wesselton where used but because they where not to precise now letters are used. The whiter the stone, the better the reflection of light within the stone. The light is refracted into beautiful rainbow colors coming from the diamond. As an exception to the color, there are also colored diamonds called Fancy Diamonds. These diamonds come in yellow, red, blue, brown and black. However, it does have a separate gradation and can sometimes be more expensive than a perfect white diamond. This depends on their intensity and color

D. Clarity

A diamond is a natural product and is formed under extremely high pressure. A diamond that has no impurities, is also very rare and that is called flawless. For the purity a grading system is set up, which runs from FL-IF LC (flawless) to P3 (striking impurities). In order to keep the system the same for everyone, a 10x magnifying loupe is used under the daylight for grading a diamond. Without a loupe the inexperienced eye will see no impurities in the stone in the gradation IF to SI2. Below is an overview of how it should roughly look:


Inclusions are formed by impurities such as small cracks, traces of other minerals or carbon. The fewer inclusions the stone has, the more light can be reflected and the purer the stone is.

FL/IF/LC Flawless / Internally Flawless/ Loupe-clean
No imperfection is visible with the loupe

VVS1 en VVS2 Very very small internal characteristics
The imperfections are very difficult to difficult to find with the loupe

VS1 en VS2 Very small internal characteristics
The imperfections are very easy to find with the loupe

SI1 en SI2 Small internal characteristics
The imperfections are easy to very easy to find with the loupe

P1 Pique 1
The imperfections are difficult to find with the naked eye through the top of the diamond

P2 Pique 2
The imperfections are easy to find with the naked eye and have little affect on the brilliance of the diamond

P3 Pique 3
The imperfections are very easy to find with the naked eye and affect the brilliance of the diamond

3. Fluorescence

When searching for the proper diamond the fluorescence of a diamond is a very important factor. Especially when searching online for a diamond this is a feature that is still sometimes forgotten. Some stones can have perfect characteristics (4C) but a high fluorescence.
Fluorescence is the emission of light from a low-level light source with exposure to a higher energy light source. Diamonds with a low to high fluorescence have a slight blue glow under ultraviolet light. Fluorescent diamonds (colorless or yellow) only transmit light under ultraviolet rays and stop when the ultraviolet source is removed.
A diamond with a strong fluorescence can look like it is oily or milky. This is an important aspect to consider when choosing a diamond. Exceptions are the colored diamonds. It may be that this makes the diamond even more beautiful.

4. Diamond cut and shapes

A diamond can be cut in various shapes. Each cut has its own unique ratio where the brilliance can play to its best advantage. One of the most well-known cuts is the round cut, also referred to as brilliant cut. Below is an explanation of the basics around the diamond cut and possible shapes.

Table
Table: The table of a diamond is the upper flat portion of the stone. The intention is that most of the light is reflected through this table by which the diamond gets its "fire".

Girdle
On the tip of the girdle the diamond is at its widest. This edge must not be cut too narrow or too broad. If a diamond is certified, you will find the certificate number on the girdle which is applied with a laser. This can not be read with the naked eye.

Culet
If a diamond is perfectly cut, the patches come together and they form a fine point. If the point is too wide, you would possibly be able to see it from the table by formation of a black dot.

Pavilion
The pavilion is the bottom of the stone from the girdle down. In this section, the light is reflected.

Polish
In order to let a diamond reflect perfectly it must be perfectly polished. During the grinding and cutting of the diamond, traces can remain on the surface which must be removed.

Symmetry
A diamond that is perfectly symmetrical cut has equal surfaces and the prime ratios between the length and the width of the cut. The higher the symmetry, the higher the "fire".

5. The different cutting shapes

Round

briljant This is the most chosen cut. This cut, also referred to as the brilliant cut, has been widely researched over the years to find the optimal cut, in order to get the most brilliance from the diamond. The round cut normally always consists out of 57 components. If you're going to look for a stone with the most brilliance, in addition to the 4C, it is best to choose for a stone with a cut rating of ideal or very good, with perfect symmetry and polish.

Princess

princess After the round cut, the princess cut is one of the most widely used shapes. In a ring with side stones often the princess cut stones are used as side stones. It is therefore a popular stone for engagement rings. A row of princess stones gives the idea of a long diamond. With a princess-cut diamond, it is important to take the highest possible color gradation. This is because of the yellowish color in a diamond is more readily apparent in this cut. We recommend a minimum of color H. A good cut has a length to width ratio between 1 and 1.05. This can be found on the certificate. A princess cut diamond has 76 components.

Emerald

Emerald The emerald cut is very similar to the princess cut and gives, when is used as the only stone in a cut, an exceptional result which makes the diamond appear larger. Because the table is very large with this cut you can see the inclusions sooner then with a brilliant cut. We therefore recommend to get at least a minimum level of quality which is VS2. A proper cut has a length to width ratio between 1.30 and 1.40. This can be found on the certificate.

Oval

ovalThe oval cut is often combined in jewelry with brilliant cut diamonds. The brilliance can therefore be compared well with a brilliant. A proper cut has a length to width ratio between 1.33 and 1.66. This can be found on the certificate. An oval cut diamond has 56 components.

Pear

pear With this cut you have to be careful to choose at least a color H. Because one side of the stone is wide and the other end is pointy, the light is in the point dense which allows the yellow color to surface quicker. A good cut has a length to width ratio between 1.45 and 1.75. This can be found on the certificate. A pear cut diamond has 58 components.

Heart

heart The symbol for love. This beautiful diamond shape has a beautiful luster due to its many components. Often this diamond shape is chosen in an engagement ring. Also in this diamond shape you make sure that you do not choose a low color grade, we recommend to choose at least an H color. A good cut has a length to width ratio between 0.90 and 1.10.

6. Features of a diamond

What makes a diamond so extraordinary? A diamond is the hardest gem in the world. This hardness is measured according to the Mohs scale. On this scale, the diamond has a hardness of 10 and is composed of carbon.  Next to this a diamond also has one of the finest sheen which is partly due to its hardness. A diamond can only to be cut with a diamond that is why the cutting of a diamond is so precious. Only specialists who have followed years of training can cut these top stones. Diamonds that In addition are used in jewelry, are often used in industrial applications for cutting and grinding products. Only 8% of all diamonds is pure enough to be used in jewelry.

7. Significant Diamonds

A number of diamonds are known and famous because of their size, optical characteristics or due to their adventurous past.

  • Darya-ye-Noor (sea of light): estimated 182 carats, from India, owned by Iranian government
  • Dresden Green Diamond: 41.00 carats, probably from India. Early history unknown. Purchased in 1742 by Friedrich August II, Elector of Saxony for 400 000 taler. Is kept in the Grnes Gewlbe Dresden.
  • Hope Diamond: 45.52 carats. Appeared on the market in 1830 and was bought by banker H.Ph. Hope. Probably re-cut from a stolen stone. It has also been part of the French crown jewels. Since 1958 it resides at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
  • Star of Africa (also: Cullinan I): 530.20 carats. Obtained from the Cullinan, with its 3,106 carats, the largest rough diamond ever found. Cut together with a 104 other stones by the Asscher diamond factory in Amsterdam in 1908. Adorns the scepter of the kings of England. Is kept in the Tower of London. This was the largest cut diamond till 1997.
  • Sancy: 55 carats. It seems to have been hat worn by Charles the Bold (around 1470). In 1570 acquired by the French ambassador in Turkey Signeur de Sancy. Owned since 1906 by the Astor family in London.
  • Tiffany: 128.51 carats. Found in 1878 in the Kimberley mine in South Africa, with an estimated weight of 287.42 carats. Acquired by the jewelry firm Tiffany in New York. Cut in Paris with 90 components.
  • Koh-i-Noor: 108.93 carats. Originally a round shape with 186 carats in possession of Indian princes. Acquired in 1739 by the Shah of Persia. Later came into the possession of the East India Company who gave it to Queen Victoria in 1850. Re-cut it first received a place in the crown of Queen Mary, wife of George V, and later in the crown of Queen Mother Elizabeth. It is kept in the Tower of London.
  • Cullinan IV: 63.60 carats. One of the 105 stones that are cut from the Cullinan. Located in the crown of Queen Mary. Can also be taken from the crown and be worn as a brooch. Is kept in the Tower of London.
  • Nassak: 43.38 carats. Originally more than 90 carats, was located in India in a Shiva temple at Nassak. In 1818, as war booty acquired by the British. In 1927, it was re-cut in New York. Now privately owned in the United States.
  • Sjah: 88.70 carats. Comes from Iran, has wear components , partly polished. Bears three inscriptions with ruler names. Was donated in 1829 to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. Today is located in the Kremlin in Moscow.
  • Florentine or Toscaner: 137.27 carats. Earliest history is surrounded by legends. In 1657 it was in the possession of the Medici in Florence. In the 18th century it was in the crown of the Habsburgs, after that it was used as a brooch.
  • Lesotho Promise: 603 carats. One of the biggest raw diamond ever found.

8. Colored/ treated diamonds

Diamonds are available in many colors where approximately 1 in 10,000 stones has a beautiful colored color. These colors can sometimes be more expensive than a nice white diamond.

One of the most commonly found colors is the yellow diamond. If this stone has the right intensity it can be a wonderful color yellow. With the technical knowledge of today it is possible to get almost any color in a diamond. Often this is done with a diamond that has a less color, this color is adjusted. For colored diamonds, it is important that you pay close attention that it is not treated or synthetic diamond. If you buy a certified diamond, it can be found on the certificate.

There are several treatments for the diamond:

  • Coating: By means of a special coating of plastic or a layer of chemicals is placed on the diamond making it better in color.
  • HPHT: This stands for high pressure with a high temperature. With this technique, diamonds can be created in virtually every color. These kind of treatments will be clearly indicated on a certificate.

The current technique also makes it possible to improve diamonds with inclusions.

There are two kinds of treatments:

  • Laser-drilling: This is done by drilling a laser beam in a diamond to the inclusion. After this, the contamination can be removed and the hole is filled up again.
  • Fracture filling: Through injecting a kind of glass minor fractures can be made less visible. This also can be found on the certificate.

When buying a stone it is very important that you always read the certificate of the diamond carefully.

9. How are the diamonds found?

Diamonds are found in primary and secondary sediments. A primary  is for example a pipe crater of a volcano. In this kind of crater pipe Kimberlite deposits itself, within this Kimberlite diamonds can be formed. These diamonds are formed under huge pressure and heat up to 80 miles deep. A secondary deposition occurs when the diamonds are detached from their original storage place and for example are carried away by rivers. Diamond found in South Africa, Asia, Ural, Australia and America. In general diamond are found by open diamond mining in which a piece of land is dug up to the gem-containing layer.

10. Certificates

Different certificates are available. We work with HRD and GIA certificates. Our preference goes out to these GIA and HRD certificates. These two suppliers are known for their proper certificates and are widely respected. These certificates are drawn up by experts in the field of gemmology with the use of most modern equipment.

HRD stands for the High Council for Diamonds. This is the official representative of the Belgian diamond trade and headquarters is therefore located in Antwerp. The HRD provides two types of certificates where the HRD diamond certificate is the most comprehensive and applies to stones from 1:00 ct. All important elements to describe a diamond are described in this certificate. For stones under the 1:00 ct there is the HRD diamond identification report in which the most important elements are discussed.

IGI stands for the International Gemological Institute and this is one of the oldest gemological institutes of Antwerp. We do not prefer this certificate for it sometimes gives a higher graduation then a GIA or HRD certificate. Therefore a diamond can be less beautiful.

GIA stands for the Gemological Institute of America. The GIA was one of the founders of the rating system which is used by everyone today.

If you buy a certified stone, this is usually sealed included with the certificate whereby it is no longer possible to exchange the stone. Nowadays, the larger diamonds are also engraved by laser with the number of the certificate in the girdle. This can not to be read with the naked eye, only with a very strong magnification loupe.

If you buy a diamond from us every diamond that is larger than 0,30 crt is supplied with a certificate. If you buy a diamond, we always recommend to ask for a certificate from one of these agencies. Our online system allows you to find a stone and take a look at the online certificates. This way you can compare stones in a perfect way. Are you stuck and you need some help? You can always contact one of our diamond experts.