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Diamond Certification

Before purchasing a diamond, you should expect to review a copy of its certificate as proof that it has undergone an unbiased, professional examination.

A diamond certificate is a report created by a team of gemologists. The diamond is evaluated, measured, and scrutinized using trained eyes, a jeweler’s loupe, a microscope, and other industry tools. A completed certificate includes an analysis of the diamond’s dimensions, clarity, color, polish, symmetry, and other characteristics. Many round diamonds will also include a cut grade on the report.

Diamond Cuts

Cut is a diamond's most important characteristic.

  •  It has the greatest overall influence on a diamond's beauty.
  • It determines what we generally think of as sparkle.

A diamond's cut grade is an objective measure of a diamond's light performance, or, what we generally think of as sparkle. When a diamond is cut with the proper proportions, light is returned out of the top of the diamond. If it is cut too shallow, light leaks out of the bottom; too deep and it escapes out of the side.

Light Reflection of Diamonds                                    Ideal Cut Diamond

Diamond Color

 

Color refers to a diamond's lack of color, grading the whiteness of a diamond.
The color grade of D is the highest possible, while Z is the lowest.

  • D thru F are colorless
  • G thru J are near colorless
  • K begins to show slight color and becomes more noticable thru to Z

Color manifests itself in a diamond as a pale yellow. This is why a diamond's color grade is based on its lack of color. The less color a diamond has, the higher its color grade. After cut, color is generally considered the second most important characteristic when selecting a diamond. This is because the human eye tends to detect a diamond's sparkle first, and color second.

Diamond Clarity

  • Clarity is a measure of the number and size of the tiny imperfections that occur in almost all diamonds.
  • Many of these imperfections are microscopic, and do not affect a diamond's beauty in any discernible way.

Much is made of a diamond's clarity, but of the Four Cs (Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat), it is the easiest to understand, and, according to many experts, generally has the least impact on a diamond's appearance. Clarity simply refers to the tiny, natural imperfections that occur in all but the finest diamonds. Gemologists refer to these imperfections by a variety of technical names, including blemishes and inclusions, among others. Diamonds with the least and smallest imperfections receive the highest clarity grades. Because these imperfections tend to be microscopic, they do not generally affect a diamond's beauty in any discernible way.

Diamond Carat

 

Carat is specifically a measure of a diamond's weight, and by itself may not accurately reflect a diamond's size.

  • We tend to evaluate diamond size by viewing it from the top because that is how diamonds are presented to us when set into a ring.
  • To understand diamond size, carat weight should be considered in conjunction with two other criteria:
    • – Distance in millimeters across the top of the diamond.
    • – Diamond's cut grade.

It is important to measure the distance across the top of the diamond as this is how we view a stone when set into a ring.

A diamond's cut grade should also be considered because, as we noted in the cut grade section, when a diamond is cut with the proper proportions, the maximum amount of light (or sparkle) is returned out of the top of the diamond. Thus, when a diamond is well cut, the light reflected out of the top makes it appear larger. In addition, much of the weight of a poorly cut diamond, for example, may be "hidden" in the base of the diamond, making the diamond appear smaller than its carat weight would imply.

It is therefore possible to have a diamond of a lower carat weight, but higher cut grade, that appears larger than a diamond with a larger carat weight, but poor cut.

Diamond Shapes