Wedding and Engagement Rings � Diamonds

What is a diamond?

Diamonds are natural materials found in various parts of the world particularly countries such as Australia, America and Africa. In Australia, there are three diamond mines located throughout Western Australia and The Northern Territory that that produce over 39 million carats a year. Australian diamonds lead in quality diamonds making it the main source for Australian jewellers. A diamond crystal is grown beneath the surface of the earth using the combination of high temperatures and high pressures, with temperatures rising to 366°C to heat up the mass and pressures of at least 70,000kg of pressure per square metre. Once a diamond has been formed a volcano pushes a diamond to the earth’s surface, where miners then extract the diamond readily to be refined. The arduous process and quality of the element are one of the many factors that contribute to a diamond’s price and value.

Diamond cuts

The 4 C's - Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat

A diamond’s cut is credited to be the most vital of the 4 C principle in diamond grading. The cut of a diamond is defined by the numerous flat surfaces otherwise known as facets that are etched over the entire diamond. A diamond cut and shape both are aspects of a diamond but carry different meaning. The shape refers to the shape of a diamond and the cut of a diamond focuses on how a diamond has been faceted. Diamonds are typically multi-faceted in a way to enable light to travel through the diamond and for facets to refract light from each other. The refraction of light from each facet produces a sparkle that only a diamond is known for.

A diamond’s clarity is based on how pure a diamond is. A jeweller examines a diamond using magnifying instrument called a loupe to ensure that it is free of imperfections or blemishes that may taint the stone and are not noticeable to the naked eye. There is more value in a diamond that has fewer flaws and because of this diamonds are graded for their clarity. A grading system classifies the clarity of the diamond scaling from FI/FL, VVS1, VVS2, VSI, SI1, SI2, I1 and I2-3. A flawless diamond is graded FI/FL, the following grades of the spectrum indicate the decrease in clarity.

A colourless diamond is traditionally the most common and sought after. A typical colourless diamond ranges on a diamond colour grading system from D being the whitest continuing through the alphabet to Z, where the diamond has a yellow or brownish tinge. Increasingly today a popular trend has emerged in coloured diamonds such as yellow, black, cognac, pink, blue and a myriad of other shades.

A diamond’s weight is determined by carats where a one carat diamond is divided into 100 points, weighing 200mg. The larger a diamond the more rare it is increasing its value. It is important to properly examine the diamonds to understand that even two diamonds that share the same shape and carat weight may differ in appearance due to the way they’re cut.

*The 4C's tips are reproduced from non-copywrited publications