- FAQ // About Diamonds
What is a diamond made of ?
The chemical composition of a diamond is carbon (just like the graphite in a pencil).
But, while graphite is very soft, the carbon atoms in diamond form in such a way as to create the hardest known substance.
This special structure allows diamonds to take a superior polish and project more brilliance than any other natural gemstone.
What is a round brilliant cut ?
A round brilliant cut diamond is one cut that has 57 facets, or 58 facets including a culet. This cut became almost a synonym to diamond because it works towards the overall purpose of giving a diamond with maximum fire and scintillation.
What does mean in Clarity, the term Si3 ?
SI (Slightly “included”) is the abbreviation for "small inclusions" which now become "easy" (SI1), very easy (SI2), and very easy -almost obvious (SI3) to see under 10x magnification. This Si3 category lies between Si2 and P1 (I 1) clarity grades. Si3 was first introduced into the diamond trade in 1992.
1993 Rapaport Diamond Report created a Si3 price column and since then this grade has gained wider acceptance.
Not all Labs have adopted Si3 by their clarity valuation of a diamond.
Si3 though is recognized by World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association.
What does mean a 'treated' diamond ?
A diamond that is treated is a diamond that has been altered. It has been altered either to alter the color or the clarity.
What is a 'clarity enhanced' diamond ?
A clarity enhanced diamond is a diamond that has been altered to upgrade the clarity. There are two ways to do this; the permanent one and the not permanent.
The permanent method for clarity enhancement is called laser drilling;
Laser drilling is used to improve the appearance of diamonds mostly with dark inclusions. The most common procedure uses a fine laser beam to tunnel into a diamond and burn the inclusions, which are further lightened with acid.
This treatment is permanent and all diamond labs will grade laser drilled diamonds and indicate the process on their reports.
The 2nd method, which is not a permanent one, is fracture filling.
It’s also known as feather filling. A glass material is filling into the stone’s fractures or feathers making them less noticeable.
This treatment is stable for normal wear, but over time and under repeated UV light or the intense heat of the torch from the jeweler's bench during re-tipping or sizing, that filling can actually fallout; so therefore it's not permanent.
In most cases it can be redone, but it is something that you have to continue to redo throughout the life of the diamond.
This treatment must be disclosed, prior to a diamond’s sale.
Is it worth to purchase a treated diamond ?
The main reason for purchasing a treated diamond is the reduction in cost. There are cost saving with diamonds that are treated, as oppose to diamonds that are naturally more rare in nature.
By purchasing a treated diamond we do not invest in the value of the diamond through the years.
What are the disadvantages of buying a treated diamond ?
There are disadvantages to buying a treated diamond, but for different reasons. The first one, the laser drilling process which is a permanent one, is well known, that your diamond is not in its natural state, that its clarity was enhanced. The disadvantage of buying a diamond that is fracture-filled is that the filling will eventually fall out and it will have to be replaced. So there is a maintenance issue that goes on with fracture filling that really isn't apparent in a natural diamond that hasn't been enhanced.
The most important disadvantage is though that a treated diamond can not ever substitute the value as an investment over the years of a natural diamond
Are treated diamonds documented on grading reports ?
Treated diamonds are required to be documented on the grading reports. Credible laboratories like the GIA, the HRD, and IGI will document the treatment used
in these diamonds in the comments section of their grading reports.
What does the term “fluorescence” stand for ?
Light emitting capacity of some diamonds if influenced by a UV light source.
This phenomenon is called “fluorescence”
In Normal Lighting Conditions Fluorescence can not be seen.
A study showed that, with few exceptions, fluorescence in diamonds affects neither price nor appearance. There are two exceptions to this rule. In a number of cases, diamonds with very strong fluorescence and a special arrangement of clarity characteristics may look slightly “cloudy”, but consumers rarely encounter such diamonds. Fluorescence may also have a slightly positive influence on the appearance of certain off-colored diamonds, thereby making them more desirable to own.
Actually, recent studies by GIA have shown that fluorescence in any amount does not impact the face up appearance of a diamond, except possibly those with extreme fluoresence (beyond the standard Very Strong grade -- stones with extraordinary fluorescence are rare and were not available for testing at the time). Therefore, it is only the prevalent belief of the trade and consumers that causes less demand for stones with strong fluorescence and brings the price down.
Here is the prevalent belief system to help you understand how fluorescence influences price:
If a diamond has a color grade of J to M, a moderate amount of fluorescence will actually make a diamond more attractive to most people. Slight to moderate or even strong blue fluorescence in a stone with these color grades actually helps cancel some of the yellow and makes it looks whiter.
However, for a diamond with very high color (such as a D to F grade), fluorescence is thought to interfere with the flow of light and make the diamond appear a little oily or murky. This will not be true for most diamonds, but it is thought to be so and you can buy if for less. We still feel a little hesitant to recommend D to F color diamonds with strong fluorescence, despite the recent research. This is because all these years we were educated to avoid such diamonds. For this reason, we still might recommend None or Slight fluorescence in colorless diamonds (D to F color grades).
In grades in between those above (G, H and I), it might be better to stay away from Strong fluorescence for safety's sake, while moderate fluorescence might actually improve the color appearance in our opinion.
Can a Diamond Break ?
Although diamonds are considered to be the hardest material, with a 10 grade at Moh’s scale, they can still be damaged from abuse. If they are going to be hit on their cleavage direction, then yes they can break.
Diamonds can scratch each other. Be careful also never to store your diamonds next to other gems in a jewelry box, because they can scratch them.
Also do not wear them while you are doing hard work.
Why do I need a Diamond Certificate ?
Diamond Certificates known also as Diamond Reports, are independent documents that provide all the detailed information about the quality of a diamond.
Diamond grading reports by independent labs, such as International Diamond Laboratories are recognized worldwide.
Diamond certification is the result of the process by which diamonds are precisely examined by experienced gemologists. It could be that some diamond certificates can offer slightly different information from others, in almost all cases, a diamond certificate will include detailed measurements of the diamond’s dimensions, an assessment of the symmetry and quality of polish of the diamond, and an analysis of the diamond’s quality resulting in standardized grades in the 4C categories: cut, clarity, color, and carat weight.
The 4 Cs are perhaps the most important information you’ll find on a diamond certificate. These criteria of quality are the ones that define a loose diamond’s value.
When buying loose diamonds, the diamond certificate is the most important document you’ll come across. Because the quality of your purchase has been independently verified, you can feel assured that you have made a wise purchase and that you have received exactly what you have paid for. Just as you wouldn’t want to buy a diamond without looking at it first, you wouldn’t want to make a purchase without going over the certificate.
Where from to buy a diamond ?
You can buy a diamond from many different sources, such as goldsmiths, diamond traders, diamond wholesalers, diamond brokers, jewelers, tv jewelry sales or through e-shops.
The secret though to make a successful purchase is to buy your diamond from a diamond expert, who you trust because he is aware of the latest international diamond trade news and certainly is a diamond expert. Don’t forget to require an international diamond certificate in order to validate the quality of the diamond you are considering to buy.
How can I choose my diamond within so many different qualities ?
Try to select your diamond through a big stock in variety of the 4Cs.
As far as it concerns the color it would really help to compare diamonds of various color grades trying to figure out with your untrained eye the color differences. The minute you can distinguish the yellowish tone in a diamond comparing to a colorless you can determine the choice of your desired color grade. Usually in diamond boutiques they will provide you also with educational promotion material that will guide you helpfully.
Regarding the clarity you can use a jeweler's loupe or a microscope and view various grades of stones so you can see the inclusions. Remember that if you look after at a diamond without the magnification, even if you know from before the positions of the inclusions, they should not be visible if the stone is SI2 or better. Nevertheless try to keep in mind that the inclusions in a diamond are proving its natural origin and its normal to be there. In any way it’s not an abnormality for a diamond. Through the inclusions can always someone with no much experience identify the diamond he is possessing, because every diamond’s clarity is unique.
The cut has the greatest overall impact on the appearance of the stone! The further the cutter has deviated from the optimum cut, the more dead spots there will be in the diamond and will miss a big percentage of its sparkling! Your diamond expert will guide you in order to make a nice choice in cut.
Finally search for a diamond expert jeweler that you must trust in order to buy a nice diamond! Explain your budget and your preferences in the 4Cs and work together. Discuss the kind of jewelry you want the diamond to be set in. Examine the gemological certificate and make sure an independent lab such as an International Diamond Lab (GIA, HRD, IGI) has graded the stone so you absolutely sure you're getting what you expect.
What are “blood diamonds” ?
In relation to diamond trading, blood diamond (also called a converted diamond, conflict diamond, hot diamond or a war diamond) refers to a diamond mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, invading army's war efforts, or a warlord's activity, usually in Africa.
What is the Kimberley Law? (Kimberley Diamond Act of 2003)
It’s known also as the "Kimberley Process". It makes possible for global law enforcement agencies to arrest diamond smugglers when they are caught.
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (Kimberley Process) is an international governmental certification scheme that was set up to prevent the trade in diamonds that fund conflict. Launched in January 2003, the scheme requires governments to certify that shipments of rough diamonds are free from blood diamonds.
Without legislation like the Kimberly Diamond Act and the Clean Diamond Trade Act, law enforcement agencies would not have the ammunition required to go after diamond smugglers when they're caught.
- What is a diamond made of ?