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Diamond Learning Guide

Cut
Clarity
Colour
Carat
Shape
Care
Certification
Amazon's Diamond Sourcing Policy


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Cut
Amazon.co.uk: Diagram explaining diamond cut The cut of a diamond determines how it reflects light, which is responsible for its sparkle or brilliance and refers to the angles and proportions of the polished stone. A well-cut diamond is cut by a skilled professional to the best proportions possible so that light will be reflected from each of its mirror-like facets and disperse through its top. Too shallow a cut will let light escape through a diamond's bottom, causing it to appear dull, while too deep a cut will allow light to be lost through a diamond's sides, making it appear dark. It is the only one of the 4Cs that is not created naturally by Mother Earth, but is generated by the skill of an experienced craftsman. Cut is often also used in reference to the physical shape of a diamond.

Because a diamond with perfect colour and clarity could nevertheless have poor brilliance if it is not well cut, many gemologists consider this to be the most important property to note when choosing a diamond. Diamonds can carry cut grades of Excellent, Ideal, Very Good, Good, or Fair.

Excellent
Representing roughly the top 1% of diamond quality based on cut. The highest grades of polish and symmetry allow it to reflect even more light than the standard ideal cut.

Ideal
A diamond described as Ideal represents the highest standards of cut, with only the top 3% of all diamonds falling in this category. An Ideal Cut diamond reflects nearly all the light that enters it and displays maximum brilliance and fire. For those who want the very best that money can buy, this is the cut to choose.

Very Good
A diamond described as Very Good reflects nearly as much light as an Ideal cut diamond, and represents approximately the top 15% of diamonds based on cut. The proportions may overlap with many of the proportions of an Ideal cut, with slight variations from the preferred range that allow the cutter to create a larger stone. A diamond with a Very Good cut has exceptional brilliance and is generally priced slightly lower than an Ideal cut diamond.

Good
A diamond described as Good reflects most of the light that enters it, and is much less expensive than a Very Good cut. A diamond in this category represents roughly the top 25% of diamonds based on cut. Its proportions may vary from the preferred range because the cutter has opted to maximize the size of the stone rather than creating a smaller Very Good quality diamond. For those shopping on a budget, a diamond in this range offers good quality and excellent value.

Fair
A diamond described as Fair represents the top 35% of diamonds based on cut. Though it is still a quality cut, it reflects less light and displays less brilliance than a Good Cut diamond. Diamonds in this range are typically cut to maximize size over other factors.

Amazon.co.uk: Diagram explaining diamond cut


Shape
Amazon.co.uk: Diagram explaining diamond shape The traditional round cut provides a combination of the best qualities a diamond can have. The symmetry of this shape means it is capable of reflecting nearly all of the light that enters it and it therefore has the greatest potential for exuding diamond hue and brilliance. There are also other shapes that can emphasise a diamond's different features. The choice of a shape is best based on personal taste and the design of the jewellery.


Amazon.co.uk: Diagram explaining diamond shape


Clarity
Amazon.co.uk: Diagram explaining diamond clarity No two diamonds are the same. A diamond's most distinguishing characteristics are its inclusions or marks that are often invisible to the naked eye. However, under a jeweller's magnifying loupe or microscope they can look like crystals, tiny rivers, or clouds. A diamond's clarity is determined by the presence or absence of inclusions--fewer inclusions mean better clarity--and how visible they are. The greater a diamond's clarity, the greater its brilliance and value. A diamond categorised as internally flawless will have no inclusions, but this is extremely rare. Diamonds with very, very small inclusions are graded as VVS1 or VVS2. Those with larger inclusions appear lower down the grading skill. Diamonds with inclusions that are visible with the naked eye are graded I1 to I3.


Amazon.co.uk: Diagram explaining diamond shape


Colour
Amazon.co.uk: Diagram explaining diamond colour Though diamonds come in a wide range of colours, colourless diamonds have traditionally been considered the most valuable. Most diamonds are graded on a scale using the letters of the alphabet, from D (colourless), the best grade, through Z (a light yellow). It is difficult for the untrained eye to notice such variations in colour unless stones are being compared side by side. Truly colourless diamonds (D) are admired for their beauty and rarity and are therefore more valuable than lower graded diamonds which are more widely available. The choice of preferred colour is purely down to personal taste.

The comparatively rare coloured diamonds are known as fancy colours and are also quite valuable. They range in hue from the more common yellow (also graded Z+ on the alphabetic scale) to pink, blue, green, red, and even black and white.

Diamonds that are graded D, E, and F tend to be the most expensive because of their rarity. However, any diamond you buy should have a good balance of cut, color, and clarity, so as to impart the most brilliance and dazzle possible.

Amazon.co.uk: Diagram explaining diamond colour


Carat
Amazon.co.uk: Diagram explaining diamond weight, i.e. diamond carat A diamond's weight is measured in carats, with one carat being equivalent to 100 points. You will often see a diamond referred to as a 3/4-carat stone or a 75-point diamond. Larger stones are often more highly valued, but size should not be the only consideration--clarity, cut, and colour grade, will all impact the desirability and value of a diamond.

Amazon.co.uk: Diagram explaining diamond weight, i.e. diamond carat



Caring For Your Diamond
Diamonds, as the hardest substance on earth, are resistant to damage. However, diamond jewellery is set in different metals, and care will vary from piece to piece. The girdle can be chipped by a hard blow, making a protective setting extremely important. Diamonds should be cleaned in a solution of one part ammonia to six parts water, using a gentle scrubbing brush to remove any dirt. It is a good idea to have them cleaned once a year by a professional jeweller, at which time the security of the setting can be checked as well. Diamond jewellery should be stored in a soft cloth pouch to ensure that the stone will not scratch other jewellery.

Certification
A diamond certificate represents independent verification that the stone purchased has all the qualities of cut, colour, clarity, shape, and weight expected. It is a further indication of the condition and value of that diamond as represented on our site. Such certificates are issued by several agencies employing highly trained gemologists and provide an unbiased and accurate evaluation of the diamond. These gemologists scrutinize each stone to analyze its dimensions, clarity, cut, colour, finish, symmetry, and other details.

Amazon's Diamond Sourcing Policy
Amazon.co.uk takes steps to ensure that all of its diamond supplies comply with the international Kimberley Process to prevent trading in 'blood diamonds' or 'conflict diamonds' sourced from areas of conflict in the world.