The value of a diamond is decided by four criteria used all around the world, known as 4C, which specify the objective value and specification of every gemstone: carat (mass), clarity, color, cut. Valuation is carried out on the basis of those parameters, and they decide the true value of, for example, two seemingly identical diamonds with similar diameters. Every respectable jewelry store offering diamond jewelry should attach a certificate to every product. This guarantees the authenticity and quality of the gemstone.
The gemstone mass is expressed in metric carats. One carat is 0,2 grams. A carat is a unit which is divided into 100 points, so for example, a 10 point diamond will have a mass designated as 0,1 ct.
It is an important parameter which influences the price and beauty of a diamond. Various kinds of distortions in the diamond’s structure, inclusions and cracks may result in incorrect dispersion of light rays into the gemstone. As a result, the brilliance of the diamond is diminished.
Diamonds have internal stigmata (called inclusions) and external ones (called flaws). The clarity class of a specific diamond is decided by their distribution, size, quantity, noticeability and influence on the gemstone’s brilliance.
Due to the large variety of stigmata in diamonds, it is impossible to establish a strict definition for individual clarity classes. For that reason, every level of clarity features tolerance thresholds. It is commonly believed, that diamonds with a clarity ofP1, P2 or P3have stigmata noticeable by an expert appraiser without the use of a magnifying glass, while diamonds with SI, VS or VVSclarity have stigmata noticeable only after using a specialized magnifying glass with ten times magnification.
- IF / LC –diamonds without internal flaws at ten times magnification
- VVS –very, very small inclusions, visible only under a microscope when thoroughly examined by a specialist
- VS –very small internal flaws visible only when examined at ten times magnification – invisible to the naked eye
- SI –small inclusions, noticeable when examining under a magnifying glass with ten times magnification
- P1 / I1 –low quality gemstone; numerous inclusions and flaws
- P2 / I2 –low quality and low value gemstone; large or numerous inclusions, flaws visible to the naked eye
- P3 / I3 –low quality or very low value gemstone, large or numerous, very visible inclusions, flaws diminishing the stone’s brilliance.
Its influence on a diamond’s value is not as distinct, as is the case with the clarity classification. The diversity in diamond color pallets is reflected by the international diamond shade scale, which is designated with capital letters of the Latin alphabet, from D to Z. The whiter the gemstone, the closer its designation is to the beginning of the alphabet.
A pure diamond is a colorless mineral. However, the crystal lattice of a diamond often also features other elements, which is why most gemstones are colored. We distinguish diamonds with typical colors, i.e. from colorless to various shades of yellow, brow or grey, as well as diamonds with more fanciful colors: blue, pink, green. These, however, are extremely rare.
Gemstones designated with the letter D have the best color. This is the so called purest white +. Diamonds with that color are very rare, which significantly influences their prices.
Excellent brilliance is only achieved by the appropriate cut of a gemstone. Among diamonds it is possible to distinguish gemstones with a round diamond cut (cut diamond) and gemstones with more fanciful cuts. The word ‘diamond’ and ‘cut diamond are commonly used as synonyms. This, however, is incorrect, as while every cut diamond is a diamond, not ever every diamond is a cut diamond. A cut diamond is one with a specific shape.
Every cut diamond is unique, like a fingerprint. Errors in the application of correct geometric proportions of a diamond, in symmetry and polishing result in its unique physical qualities not being fully utilized. When evaluating the correctness of a cut, the analysis covers: the proportions of the gemstone and finish of the cut. They are evaluated on a scale: from very good, good, average to poor. Only the proper cut of a diamond enables complete internal reflection and dispersion of light rays – this makes the diamond “alive”, with excellent brilliance and perfect shine.