Diamond education


Everything you need to know about purchasing your diamond
Tip: We recommend you familiarize with the 4 Cs explained below to ensure you will make an informed purchase.

All our diamonds are accompanied by a gemological certificate from one of the major gemological authorities like GIA, AGS, EGL and others. Each certificate provides specific information detailing the characteristics of the stone it describes. The most important characteristics of a diamond are the so called 4 Cs (Color, Clarity, Cut, Carat Weight).

If you have any questions about the 4 Cs or would like to learn more about diamond certification please contact us and we will gladly advise you.

Color

GIA’s D-Z color scale for diamonds has set the standards for color grading. The normal color spectrum stretches from the lowest color Z to the highest color D. In fact, the less color a diamond shows the more valuable it is. Like a drop of pure water, a perfectly colorless diamond has no hue at all.

Engagement Ring in Vancouver Color Detection
Tip: When buying a diamond you usually don’t want to buy a color below the G-H-I (near colorless) grades.

Clarity

Diamonds are products of mother earth and like all natural commodities show different degrees of imperfection. Precisely, diamonds are made of carbon that has been exposed to extreme heat and pressure for a long time. This results in a variety of (internal) inclusions or (external) blemishes. Diamond graders examine the nature, number, size and position of these imperfections and how they affect the appearance of the diamond. The higher the clarity the more valuable a diamond becomes.

The Diamond Clarity Scale has 6 categories, some of which are divided, for a total of 11 specific grades:

  • Flawless (FL) — No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification
  • Internally Flawless (IF) — No inclusions visible under 10x magnification
  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 & VVS2) — Inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 & VS2) — Inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification, but can be characterized as minor
  • Slightly Included (SI1 & SI2) — Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification
  • Included (I1, I2, & I3) — Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance
Tip: When buying a diamond you usually don’t want to buy clarity below the SI2 grade.

Cut

‍A diamond’s cut is what creates the “fire”, “sparkle” and “brilliance”. Cut does not refer to the shape of the diamond (round, cushion, heart) but is about proportions and how a diamond’s facets interact with light. A diamond’s cut is crucial to the stone’s final beauty and value. And of all the diamond 4Cs, it is the most complex and technically difficult to analyze. 

Cut grades are determined mainly for round shaped diamonds. Cut grading for fancy cut diamonds such as princess or emeralds is rare. Graders calculate the proportions of those facets and how they affect the diamond’s face-up appearance. Based on these proportions the stone’s light performance can be determined and the cut can be graded accordingly. A diamond’s design and craftsmanship, its weight-diameter ratio, girdle thickness, facet symmetry, and the quality of the polish on the facets are also taken into consideration when grading its cut.

The cut scale ranges from Excellent to Poor: 

Excellent (sometimes referred to as “ideal”) – Very Good – Good – Fair – Poor

The Cut Scale of Diamonds
Tip: When buying a diamond you usually don’t want to buy lower than Very Good Cut.

Carat weight

One metric carat equals 200 milligrams or 0.2 gram. When buying a diamond you might hear the jeweler express its weight in points: 1 carat can be subdivided into 100 points. A 0.74 carat diamond can be referred to as a “74 pointer”. The point system is used for diamonds under 1 carat only. All else being equal, a diamond’s price increases with weight. However, two diamonds of the same carat weight can differ significantly in value because they differ in Color, Clarity and Cut.

Tip: When buying a diamond determine your budget first, and then decide which one of the 4 Cs is most important for you. For example: if you can spend 10000$ but you want as big a stone as possible, then you will have to compromise on the other 3 Cs. On the other hand, if for the same budget you want most of all the very clean and white stone and excellent cut diamond, you must opt for a smaller size.

Even scarcer than diamonds of the D-Z color spectrum (normal color) are the so called fancy-colored diamonds. Only under very special geological conditions diamonds with distinct natural blue, brown, yellow, red, orange, pink or green hue are formed. Unlike normal colored or colorless diamonds, fancy diamonds are valued according to their color intensity rather than for brilliance and sparkle. Deeper and more distinct shades are valued higher than lighter and weaker shades.

Diamonds in the normal color range are colorless through light yellow and are described using the industry’s D-to-Z color-grading scale. Fancy color diamonds, on the other hand, are yellow and brown diamonds that exhibit color beyond the Z range, or diamonds that exhibit any other color face-up. These rare specimens come in every color of the spectrum, including, most importantly, blue, green, pink, and red.

Gem diamonds in the D-to-Z range usually decrease in value as the color becomes more obvious. Just the opposite happens with fancy color diamonds: Their value generally increases with the strength and purity of the color. Large, vivid fancy color diamonds are extremely rare and very valuable. However, many fancy diamond colors are muted rather than pure and strong.

Fancy color diamonds come in almost any color you can imagine. Red, green, purple, and orange are generally the most rare, followed by pink and blue. Yellows and browns are the most common fancy colors, but they’re generally less valuable than the rarer colors.

Blacks, grays, and fancy whites are considered fancies, too. Some have been fashioned into gems. The 67.50-carat Black Orloff diamond, named after the Russian Princess Nadia Vyegin-Orloff, is the most well-known example.

GIA describes color in terms of hue, tone and saturation. Hue refers to the diamond’s characteristic color, tone refers to the color’s relative lightness or darkness and saturation refers the color’s depth or strength. Using highly controlled viewing conditions and color comparators, a fancy color grader selects one of 27 hues, then describes tone and saturation with terms such as “Fancy Light,” “Fancy Intense,” and “Fancy Vivid.” The color system GIA developed is used worldwide.

Everything you need to know about Fluorescence

There is a great misconception about fluorescence in diamonds. It is widely perceived as a flaw or defect. In fact, this misconception is so persistent that it creates a lower demand for fluorescent diamonds which in turn reduces market value for these stones. Colorless (D-F) fluorescent diamonds sell at up to a 15% discount since the fluorescence is perceived as a defect.

What is fluorescence?

Fluorescence is the reaction of trace minerals that are present within the diamond to the exposure of UV light. The result is a glow that can be very minor to strong blue, and in rare cases yellow or other colors. This glow is usually only visible under special conditions when the diamond is held directly under a UV lamp. You might notice such a glow in a night club because of black lights. The sun is also a source of UV light so in some diamonds a visual effect might be obvious in normal daylight. About 30% of diamonds fluoresce.

In most cases, however, fluorescence within a diamond is never actually visible under normal light conditions. Actually, fluorescence is many cases is positive for the appearance of a diamond. Most diamonds have a slight natural body color hue that tends to be yellowish. The blue of the fluorescence is the complementary color to that yellow tone and leads to an improved color of the diamond altogether. Especially diamonds below F color tend to look whiter than their actual body color if they possess some level of fluorescence. Thus, an I color graded diamond might appear like H color. In such cases fluorescence is a bonus. You get a better color for a lower price.

A GIA study of diamond fluorescence:

A study performed in 1997 by the GIA found that the level of fluorescence has no widely perceptible effect on the color appearance or transparency of diamonds when viewed table down (upside down). In the table up position, diamonds of Strong or Very Strong fluorescence appeared to have better color than less fluorescent stones. The effect was most noticeable in the I-K colors.

According to GIA: “studies show that for the overwhelming majority of diamonds, the strength of fluorescence has no widely noticeable effect on appearance. In the GIA Fluorescence Study, it was found that the average person could not make a distinction between a diamond with fluorescence and a diamond without. In many instances, observers prefer the appearance of diamonds that have medium to strong fluorescence. In rare cases, some diamonds with extremely strong fluorescence may appear hazy or oily; fewer than 0.2% of the fluorescent diamonds submitted to GIA exhibit this effect”.

As a buyer you should consider two factors:

The color of the fluorescence: if the color is blue this is usually positive for the appearance of the diamond because it will likely make the diamond look whiter. In addition, diamonds with fluorescence trade at lower prices, so you can expect a discount. Caution: do not buy diamonds with yellow fluorescence

The strength of fluorescence: diamond grading differs between None-Faint-Medium-Strong-Very Strong fluorescence. Caution: in some cases very strong fluorescence can make a diamond look milky, oily or cloudy. Make sure you have a good look at the diamond before purchase.

How to insure your engagement ring

Buying the perfect diamond engagement ring can be very stressful. How can you possibly invest so much money in something that will be so close and dear to your better half without actually knowing what exactly she really wants? Brilliant round, cushion, princess, solitaire, halo?……Don’t lose your hair over it! At DiamondNet we excel in making this really easy for you. And once you have found the perfect engagement ring here is the next important step: Jewelry Insurance!

The moment you take possession of your ring (or earrings or any other valuable piece of diamond jewelry) you have to make sure you receive the invoice (as proof of purchase) and/or an appraisal (as proof of value). Most insurance companies will ask you for at least one of the two. If, heaven forbids, you should lose your ring or a diamond should fall out you do want to be protected financially. Here are some basics of how you insure your engagement ring.

Choose a coverage provider

  • Homeowner or renter’s insurance – if you do have it you should easily be able to purchase an extension that will cover your jewelry for a yearly premium. Ask your insurer what documents are required.
  • If you do not have homeowner or renter’s insurance you can buy insurance from an independent company that specializes in jewelry insurance.

How much does it cost?

That depends mainly on the value of your engagement ring but also on other factors such as the assessment of the area where you live and on whether or not your policy has a deductible. Ask your insurer what types of repairs will contribute to your deductible.

You should also ask your insurance provider

  • ‍If you can select the goldsmith that will repair your jewelry?
  • Are you insured for replacement or cash payout?
  • ‍From where can you buy a new ring?
  • ‍What happens if you cannot find a suitable replacement?
  • ‍How can you proof loss or theft?
  • ‍Under which circumstances are you not covered?

Appraisal always included

With every purchase you make at DiamondNet, we will always include an independent appraisal. If you don’t know what your ring is worth you will not be able to protect its value. A proper appraisal provided from a recognized gemological lab such as the Federal Gemological Laboratory of Canada should always include the carat weight, cut, color, and clarity of all the diamonds, the carat weight and shape of any colored stones, the metal type and fineness or karat, as well as any identifying marks, hallmarks, or stamps.

For most diamonds over 0.5ct DiamondNet will also provide you with a diamond grading report or diamond certificate from an independent gemological laboratory such as GIA (Gemological Laboratory of America) or EGL (European Gemological Laboratory). The diamond certificate will always include carat weight, color, and clarity and for round diamonds – cut grade. This certificate is not an appraisal and usually does not state the value of the diamond. It does, however, state all the qualities of the diamond the appraiser needs in order to determine the value of the diamond.