Continuing from Pearl 101, we move onto a girl’s best friend. Who can resist these shiny shiny things? Here’s the low down:
- It’s all about the 4Cs: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight
- Cut: Not matter how big a diamond is, if it isn’t cut properly, it won’t be able allowed to shine to it’s potential. The perfect cut to let it shine, is the “ideal” cut, which is all about proportions. If the diameter is 100%, then the ideal cut would have the table around 55%, the crown height at around 15% and the pavilion depth around 43%. This cut allows light to be reflected back through the top of the stone making it shinier. Otherwise, light will be reflected sideways if it’s too deep or go right through if it’s too shallow, making the diamond look dark inside
- Generally the best cutters are from Belgium, Russia and Holland
- Our instructor, Alex, claims that the best cut is the round cut, cause then there are more facets of the for light to reflect from. The princess cut on the other hand (the one I’ve always secretly want just because of the name), is not that great cause it’s just a square. Plus, it’s harder as a craftsman to securely put a ring clasp on it
- Color: For colorless diamonds, obviously the clearer the color the better. Colors are graded alphabetically, with D as the best (just remember, D for diamonds!). E and F are still quite clear and it gets progressively yellower.
- A common trick by jewelers is to put diamonds with lower grades on gold bands, to hide the yellow color. If you put that diamond on a silver/platinum brand, it will be too obviously yellow. So it’s always safer to go for the silver/platinum bands!
- According to Alex, the difference between crystals and diamonds is that crystals reflect more rainbow prism colors than diamonds, which are whiter. Though I just read somewhere else that diamonds reflect rainbow colors too…… so I’m not sure how valid this is
- Clarity: Inherent “inclusions” of a diamond, such as scratches and black dots, mars a diamond and interferes with light reflection and consequently the brilliance of it. So the clearer the diamond, the rarer it is. To be honest though, he showed us a few examples under the magnifying glass and pointed out the blemishes and I simply did NOT see any blemishes/dots, even though I pretended to so as not to look like an idiot
- Clarity is graded by the following system: F1 (flawless), IF (internally flawless- minor surface blemishes), VVS1-VVS2 (very, very small inclusions), VS1-VS2 (very small inclusions), SI1-SI2 (small inclusions) and I1-I2-I3 (imperfect- eye-visible inclusions)
- Carat-Weight: This is very self explanatory, this is the unit to measure gemstones/diamonds by. The key point is to note that bigger is not always better. You have to take into consideration the other three C’s. But basically, it all seems to come down to the factors that makes a diamond shiny
- Man-made diamonds are made of mammal ashes. After finding that out, I hypothesized that I can technically convert myself into a diamond upon my death and give it to my children as a memorabilia. Better to become a diamond than a pile of ash or rot in the ground, right? Indeed, having googled this idea, they apparently already offer this service at LifeGem. I almost feels cheated of my brilliant idea, if not for the fact that they have been around for a much longer time than my idea. But definitely food for thought. Would you want to be converted and live forever as a diamond?