Diamonds are not just stunning gemstones; they hold a rich history and carry significant meaning. Our blog aims to delve into the four C's (cut, colour, clarity and carat).
We believe in empowering our readers with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions when it comes to purchasing diamonds. From the famous 4Cs (cut, colour, clarity, and carat weight) to the lesser-known aspects like fluorescence and diamond shapes, we'll provide in-depth explanations and practical advice.
Furthermore, we understand that diamonds are more than just gemstones; they represent love, celebration, and milestones in our lives. We'll share inspiring stories, delve into the symbolism of diamonds in different cultures, and explore creative ways to incorporate diamonds into jewellery designs.
Whether you're a diamond connoisseur seeking to expand your knowledge or someone starting their diamond journey, the Diamond Education Blog is here to accompany you every step of the way. Our goal is to create an engaging and educational platform that helps you navigate the world of diamonds with confidence and appreciation.
Stay tuned for our upcoming articles, expert guest posts, and informative guides. We look forward to being your trusted source for all things diamond-related. Remember when you are searching for a diamond, it is important that you consult with an expert team who are well trained and have extensive knowledge on diamond buying. The team at Morgan & Co are here to help and offer free in studio consultations or virtual consultations to go over their diamond buying process and to answer your questions.
The carat, the standard unit of weight for diamonds and other gemstones, takes its name from the carob seed. These small seeds had a fairly uniform weight so early gem traders used them as counterweights in their balance scales. A point is the equivalent of a fifth of a gram, meaning that 1 whole carat is approximately 2 grams. The modern metric carat was adopted by Australia circa 1913. Today, a carat weighs exactly the same in every corner of the world.
Carats, not to be confused with karats of gold, describe the weight of a diamond. Just as a dollar is divided into 100 cents, a carat is divided into 100 points. For example, a 50-point diamond weighs 0.50 carats, however, two diamonds of equal weight can be worth very different values, depending on clarity, colour and cut. Larger diamonds occur less frequently in nature so the higher the carat weight, the higher the value.
Diamond colour is all about what you can’t see. Diamonds are valued by how closely they approach colourlessness, meaning, the less colour, the higher their value. The exception to this is fancy-colour diamonds, such as pinks and blues, which lie outside this colour range.
The rarest white diamonds have no colour at all, but some do exhibit slight colour which is based on a D to Z scale. This grading system is used internationally to assess the value of diamonds based on their colouring.
The most valuable diamonds are those that have a ‘colourless’ grading, which are D, E and F. These are some of the rarest diamonds on the market.
GIA’s colour-grading scale for diamonds is the industry standard. The scale begins with the letter D, representing colourless, and continues with increasing presence of colour to the letter Z. Each letter grade has a clearly defined range of colour appearance. Diamonds are colour-graded by comparing them to stones of known colour under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions.
Many of these colour distinctions are so subtle and most of the time are invisible to the untrained eye. But these slight differences make a very big difference in diamond quality and price.
Many diamonds appear to be perfectly sparkly to the naked eye but under 10x magnification, plenty of impurities can be revealed, including clouds/feathers and tiny crystals. The internal characteristics of a diamond are one of the main indicators of value, making the rarest diamonds very difficult to find.
Diamonds classified as Flawless (FL) or Internally Flawless (IF) are the rarest levels of clarity and must be graded by a certified gemologist to ensure validity. Even if you cannot tell the difference yourself, these tiny differences can have a significant impact on rarity and consequently on value too. The chart below shows the international grading system.
No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification
Internally Flawless (IF)
No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2)
Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2)
Inclusions are clearly visible under 10x magnification but can be characterised as minor
Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2)
Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10x magnification
Included (I1, I2, and I3)
Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance
At Morgan & Co, we take pride in finding rare and valuable diamonds that have no inclusions visible to the naked eye.
The sparkle of a diamond is determined by its cut. A well-cut diamond will be well proportioned, symmetrical and beautifully polished. Master cutters are capable of revealing a diamond’s immense beauty and brilliance through meticulous techniques and methods. As light enters the stone, it is reflected off the different facets like a mirror, creating astonishing shine and sparkle.
It is important that the diamond cut must not be too deep or shallow as this will limit the sparkle of the stone. This beauty can only be achieved by cutting away a lot of the rough diamond, which means a loss of carat weight. However, size alone does not ensure brilliance.
Diamond shape refers to the geometric appearance of a diamond. Diamond shapes are categorised into two groups: round diamonds and fancy shape diamonds. Round diamonds, also known as round brilliant cuts, are the most traditional diamond shape. Fancy shaped diamonds refer to any diamond that is not a round brilliant. Morgan & Co’s fancy shape diamonds include oval, marquise, pear, heart, emerald, princess, radiant, cushion, baguette and asscher.
Emerald Cut Diamond
An emerald cut diamond is cut with rectangular facets to create a unique optical appearance which makes this shape distinct. Due to its large open table and step-cut pavilion, this shape highlights the clarity of a diamond. An emerald cut is eye-catching and art deco inspired.
Princess Cut Diamond
This contemporary style is a classic choice of diamond cut. It is a square shape with pointed corners and is a timeless and popular choice for an engagement ring.
Cushion Cut Diamond
Traditionally known as the “pillow-cut” diamond, this diamond is square with rounded corners which softens the diamond, resulting in a unique spin on a classic round brilliant cut.
Oval Shaped Diamond
A combination of the round brilliant cut and marquise diamond. This shape lengthens the fingers by making light bounce off the shimmering facets. The oval cut is bold, beautiful and an excellent choice for an engagement ring.
Pear Shaped Diamond
Like the oval shape, the pear elongates the fingers. It is a teardrop shape with a single point and rounded end. The pear shape is a popular choice for an engagement ring and is currently our second best selling diamond.
Heart Shaped Diamond
The heart shape is the symbol of love. This shape tends to show slight colour in its point, so you may want to budget for a higher colour grade than you'd need when buying a round diamond.
Marquise Shaped Diamond
Marquise shaped diamonds, also known as eye shaped diamonds, are a great option for the more non-traditional bride. These diamonds were often not seen as an engagement ring, but in recent years their popularity has grown.
Radiant Shaped Diamond
Popular since the 1980s, this diamond shape lives up to its name; it is both radiant and beautiful. It is the perfect combination of a round brilliant and emerald diamond and sparkles with brilliance and fire.
Baguette Shaped Diamond
The baguette is a long, rectangular shape and is cut with 14 facets. These diamonds create exceptional clarity with more minimal sparkle and brilliance - a perfect accent look. This shape is rarely used as a centre stone.
Asscher Shaped Diamond
The Asscher shape is similar to an emerald, except it is square with all four corners cut. The shine and sparkle that comes from this shape is like an endless hallway of reflective mirrors.
In conclusion, we hope that our Diamond Education Blog has provided you with a comprehensive understanding of the four C's of diamonds: cut, colour, clarity, and carat weight. These four factors play a crucial role in determining the quality, beauty, and value of a diamond.
Throughout this blog, we have strived to provide you with valuable insights, practical tips, and knowledge to make informed decisions when purchasing a diamond. We have discussed the importance of reputable diamond certifications and the role they play in ensuring the quality and authenticity of a diamond.
We sincerely hope that our Diamond Education Blog has been a valuable resource for you, empowering you to confidently navigate the world of diamonds. Remember, each diamond is unique, and finding the one that captures your heart is a special journey.
Thank you for joining us on this diamond education adventure. Stay tuned for more engaging content, inspiring stories, and informative articles as we continue to explore the fascinating world of diamonds. Please contact the team at Morgan & Co for your free, no obligation consultation to discuss further. We look forward to hearing from you!