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Diamonds, know it’s 4C

Diamonds, knowing them well, is it simple? For sure you know the 4Cs ( Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat ), the 4 fundamental parameters to determine the quality of Diamonds, nor will we speak and illustrate for sure, mentioning them is a must. 

Do you really think that knowing the 4Cs is enough to be able to say that you know Diamonds? Many ask us if diamonds last forever, if and how it can happen that they lose luster and how to keep them beautiful and shiny over time.
Sometimes they ask us questions about diamonds, it is often assumed that everyone does not know the nature and characteristics, but this is not always the case.

In this article we will deal with the topics gradually, starting from basic knowledge, answering as much as possible to the most common questions and curiosities, even touching and if requested by our readers, to deepen technical and scientific aspects on the subject, trying to avoid go too far. 

The topic will be addressed in the best possible way, with simplicity, taking advantage of the knowledge and support of Gemmologists, Goldsmiths, Technicians and sales staff,  who every day speak and interact directly with the people and customers within our Company.
If you would like more explanations or clarifications on a particular topic, write to us and we will do our best to satisfy you.

Know the Diamonds

Stones among the most commercialized, known, and desired, the Diamonds have followed the history of man and his evolution, making him dream, adorning the most beautiful jewels of all time, of famous Emperors and Rulers.
By now we think we know everything about this fantastic stone, which has always been considered the King of Precious Gems. 

4C of Diamonds (Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat):

Cut

A determining factor for obtaining the maximum brilliance and brightness from a gem, it is a determining factor for Diamonds and for any Gem in general. The most used and widespread cut is the Round Brilliant cut, so correctly we should talk about: Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds, Oval, Pear-Drop, Navette-Marquise, Princess, Radiant, Heart, Cushion, Trilliant; a Steps as a square and rectangular Emerald cut, and other mixed and patterned cuts.

 Commercially the most used and widespread is the Round Brilliant Cut  (as already mentioned), this type of cut has 57/58 facets in total, 32 + 1 on the upper part (Corona), 24 on the lower part (Pavilion) + 1 additional, if the Apex is faceted; very often, people tend to shorten the terms when used a lot, we frequently hear about Brilliant, a term with which we tend to indicate it, but it would not be correct, as the round Brilliant cut can be applied also to other precious and non-precious gems.

The modern Brilliant cut Diamonds as we conceive it today were born in 1919 by Tolkowsky, however, this is not the only version of modern cuts, but it is certainly the starting point and reference point of the era of the modern Brilliant cut. Today in many countries the most important Brands-Brands use Diamonds cut with very good proportions, thus guaranteeing high-quality standards, this does not preclude the fact that on the market there are no Diamonds cut with mediocre or poor proportions (which is less and less frequent with the passing of years).

 The opposite is also true, i.e. in recent years with the rise of more advanced technological factors, diamond cuts have been studied and made with absolute precision., managing to obtain a brightness never seen before. Generally, they are not assembled in series in normal jewelry, as these excellent cuts lead to a greater waste of the rough diamonds in the cutting phase and therefore raise the price per ct. of Diamonds.

They can reach average increases between 10% and 20%, in reference to similar stones. It should be noted that generally, these excellent cuts applied to Diamonds are especially appreciable on stones that have a minimum of size, the larger they are the more you can appreciate this difference of the Optimal and Excellent cut.

Color (Color)

Reference Color Scale for Diamonds is often misunderstood by most people not involved in the sector, this scale clearly exemplifies the scale of the Whites of the Diamond, in fact, it is a series of shades of Whites and not of their own and real differences between Diamond Colors, this scale is dedicated exclusively to “colorless/white” Diamonds, it is absolutely not used for Fancy Color Diamonds, whose Colors are: Yellow, Pink, Brown, Black, Green, Light Blue / Blue, Red.

 This determines among most of the customers the mistaken belief that 1 single color degree of difference between a Diamond and another is easily visible to the naked eye on mounted jewels. This is not the case, the Diamonds mounted and therefore also subjected to the reflection of the adjacent metal often do not allow to see differences for 1.2 color scales (it also depends on the sensitivity of the eye). 

It is evident that we are talking about very small differences that in Diamonds neither increase nor decrease the value and preciousness. certainly, but not as evident as one might think. Some people, to better understand the scale of whites used for diamonds, use the example of 1 carafe of water, to which 1 drop of color is added at a time, each drop represents an “illustrative” level of 1 degree of color, so we are talking about very small differences.

 As you can see from the image, the Diamond Color scale goes from the letter D to Z, where D is totally colorless and “Z” stands for yellowish-yellowish (but Not Yellow), when the color intensity exceeds the Z degree speaks of Fancy Color Diamonds, up to now almost 300 different colors have been classified. Commercially the most used selection, for Diamonds used in Gold or Platinum jewels, with Brands of a certain importance, is between Colors F and H; this does not preclude the possibility of using other colors of Bianchi (obviously).

Purity (Clarity)

This point deserves important clarifications, it is not enough simply to say that this Diamond scale indicates which Gems are more or less pure or beautiful. You will see that commonly, we will use the term “Purity”, as the exact translation (Clarity = Clarity) does not render much in our language.

 Basic thing:  we are talking not about purities or impurities, but about natural inclusions inside the crystals of Diamonds; in the crystals, in the phase of growth-formation, it happens to be trapped inside its crystalline structure of the smallest elements extraneous to the crystals of the Diamonds, these internal inclusions are considered as if they were the ” fingerprints” of the Diamonds, making them unique; it is, therefore, correct to speak of characteristics of Diamonds and Not of defects

These internal natural inclusions, if small, do not absolutely affect the beauty of diamonds, unless they become evident to the eye. The correct classification is determined by professionals ( Gemmologists ) who carry out the evaluation and analysis, with the aid of a 10 X lens or microscope (10 magnifications), so up to the degree of “Purity” SI2 the eye must not see absolutely nothing if correctly classified. 

Many Brands use purities ranging from IF to SI2, this not only for commercial factors, in order to offer, in addition to Internally pure Diamonds(IF), also Diamonds with some inclusions (VVS, VS, SI), which can favor a lower price, but does not penalize the general beauty of the Gem. Purity Classification of Diamonds :

  • FL (pure internally and externally with 10 X lens); used only by some Gemological Laboratories and not by all.
  • IF (pure internally with 10 X lens).
  • VVS1, VVS2 (very very small, difficult inclusions visible at 10X lens).
  • VS1, VS2 (very small inclusions, barely visible at 10 X lens).
  • SI1, SI2 , SI3 (small inclusions, visible with 10 X lens); PS: the SI3 grade  It is not used and recognized by many important Gemological Institutes and Laboratories.
  • I1 (inclusions difficult to see with the naked eye),  I2 (inclusions visible to the naked eye),  I3 (inclusions clearly visible to the naked eye).

Carat (Carat)

It is the unit of measure used to weight (mass), all precious gems, including diamonds, of course; henceforth indicated with the initials ct .1 ct. corresponds to 1/5 of a gram, therefore 5 ct. correspond to 1 gram, the subunit of the ct. one-hundredth of the act is the “Point”. , therefore all Diamonds weighing less than 1 ct. may have weight indications in “Points”, eg. a diamond of 20 points = ct. 0.20, the direct indication in ct. it remains by far the most used and correct. 

There are also other sub-units which have now been out of use for several years and therefore we will not take them into consideration. The word Carat originates from the fact that carob seeds were once used, when there was no adequate instrumentation, carob seeds have the property of having a surprisingly regular weight., therefore at the time an ideal method for weighing Diamonds and other precious Gems.