The Diamond Grading System
There are several technical jargons associated with the Diamond gemstone because it is both complex and elemental. It is the hardest material in the world and one of the many allotropes of carbon. Shopping for this gem can be bewildering but there are some interesting and simple facts about diamonds, which makes the whole process less tedious. When purchasing a gemstone, it is crucial to understand the reports produced either by AGS (American Gem Society) or GIA (Gemological Institute of America). One might also want to familiarize themselves with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) guidelines on consumer awareness and jeweler conduct.
The four Cs associated with diamond grading
Cut: The cut of a diamond is an important factor when determining the quality of the gem. The way the gemstone is cut is determined by four factors: the location of the flaws and inclusions to be removed, the popularity of certain shapes, the original shape of the diamond and how much weight is to be preserved. The cut is not to be confused with the shape of the stone. Cut refers to how it is faceted while shape refers to how the diamond appears outwardly.
Carat: This is a measurement of both the weight and size of the gem. One carat equals to 0.007 ounce or 0.2 grams (200 milligrams). It can also be measured as “points” where one carat equals to 100 points. So a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. A gem cutter would occasionally accept gemstones with imperfect shapes to avoid noticeable inclusions and to preserve the carat rating. A one carat diamond may include poorly cut pieces because the per-carat price is much higher when the gems are over one carat.
Clarity: It refers to the absence or presence of small inclusions on the surface or within the stone. In a colored diamond, pale or light inclusions drop the value of the gem and in colorless types, darker inclusions tend to create a significant decrease in its value.
Color: Almost all natural diamonds contain very small quantities of nitrogen atoms. These impurities absorb some of the blue spectrum, making the gem appear yellow. The more nitrogen atoms in the gem, the yellower the diamond will appear. The GIA rates the color of the gem on a scale of D to Z where D is completely colorless and Z is yellow.