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Anatomy of a Diamond


For years, the diamond has been the most popular stone chosen for the engagement to represent everlasting love. Whether you are a guy about to pop the question but unsure about stone selection or a lady doing her research, read on for pointers on going about finding your perfect stone.

The 4C's
Selecting a diamond is a very personal choice. Whether you fancy size or brilliance, remember to do your research before hitting the stores. Here's a quick guide to the first thing you need to know about diamonds: The 4C's - Carat, Cut, Colour and Clarity.

Getting proposed with a ‘One carat diamond’ engagement ring is every girls dream.

- Carat is the weight of the diamond, which is equivalent to its size.
- One carat is equivalent to 100 points.
- A big carat does not mean better. A big diamond is only exceptional when it scores high on the other 3Cs which determines its brilliance.
- There is the balance between having a huge rock and whether its shine is visible from across the room!

This is most commonly being mistaken for the shape of a diamond. Shapes of diamonds are known as Round, Princess, Marquise, Emerald, Cushion, etc.

The cut of a diamond is the way a diamond cutter cuts the diamond to achieve maximum brilliance. It’s the reason why when one might look at 2 diamonds of the same grade but one looks more brilliant than the other. Diamonds have a high reflective index, where light is refracted from one facet to another and dispersed through the top. If cut is too shallow or too deep, light escapes from the bottom and the side.

Usually, the closer to colourless a diamond is, the more valuable it is. The grading scale begins with D to Z, where D to F are considered colourless and G to J are ‘near white’. Of late, pink and yellow coloured diamonds are becoming popular and are extremely rare and pricey. If you plan on a large diamond, it is worthwhile to ensure good grading.

Clarity is the pureness of the diamond. Similar to colour, clarity is graded. The highest grade being the flawless, where there are no visible inclusions, followed by VSI (very small inclusions) and I1 and I2. Inclusions are natural elements trapped in the stone during extraction. They are also considered birthmarks as they unique to each stone.

A perfect diamond is rare and if available, at a high cost, do some homework then set a budget and discuss options with your jeweler.

Now that we’ve covered the 4Cs, let’s move on to discuss the many different shapes that diamonds come in. Shape should not be confused with cut (see section on Cut). However, 2 diamonds of the same carat with different cut can appear as if they were different in size. Here, we have listed the more popular shapes.

This is the most popular diamond shape in the 21st century because it is simple yet has 58 facets and possibly the most brilliant stone of all.

Second most popular shape is a square shaped diamond which suits most fingers easily.

A rectangular shaped diamond which is step cut instead of brilliant cut. As it has lesser facets than most shapes, the emerald disperses the least brilliance. However it is still a classic beauty and one that ranks high on elegance.

An adaptation of the round brilliant, this somewhat resembles somewhat of a rugby ball which looks nicer on long slender fingers.

The cushion cut was popular since 1830 where it was cut for candlelight of its period. It is sometimes called the pillow cut because of its slightly rounded edges.

A diamond certification gives you assurance that you have a stone of quality for which you paid for with good money. With this, you know the diamond’s value as the certificate will list the grading of the 4Cs. A certification does not increase the value of your diamond, but safeguards your position as an affirmation of your purchase.

Certificates are issued by independent gemological laboratories such as Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Diamond Certification Laboratory of Australia (DCLA), European Gemological Laboratories (EGL) and many others.

Photo Credit:

  1. Tiffany Round Brillant Ring
  2. Tiffany Marquise Ring
  3. Tiffany Princess Cut Ring
  4. Tiffany Cushion Ring

Related Images
Colour: White
Theme: Classic
Keywords: Engagement, Wedding Bands, Wedding Proposal

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