A diamond (Greek – adámas, meaning “unbreakable,” “proper,” or “unalterable”) is one of the best-known and most sought-after gemstones. Diamonds have been known to mankind and used as decorative items since ancient times; some of the earliest references can be traced to India.
The hardness of diamond and its high dispersion of light – giving the diamond its characteristic “fire” – make it useful for industrial applications and desirable as jewelry. Diamonds are such a highly traded commodity that multiple organizations have been created for grading and certifying them based on the four Cs, which are color, cut, clarity, and carat. Other characteristics, such as presence or lack of fluorescence, also affect the desirability and thus the value of a diamond used for jewelry.
Carat weight measures the mass of a diamond. One carat is defined as 200 milligrams.
Clarity is a measure of internal defects of a diamond called inclusions. Inclusions may be crystals of a foreign material or another diamond crystal, or structural imperfections such as tiny cracks that can appear whitish or cloudy. The number, size, color, relative location, orientation, and visibility of inclusions can all affect the relative clarity of a diamond.
The finest quality as per color grading is totally colorless, which is graded as “D” color diamond across the globe, meaning it is absolutely free from any color. The next grade has a very slight trace of color, which can be observed by any expert diamond valuer/grading laboratory. However when studded in jewellery these very light colored diamonds do not show any color or it is not possible to make out color shades. These are graded as E color or F color diamonds.
Diamonds which show very little traces of color are graded as G or H color diamonds. Slightly colored diamonds are graded as I or J or K color. A diamond can be found in any color in addition to colorless. Some of the colored diamonds, such as pink, are very rare.
The cut of a diamond describes the manner in which a diamond has been shaped and polished from its beginning form as a rough stone to its final gem proportions.
The quality of a diamond’s cut is widely considered the most important of the four Cs in determining the beauty of a diamond; indeed, it is commonly acknowledged that a well-cut diamond can appear to be of greater carat weight, and have clarity and color appear to be of better grade than they actually are. The skill with which a diamond is cut determines its ability to reflect and refract light.