Diamond Education

Diamonds naturally vary in colour with the majority of them on the market being sold as near colourless.  On this scale, diamond colour is graded from D, which has the least colour, through the alphabet to Z, which has a light yellow colour. Truly colourless diamonds (D) are treasured for their rarity. 

Diamonds generally have subtle differences which may not be visible to the naked eye. Due to the rise in fashion-led trends, coloured diamonds are becoming increasingly more popular and valuable. At Creative Diamonds Bvba , we have a wide range of various coloured diamonds, which are natural diamonds that have been subjected to specialist treatments to enhance the depth of colour and contrast.

Inclusions are ranked on a scale of perfection called clarity, which means that the fewer inclusions a diamond has, then the greater the clarity and thus making it more valuable. The clarity scale is a reminder that it is fairly common for diamonds to have natural flaws and they are rarely perfect. These are known as nature’s ‘fingerprints’ or ‘birthmarks and they can look like tiny crystals, clouds or feathers. The beauty of a diamond will not be greatly affected by inclusions as they can be hidden by the setting or the mount. There are different  bodies that set these scales, the GIA (Gemmological Institute of America), IGI (International Gemological Institute) and HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant)

ROUND BRILLIANT CUT DIAMONDS

The scale ranks diamonds from Loupe Clean through to P (Piqué - French for picked): Loupe Clean diamonds are flawless or internally flawless and very rare and valuable. Diamonds that have very, very slight inclusions, are graded VVS1-VVS2 and, even with a loupe, the inclusions can be difficult to see.

Diamonds that are very slightly included are graded as VS1-VS2. Diamonds that are graded S1-S2 feature only slight inclusions which may or may not be visible to the naked eye. Any diamond that has inclusions that is visible to the naked eye, are P1-P3 although P1 will have fewer inclusions than P3.

Diamonds are measured in carats, which take into account the weight, rather than the size. Outsized carat weights are rarer and more precious. Carats are split into points where 100 points are equal to one carat.

  • ½ carat diamond – 50 point or 0.50 carat diamond

  • ¼ carat diamond – 25 point or 0.25 carat diamond

When there is more than one diamond on a piece of jewellery such as on a diamond cluster ring or a three stone pendant, the stones are weighed together rather than individually.

The carat weight does not reflect the size of a diamond. Therefore it may appear bigger but may weigh less, so it is worth taking your time to absorb its splendour.

When buying diamond jewellery, the most appealing factor is likely to be the carat weight of a diamond. However it is important to remember that colour, clarity and cut will also determine the value of a diamond.

The cut of a diamond refers to their proportion and finish. Skilled craftsmen transform a rough diamond to a gleaming polished diamond by polishing tiny facets into the rough stone. Facets are the flat, polished surfaces on a diamond. Well cut and proportioned facets on a diamond will make good use of light, allowing it to be dispersed and reflected from one facet to another, releasing the diamond’s brilliance.

A diamond can be cut in various ways; to be heavier, thus gaining more value, or to hide or minimalise inclusions. Symmetry, proportion and how polished a diamond is will all determine the quality of the cut. These can vary from diamond to diamond, so the shape and the quality should be taken into consideration.

There are three main cutting styles each has its own facet arrangements:

  • Brilliant cut

  • Step cut

  • Mixed cut

  • Diamond shapes

Cut can also refer to the diamond shape, the most popular of which is the round brilliant cut, originally developed by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919 with a total of 58 facets. There are, however, many other diamond shapes available which are known as a fancy cut, including popular choices such as princess cut, emerald cut, oval and baguette. Deciding the shape of the diamond is a matter of personal taste and style.

Over the past century, diamond cutters have perfected the round brilliant cut diamond using advanced light theories and mathematical calculations to develop its optimum fire and brilliance. They are the only diamond shape to have perfectly defined proportions and account for more than three-quarters of all diamonds sold today.

ROUND BRILLIANT CUT DIAMONDS

For the traditional bride, a round brilliant cut is the most popular option for an engagement ring. The stone is cut in the shape of a cone with the top rounded off which enables it to return the light that enters it. It is considered the most brilliant of diamond cuts and its symmetrical shape allows it to maximise all its qualities.

PRINCESS CUT DIAMONDS

Created in the 1970s, this fairly modern style is an adaptation of the standard brilliant cut which highlights the diamond's fire. The top of a princess cut diamond is square with pointed corners, while its general shape is a pyramid. Radiating fire and brilliance, princess cut diamond engagement rings are a contemporary alternative to the classic round brilliant diamond engagement ring.

EMERALD CUT DIAMONDS

As its name implies, this method of cutting was originally used for the cutting of emeralds, but was revealed to be useful for other gemstones, including diamonds. The emerald cut diamond is designed to draw attention to a diamond's shine. It is a step cut – a cut with rectangular facets that are arranged parallel to each edge of the diamond. An emerald cut diamond has a rectangular top with chiseled corners. This shape is enjoying a huge revival in diamond jewellery.

OVAL DIAMONDS

oval diamond engagement ring is perfect for the woman who adores the fire of the round brilliant diamond, but wants something that is slightly different. The Oval shape was designed in the 1960s by Lazare Kaplan, the cousin of Marcel Tolkowsky who aided the development of round brilliant diamonds. Oval shaped diamonds share a similar cut with the traditional round brilliant but have a more contemporary edge.

BAGUETTE DIAMONDS

Named after the French word for breadstick, this slim and rectangular baguette shaped diamond is the most familiar form of step cuts. This is a popular choice for eternity and wedding rings, the baguette diamonds have a small, rectangular cut. They are also used as an accent stone to accentuate a larger stone in a diamond cluster ring or are united with similar sized round brilliant cut diamonds to create a stunning look.

PEAR DIAMONDS

This unique diamond which is also known as a teardrop because of its single point and rounded end exudes simple sophistication. The pear shaped diamond is a brilliant cut diamond that blends the shape of an oval diamond and a marquise diamond. Pear shaped diamonds are also sublime in pendants and earrings. On an engagement ring the point of the diamond can be worn towards or away from the hand depending on the preference of the individual.

MARQUISE DIAMONDS

Folklore would say the marquise shape was created at the request of King Louis X1V who wanted a stone to represent the sultry smile of his mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour. The end result was a lengthened shape in a diamond cut with sharp ends. The marquise diamond is cut to exploit its carat weight, giving a superior looking stone.

Marquise diamonds work beautifully as a central stone in a diamond engagement ring, or as an accent stone in diamond jewellery.

HEART DIAMONDS

There's no better way to express your love than with a heart shaped diamond, it is the ultimate symbol of love. A heart shaped diamond is similar to a pear shaped diamond with a cleft cut into its top. This fancy diamond cut adds a distinct, feminine and romantic touch to any piece of diamond jewellery. The cut requires a highly skilled diamond cutter to ensure optimum brilliance as it is intricate.

RADIANT DIAMONDS

Developed in the 1970s by World War II veteran Henry Gossbard,  radiant cut diamonds  unify the grace of an emerald cut diamond with the brilliance of a round diamond. This is a versatile choice for diamond jewellery as it has trimmed corners and 70 facets giving it an individual look. They are typically rectangular in shape but can also be square.

CUSHION DIAMONDS

Over the last 100 years, the cushion cut diamond has gained popularity because of its rounded corners and larger facets for enhanced brilliance. Also known as pillow cut diamonds; they can be square or rectangular in shape.

TRILLIANT DIAMONDS

If you appreciate bold and dramatic jewellery, then the trilliant diamond may be the perfect cut for you. Created in the 1970's in Amsterdam, trilliant diamonds vary between traditional triangular shapes with pointed corners to a more rounded shape. A unique and intriguing diamond shape, the trilliant diamond is rarely used as a central stone in diamond jewellery but creates an irresistible accent stone for a round brilliant diamond solitaire.

Cut can also refer to the diamond shape, the most popular of which is the round brilliant cut, originally developed by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919 with a total of 58 facets. There are, however, many other diamond shapes available which are known as a fancy cut, including popular choices such as princess cut, emerald cut, oval and baguette. Deciding the shape of the diamond is a matter of personal taste and style.

Over the past century, diamond cutters have perfected the round brilliant cut diamond using advanced light theories and mathematical calculations to develop its optimum fire and brilliance. They are the only diamond shape to have perfectly defined proportions and account for more than three-quarters of all diamonds sold today.

When viewed from the top (crown), an ideally cut diamond should reveal eight symmetrical arrows. On the other hand, when the diamond was viewed from the bottom (pavilion), it should reveal eight symmetrical hearts.

Due to the extreme level of cutting precision required for symmetrical patterning, Hearts and Arrows diamonds are sometimes called “super ideals”. Fast forward to modern day, the term “super ideal” is used to define a diamond with superior light performance, material quality and precise optical symmetry. 

Not all diamonds with an ideal cut rating (AGS) or excellent cut rating (GIA) will automatically qualify it as a hearts and arrows diamond. Technically speaking, the formation of a precise H&A patterning is due to extreme care that is taken when polishing each facet to exact angles and proportions. This level of precision goes way beyond the criteria needed to achieve a “excellent” symmetry rating.

 

While some sort of standardization exists, there are still a lot of cutters who are producing under par diamonds and trying to pass them off as Hearts and Arrows stones. Here are some basic guidelines that you can use to check whether your chosen diamond has good optical symmetry.

  1. On a decent Hearts and Arrows diamond, there should be 8 regularly shaped hearts and 8 regularly shaped arrows. That is, the absence of all or any hearts or arrows is not permitted.

  2. Both hearts and arrows should have identical intensity. That is, one hearts presence should be just as pronounced as the other’s.

  3. Ideally speaking, coloration of the hearts is not permitted. While this feature is relatively minor, you should see a single color tone instead of 2 different shades of colors.

  4. Both hearts and v-tips should be symmetrical. That is, one side of the heart or the v-tip should look like a mirror image of the other side.

  5. The shafts around the hearts should be aligned with the points of the arrows; otherwise the two sets of shapes will not play nicely together.

  6. There should be a gap between every heart shape and the V-shape at their bottom. Of course, the gaps between each of the 8 hearts should be equal.

  7. There should be little to no variation in shoulder width in the hearts, and the shoulders should not be pointed either.

  8. The V-shape pattern formed by the V-shapes at the bottoms of the hearts should be symmetrical.

  9. The table reflection between the ends of the arrow shafts should be a regular shape and have a medium diameter.

  10. Each arrow head and the shaft should be correctly aligned.

  11. The size of the arrow shafts and pointed tips should be uniform.