Diamonds are often given to signify a special occasion. Several are given as engagement rings or wedding bands and some are given as heirlooms. Also, some people buy diamonds because it’s simply their birthstone.
Diamonds are a timeless commodity. They represented a person’s status and class. Diamonds remain well sought after despite the many generations and centuries that have passed.
However, diamonds don’t have much of a clean history. Slavery, the black market, and who knows what blood was shed to acquire the gemstone. Its questionable origins became a point of concern over the years. Hence, a diamond’s traceability became one feature that consumers sought after.
Aside from traceability, diamonds are also chosen based on the 4Cs. These are cut, clarity, carat, and color. However, there is a 5th C, the Caribbean, that we’ll discuss as well.
A diamond’s cut refers to what makes its facets and shape. These are factors that make it sparkle. If the cut has more facets, then it will give off more sparkle.
Diamonds have different kinds of cuts. The most famous one, according to the Cape Town Diamond Museum, is the round brilliant. It has 57 facets. However, we have other popular cuts like the rectangular emerald that has 44 facets. The square princess cut is also popular among wedding rings since it has 50 or 58 facets.
The oval cut has 56 facets while the slender marquise has 58 facets. Lastly, the hybrid pear with its 58 facets is another popular cut. If you’re struggling to choose from a variety of diamond cuts, you can consult your jeweler.
Clarity is how they measure the diamond’s purity and inspect the flaws. The clearer the diamond, the fewer flaws it has. However, that kind of diamond is extremely rare and valuable.
The flaws within the diamond are called inclusions while the external flaws are blemishes. However, visible flaws are only usually seen in earth-mined diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds, on the other hand, have only minimal inclusions if none at all.
This is because lab-grown diamonds are cultivated in a laboratory under controlled conditions. Lab-grown diamonds simulate the process by which diamonds are made in nature. But that doesn’t mean they’re fake, still, they’re 100% authentic. They’re real diamonds and they don’t carry any questionable origins to boot.
Nowadays, it’s very common and popular for people to choose lab-grown diamond engagement rings. The traceability issue that was mentioned earlier is resolved with lab-grown diamonds. This is because the diamond’s origin is known to have come from the laboratories.
Wherever the origin of these diamonds is, they are graded the same way. There are different grades by which jewelers and gemologists scale a diamond. They are:
a. I (Included)
The I-grade includes I1, I2, and I3. These degrees of inclusions have very visible flaws, even on brilliant cuts. They’re commonly used for diamond studs because the earrings are too small for anyone to see the inclusions.
b. SI (Slightly Included)
SI1 and SI2 have inclusions easily seen under a jeweler’s loupe. However, the inclusions aren’t too visible to the naked eye. This is also a good grade for those getting wedding day diamonds like tennis bracelets.
c. VS (Very Slightly Included)
VS1 and VS2 diamond clarity inclusions are barely visible under the jeweler’s loupe. Even with the device, it can still take some time to find the inclusion. This grade of inclusion is what’s commonly used for diamond engagement rings and wedding bands.
d. VVS (Very, Very Slightly Included)
VVS1 and VVS2 have inclusions barely visible under the jeweler’s loupe. Even if they are visible, they’re difficult to find. This grade of clarity is also another choice for diamond engagement rings and wedding bands.
Rings are always visible to other people and it’s easier for them to see the gemstone. Therefore, a VS or VVS diamond rating is recommended.
e. FL (Flawless) or IF (Internally Flawless)
These are diamonds with no internal or external imperfections. They are extremely rare and costly.
Carat is the degree of measurement used to identify a diamond’s mass or weight. A metric carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. It can be subdivided into 100 points. They are more than one carat in decimals (e.g. a 1.25-carat diamond).
The bigger the diamond, the higher the price increase per carat. This is because big diamonds are very rare and more desirable. However, you need to keep in mind that diamonds with similar carats don’t always mean they’ll have the same price.
Cut, clarity, and color are all important factors that determine a diamond’s price.
Though diamonds are commonly known as colorless, they do come in many other colors as well. The distinctions, however, are subtle. It takes much experience and training to properly color-grade a diamond.
The variations of color impact the diamond’s quality and price. Its hue and intensity, for example, may diminish or raise the diamond’s value.
The “Fifth C”
Some claim that the fifth C is “Conflict Free”. This means that the diamond didn’t come from a bloody or conflicted area. Because the sales were used to fund wars historically, traceability is important when buying diamonds.
However, the fifth C we’ll talk about is the Caribbean. But why is it considered the fifth C?
The Caribbean’s sparkling waters make it one of the top tourist destinations in the world. But they’re also an amazing place where you can shop for diamonds. Their diamonds are known to be as stunning as their famous azure sea.
The diamond’s prices are all very alluring as well. The sellers are friendly and offer excellent service. The Caribbean has about five top shopping locations for diamonds. They all boast an exquisite collection of gemstones and diamond jewelry for you to choose from.
If you’re ever visiting the Caribbean, get ready to splurge on some diamond stud earrings or a diamond necklace!
Diamonds are timeless and precious stones that have dictated the class and prestige of their wearer for years. It’s most commonly worn by those in the upper echelon of society. Nowadays, diamonds are often used for engagement rings and wedding bands.
They’re also used for earrings and necklaces. However, they’re notorious for having a dark past that involves black markets, slavery, and war. Because of this, traceability is demanded by contemporary consumers.
A diamond’s price depends on the four Cs. Those are clarity, color, carat, and cut. Each one determines the price and quality of the diamond. It’s not a requirement to choose the most flawless one, though that would depend on the occasion.
The fifth C is the Caribbean because of its beauty which translates to the diamonds in their market. The Caribbean is a great place to buy diamonds at good prices. We encourage visiting the different shops on their islands!