Carats, cuts, colors, grades and scales – there are so many ways to describe a diamond your head is in a spin! To help you orient yourself, we’ve prepared for you a simple guide about different types of diamonds.
Diamonds by Carat
It may come as a surprise, but “the more carats, the better” is simply not true! A carat merely classifies a diamond by weight, and the bigger the diamond, the higher the carat.
One carat equals to 200 milligrams. This means that a two carat diamond, for example, weighs 400 milligrams. Since a lot of diamonds weigh less than one carat, the carat is subdivided into 100 points. What this means is that when you hear “3/4 carat” it means the diamond is “75 point diamond,” or that is weighs ¾ of 200 milligrams.
A carat number is simply not, and can never be, an adequate measure of the stone’s quality.
Remember, quality always trumps quantity!
Diamonds by Cut
A diamond’s finish, symmetry, proportions and polish are called the cut of the diamond. Depending on the way a diamond is cut, it will be more or less brilliant. For example, a rose cut diamond will give off a subtle, almost ethereal, shine, while a brilliant cut diamond will reflect light in a more dramatic manner.
Some of the popular cuts you can choose from are:
The princess cut – a classic among engagement rings, these diamonds are square in shape and they’re suitable for any style of ring;
The round cut – the most popular cut around for a good reason. When the light hits it just right, this shape can be blindingly brilliant;
The marquise cut – football-shaped, long and narrow, it makes the illusion of a bigger shape;
The pear cut – a combination of a round and a marquise shape, it has tapered point on one end, and excellent symmetry.
Diamonds by Color
Despite the fact we see all diamonds as completely colorless, each of them contains a smidgeon of yellow or brown. This is mostly invisible to the naked eye, so don’t worry!
Color is graded alphabetically where grades D-F are colorless, G-J are near colorless, K-M are slightly tinted, N-R are very light yellow, and S-Z are light yellow or brown.
The differences in these grades are subtle, so you can pick a visibly tinted diamond (grade K, for example), and if it has good clarity, and is beautifully cut, your K grade diamond will look as jaw-dropping as the most colorless stone!
Diamonds by Clarity
No one wants a smudgy diamond, full of imperfection and lacking in shine! Clarity, while important, is not something you should be too worried about. Each diamond lies somewhere on the clarity scale.
The very top of the scale is FL – a flawless grade diamond, which includes less than 1% of all gemstones. The bottom of the scale lies at I2-I3, where the inclusions are visible under 10x magnification.
The golden middle of the scale is an “eye-clean” diamond, VS1 – a stone with some blemishes, though they are invisible to the naked eye.
When picking a diamond, your best bet is to choose one that lies somewhere between VS1 and Fl. The grades you can look for are, in ascending order: VS1, VVS2, VVS1, IF, and, the highest of them all, FL.
There you have it, the four Cs of diamonds, in one handy guide. This is what makes diamonds so special. When it comes a time in your life when you’re walking on clouds and thinking about that happy day, you’ll be fully prepared to make the best possible choice. And if you need any assistance, we at Santayana are always happy to help!
Now that you know what to look for in a diamond, check out our online store – you might even be tempted to shop right now!