Diamonds are exquisite no matter if you’re on the receiving end of a gift or simply treating yourself after a business deal well done. Since I land in Cape Town in a few hours, the home of the Mining Indaba I thought it fitting to put together a crash course on these sparkly gems.
Besides tzaziki, garos and wear white parties, those wonderfully gregarious Greeks are also responsible for coming up with the meaning behind the name diamonds, ‘adamas’ which means unbreakable or unchangeable – a fitting metaphor of love for yourself or for another.
But how do you measure a diamonds worth? For once, bigger is not necessarily better. Rather, it’s about following the 4Cs. This refers to cut, clarity, colour and carat.
The cut does not refer to the shape which may be pear shaped, round or emerald but rather the way that the diamond is cut which gives it that mesmerising, hypnotizing effect that has otherwise level-headed ladies saying “yes!” to “the” question and by “the” question I’m not necessarily referring to a marriage proposal *hashtag dubai*, *hashtag I don't judge* - but I digress. The dimension and angles at which it is cut at is what determine how the light will reflect off the diamond leading to its brilliance. Grading methods for cut include ideal, premium, very good, good, fair & poor which ranges from the maximum amount of light reflecting from within the diamond outwards to only a small portion reflecting from within.
This indicates the lack of inclusions or blemishes in a diamond. If you take a look at the different diamonds, you will notice that some may have tiny flaws or birthmarks which occur of its long formation process of millions (or billions) of years. The highest grade, reserved for the rarest and most valuable diamonds, is flawless (FL), showing no inclusions and blemishes. The next level down (IF) is internally flawless, meaning only blemishes and no inclusions then VVSI, means very, very slight inclusions which are difficult to see under magnification even for a trained eye. Next down is (VS) very slight, (SI) slight and then down to I, which refers to obvious inclusions which affects the diamond's brilliance.
This refers to the presence or absence of slight colour in white diamonds. Due to the rarity of diamonds which are truly colourless generally speaking the whiter a diamond, the greater its value. Okay but hold up for a minute and keep in mind that this does not apply to fancy colour diamonds which are which are very rare and very expensive. These are actually more valuable for their colour. Out of all diamonds, red diamonds are the rarest. To grade the whiteness of a diamond, most jewellers grade according to GIA’s professional colour scale that begins with D (highest ranking) which is colourless to Z which is a pale yellow or brown.
This “c” comes from the carob seed which early diamond traders used to measure the weight of the diamond. The carat measurement was adopted in the U.S in 1913 and is now used worldwide. Basically each diamond is divided by a hundred points which equals the same at 0.2 grams.
I hope you enjoyed my little crash course, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.
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