Diamonds are one of the oldest gemstones ever discovered and the hardest raw material we know of until today. The English word ‘Diamond’ is derived from the Greek word ‘adámas’ which means ‘unbreakable’, just like its characteristics. Diamond is actually crystallised Carbon, which was formed millions of years ago as a result of the immense heat and pressure, at a depth of about 150-200 km below the surface of Earth. Volcanic eruptions brought these precious gems to the surface of Earth, making it easy for us to extract it.
4Cs of Diamond
Carat is a unit by which the weight of the Diamond is measured. One carat is defined as one-fifth of a gram, i.e., 0.2g. It is denoted by Ct and a one-carat diamond weights 100 points.
This is the highest grade of a diamond cut, and it is extremely rare. Excellent cut diamonds reflect and sparkle so intensely that these diamonds stand out from the rest.
Diamonds in this rage are considered as having a very good cut grade. The facets interact with light effectively and deliver fire and brightness in the diamond.
Diamonds in this range produce moderate fire and sparkle compared to the excellent cut diamonds.
This is the lowest grade of a diamond cut, and diamonds in this range produce slight brilliance and reflect limited light.
The FL-IF clarity scale diamonds are very rare and are considered from flawless to internally flawless. These diamonds do not have any inclusions, and the internally flawless diamonds may contain only faint external blemishes which can be easily removed by repolishing them.
This clarity grade stands for diamonds having only very, very slight inclusions that are not noticeable to the naked eye. These inclusions are extremely hard to detect even under 10X magnification mirrors.
This clarity grade represents diamonds with slight minor inclusions that cannot be noticed by naked eyes but with 10X magnification mirrors.
The SL1-SI2 diamonds have slight inclusions that can be detected with 10X magnification mirrors.
The I1 grade diamonds include slight inclusions that are visible to the naked eye under close examination. These inclusions can be clearly seen under graded 10X magnification.
This group of diamonds has inclusions that can be seen with naked eyes. These inclusions may affect the brilliance of the diamond.
D is the highest grade of diamond colour. These diamonds are extremely rare and perfectly colourless - both when viewed with the naked eye and when viewed under magnification, and are of the highest value.
E grade diamonds are considered next to perfect - the second highest colour grade on the colour scale. E diamonds are rare, exceptionally fine, and appear colourless to the naked eye and under magnification.
F is the last grade of the ‘colourless’ class of diamonds. F grade diamonds appear almost completely colourless to the naked eye and under magnification.
G is the highest grade of ‘near colourless’ class of diamonds. These are highly valuable and are slightly coloured, but the difference is observable only when it is closely examined from the sides. When looked at from the top, G grade stones appear almost the same as ‘colourless’ graded stones.
H diamonds are the second-highest graded in the ‘near colourless’ group of diamonds. The slight tint is not differentiable as such but can be detected when compared with colourless diamonds side by side.
I diamonds are ‘near colourless’ diamonds that display some hints of colour. However, this tint can be identified under close examination.
J is the last grade of diamonds in the ‘near colourless’ group. The slight yellow tint can be detected with naked eyes, but when the diamond is smaller, this tint is not near as obvious.
K-Z grade diamonds represent slightly coloured to coloured diamonds, from pale yellow to yellow.
Diamonds are natural gemstones, and each diamond comes with unique characteristics, such as the colour, size, and clarity. The value of a diamond is determined based on the internal and external characteristics that contribute to its brilliance and sparkle. The four major factors that determine the value of a diamond are known as the ‘4Cs of diamond’ - the colour, clarity, cut, and carat. These characteristics are evaluated by industry experts and documented in detail, called the grading report or the diamond certificate. Grading reports are important as they are authoritative documents showing the value and quality of the diamonds in your collection.
GIA certified diamonds
There are many diamond grading institutes around the globe, such as GIA, HRD, IGI, and AGS. However, GIA, the Gemological Institute of America, is the widely accepted and reputed diamond grading institute in the world. GIA is a non-profit institute, and they introduced most diamond grading scales that are prominent today.