DIAMOND GUIDE

THE FOUR C’s

As diamond’s naturally form, they form with different characteristics. These differences make each diamond is unique. Because of this, the value can be hard to determine. We use the four C’s to help us categorise each stone. Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat, these help us determine the quality and value of each diamond.
 Diamond Guide The Four C's

CUT

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The cut is the shape and brilliance of a diamond. The quality and depth of the cut determines how it will reflect the light and ‘Sparkle’
 Diamond Cut

DIAMOND CUT GRADES

Diamond Cut Grades

SHAPE

The most common shape for diamond round brilliant. Diamonds Also come in different shapes other than round.
 Diamond Shape
Diamond shape descriptors

COLOUR

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Diamonds are graded backwards; the lack of colour is what you are after. Grade D is colourless and are therefore hold the most valuable. The scale goes down to Z. Z have a light-yellow colour and are commonly found. To an untrained eye it can be difficult to distinguish between the grades, but the colour plays a big part in the quality of a stone.
 Diamond Colour

CLARITY

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Clarity refers to the diamonds internal and external imperfections. Each diamond is unique and has different levels of blemishes, also known as inclusions. Due to how a diamond is formed it’s very rare to find one completely free of any inclusions. The clarity chart ranges from F, Flawless, to I3, included 3.
 Diamond Clarity
Diamond Clarity Descriptor
Clarity described

CARAT

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Carat is the term used to describe the weight of a diamond. A one carat diamond equals 0.20 grams. A one carat diamond is also divided into 100 points, so a half carat .50ct is also known as a 50-point diamond. Two stones of equal weight can also appear slightly different in size and this is dependent on the cut of the stone, possible one diamond has been cut deeper than the other. A diamond will be cut in a way to produce the best brightness, fire, scintillation and brilliance while avoiding inclusions where possible. This in turn can produce the same carat weight diamond but different dimensions. The larger a diamond is the fewer there are available as they are naturally scarcer.
Carat is also not to be confused with Karat. Carat is the weight of a diamond where karat is the purity of gold.
 Diamond Carat

LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS

Characteristics

Mined diamonds 100% carbon crystal structure; 10/10 on Mohs hardness scale with a refractive index of 2.42.
Lab diamonds 100% carbon crystal structure; 10/10 on Mohs hardness scale with a refractive index of 2.42. Atomically identical to a mined diamond
What is the difference between a lab-grown and a real diamond? A lab-grown diamond is a diamond, with the same physical, chemical and optical properties as a mined diamond. The only difference is their point of origin and the different impact each has on the environment and on the people working to produce them.

Sustainability

Mined diamonds have to be dug out of huge industrial mines which have severe environmental impacts.
Lab diamonds are grown in clean, high-tech laboratories with a low carbon footprint — 7x less than mined diamonds.
They have been growing diamonds in a lab since the 1950s. The quality back then was not as good as it is today so the diamonds produced we used for industrial applications. With modern technology, the quality of a lab-grown diamond is second to none and are now up to the standard for fine jewellery. Today there are two methods of creating lab-grown diamonds.
 

High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT)

HPHT replicates the conditions in which diamonds are formed deep within the Earth. A diamond ‘seed’ (a small piece of a diamond from which the new diamond grows) inside a “pressure cooker”. The seed is then subjected to extremely high pressure and a temperature in the region of 1,500°C. This simulates the ideal growing condition for the diamond and in this condition, the pressurised and heated carbon crystallises into a diamond crystal.
 

Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)

These diamonds are created in a low-pressure vacuum plasma chamber. Thin diamond plates are placed in a growth cell and hydrocarbon gas is injected into the chamber. High power microwaves break apart the molecules of the gas, and the carbon atoms precipitate onto the diamond plates, replicating the molecular arrangement of the seed diamond slowly building up layer by layer to crystallise into diamond, thus growing the diamond, atom by atom.
 
With either method of growing a diamond, it will only take weeks and not millions of years.
 
Laboratory-grown diamonds are graded using the same criteria as mined diamonds (The Four C's). and certified by the same gemological laboratories that grade earth-extracted diamonds.
Do not Confuse lab grown diamonds with diamond simulants, such as cubic zirconia and moissanite.
These are other minerals that look like a diamond but are chemically and structurally completely different to a diamond.
 

Ethics

Mined diamonds have a long history of mistreatment and violence with questions on ethical sourcing programs.
Lab diamonds have no ethical questions or concerns.
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