No two diamonds are exactly alike. This is why over the years a universal standard for identifying diamonds has been set.
The quality and value of diamond is defined according to the 4Cs: carat, colour, clarity and cut.
Carat: the weight of a diamond is expressed in carats. One carat equals 0,2 grams or 100 points, which indicated the size.
Color: most diamonds range in colour from colourless to slightly yellow. The colour grade is determined by comparison with a series of master stones, the best grade being colourless (D colour). Diamonds can also occur in all ranges of colours, from brownish to yellow, pink, purple, red, blue and green. These are called “fancy colours”.
Some diamonds react to UV-light and may contain consequently fluorescence.
Clarity: describes a diamond’s purity. As they are a product of nature, all natural diamonds have traces of their growth history, translated as “internal characteristics” or “inclusions”. The clarity scale reflects the size, number and position of the characteristics when examined with a loupe 10x.
Cut: is divided in 3 grades: proportions, polish and symmetry. Proportions determine the brightness and fire of a diamond, symmetry describes the variation of different parameters that define the proportions, and polish describes the finish of the facets. If the diamond is not properly cut, it will not interact with light as it should do.
The most common shape for a diamond is the round brilliant. But many other shapes are available and are called "fancy cut diamonds", with the most common being the pear, the oval, the marquise, the emerald, the heart, the princess, the cushion, the baguette, and the radiant.
What is a grading report?
When purchasing a diamond of 0,30ct or more (set in a jewellery piece or not), it is strongly advised to ask for the grading report that accompanies the stone. With this kind of report issued by a renowned grading laboratory (HRD Antwerp or GIA), you can rest assured the characteristics inscribed in it (the 4Cs) have been thoroughly checked by expert gemmologists. It is also a way to know the approximate value of your diamond, based on its quality.
What are melee diamonds?
Melee diamonds are small diamonds weighing less than 0,20ct. Melee diamonds can be as small as 0,001ct. They are often cut into tiny round diamonds and set around a center stone or on the band of a ring.