Page 18 - AIJV Shirley sample

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A diamond is a natural material, formed at extremely high temperatures and pressures. Almost every diamond
will have identifying characteristics called inclusions, which are often called internal birthmarks or nature‟s
fingerprints. The larger, or more abundant, these inclusions are, the lower the value of the diamond. The
international standard for assessing the clarity of a diamond is the 10x magnification loupe.
The number, colour, type, size and position of surface and internal birthmarks affect a diamond‟s value. Major
inclusions can interfere with the path of light that travels through a diamond, diminishing its brilliance and
sparkle and therefore its value.
The word carat is derived from the name for the tiny seeds of the carob tree, which were traditionally used to
weigh diamonds because of their uniform weight. A carat is equal to 200mg (0.2g) which is 1/5 of a gram; each
carat is sub-divided into 100 points, so ½ carat equals 0.50 or 50 points, ¼ carat equals 0.25 or 25 points and so
The price per carat is affected by the size, colour and clarity; a good quality smaller stone is more valuable than
a poor quality larger stone and likewise a 1 carat diamond commands a much higher price than 4 x 0.25ct
stones of the same quality even though the total weight is the same. Large diamond crystals are rarer and
therefore more valuable.
The shape of a stone is very much personal choice. The round brilliant cut diamond is the most sought after,
having stood the test of time and not subject to fashion trends. Most fancy shapes, such as the princess cut,
oval, pear shape and marquise, are variations of the round brilliant, cut to maximise the fire and brilliance of
the diamond.
The emerald cut, Asscher, baguette and carré cut are variations of the step cut and have a clean cut
appearance. The clarity of these cuts tends to be higher since any inclusions will be more pronounced.
brilliant cut
Princess cut
Oval brilliant
Pear brilliant
brilliant cut
Emerald cut
Asscher cut
Anatomy, Colour, Clarity and Carat Weight images are all
Gemological Institute of America. Reprinted by permission.