Diamonds 101

Almost Too Pretty to Wrap

You’ve probably done some research. Your desire to find the perfect diamond might even have brought you here to us. We’re glad it did, because we want you to find the perfect diamond, too. And it starts with the basics.

The 4Cs



Cut

When a diamond is cut with the ideal proportions for its shape, it reflects more light out of the top, producing incredible fire and brilliance.

A poorly cut diamond with incongruous proportions looks dull and dark because it allows light to escape out the bottom and sides.

In short, a well cut diamond sparkles a lot because it reflects and refracts light better than one not cut as well. A good cut increases price.

Colour

White diamonds are not all colourless. The spectrum ranges from light yellow to totally colourless.

A lettering system from D to Z is used to identify the amount of colour present in each diamond, with D awarded only to rare, totally colourless diamonds.

A colourless diamond can be graded D, E or F; near colourless, G, H, I or J. A white diamond’s beauty and value increase the more colourless it is.

Colourless

Colourless Diamond
D
E
F

Near Colourless

Near Colourless Diamond
G
H
I
J

Faint Yellow

Faint Yellow Diamond
K
L
M

Very Light Yellow

Very Light Yellow Diamond
N
O
P
Q
R

Light Yellow

Light Yellow Diamond
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z
See the Colour Scale

Clarity

Natural diamonds are formed by tremendous heat and pressure deep within the earth. This process can result in “inclusions” and “blemishes.” These are simply fancy words for imperfections.

No diamond is perfect, but the closer it comes, the higher its value. Inclusions seldom affect a diamond’s beauty, although they do affect price.

Internally Flawless

Internally Flawless Clarity
FL
IF

Very Very Slight Inclusions

Very Very Slight Inclusions
VVS1
VVS2

Very Slight Inclusions

Very Slight Inclusions
VS1
VS2

Slight Inclusions

Slight Inclusions
SI1
SI2

Imperfect

Imperfect
I1
I2
I3
See the Clarity Scale

Carat Weight

Carat Weight refers to size and weight. Larger diamonds are scarce, and therefore more valuable.

However, two diamonds with the same carat weight can vary greatly in value, depending on the colour, clarity and most importantly, the cut.

A half-carat diamond with high colour and clarity ratings may cost more than a three-quarter carat diamond with lower colour and clarity ratings, but identical cut.

It’s simply a matter of deciding what matters most to you, size or quality, then finding the best combination of size, colour and clarity to suit your budget.

THE SHAPE

The shape you choose for a centre diamond can have an impact on how a ring looks and feels. Most centre diamonds come in one of these shapes:

  1. Round Brilliant — the most popular; cut for maximum brilliance.
  2. Princess Cut — the most popular fancy-cut diamond; has a great deal of sparkle.
  3. Oval — a modified brilliant-cut with similar fire; elongated shape creates the illusion of greater size.
  4. Cushion — a square cut with rounded corners, much like a pillow.
  5. Asscher Cut — an elegant square shape with blocked corners that make diamonds appear octagonal.
  6. Emerald — rectangular with parallel facets and blocked corners; produces a hall-of-mirrors effect.
  7. Marquise — an elongated shape with tapering points at both ends.
  8. Pear — teardrop-shaped, with a great deal of sparkle.
  9. Radiant Cut — a combination of the emerald cut and the sparkle of the round brilliant; typically with blocked corners.
  10. Heart — a sentimental cut that can be difficult to find.

THE FOUR Cs

Cut — The overall length and width of a diamond determine the quality of its cut. When it is cut with the ideal proportions for its shape, it will reflect more light out of the top, resulting in greater fire and brilliance. A poorly cut diamond with inconsistent proportions will allow light to escape out the bottom and sides, resulting in a dull, dark appearance. In short, a well cut diamond has a great deal of sparkle because it reflects and refracts light better then one not cut as well. A better cut increases the value of the diamond.

Colour — White diamonds are not all colourless. The spectrum ranges from light yellow to totally colourless. A lettering system from D to Z is used to identify the amount of colour present in each diamond, with D awarded only to rare, totally colourless diamonds. A colourless diamond can be graded D, E or F; near colourless, G, H, I or J. A white diamond’s beauty and value increase the more colourless it is. “Fancy” coloured diamonds are also available, such as pink, blue, chocolate or bright yellow, but are rated on a different scale than white diamonds.

Clarity — Natural diamonds are formed by tremendous heat and pressure deep within the earth. This process can result in internal “inclusions” and external “blemishes.” A “flawless” diamond is rare. The number, size, nature and position of these imperfections determine a diamond’s clarity and price. Although inclusions seldom affect a diamond’s beauty, no diamond is perfect, but the closer it comes, the higher its value.

Carat Weight — Refers to size and weight. Larger diamonds are more scarce, and therefore more valuable. However, two diamonds with the same carat weight can vary greatly in value, depending on the colour, clarity and most importantly, the cut. A half-carat diamond with high colour and clarity ratings may cost more than a three-quarter carat diamond with lower colour and clarity ratings, but identical cut. It’s simply a matter of deciding what matters most to you, size or quality, then finding the best combination of size, colour and clarity to suit your budget.

FANCY COLOURED DIAMONDS

Since their discovery centuries ago, most people assume all diamonds to be strictly white. However, one in 10,000 diamonds has enough colour to be called "fancy", and can be blue, red, green, brown or yellow. A white diamond’s colour is graded on a scale that ranges from D to Z. Once there is enough colour to be considered "fancy", a diamond is graded on a scale from dark to vivid, based on hue and light.

Social Awareness:

Where It Comes from Matters

We take Social Responsibility very seriously at James O. Poag Jewellers. We are committed to selling precious metals and gemstones that have been mined and manufactured in harmony with the environment. We will not knowingly offer conflict diamonds for sale. For years, we have demanded both personal and written warranties from all of our diamond suppliers that diamonds delivered to us have been purchased through legitimate “conflict free” sources. A written warranty is required for every individual diamond shipment.

What is the Jewellery Industry Doing?

To insure that “conflict diamonds” are not entering their national markets, more than 60 countries have adopted a system to control the export and import of rough diamonds mined from January 2003 onward. Spearheaded by Jewelers of America, International Diamond Manufacturers Association, and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, this agreement is known as “The Kimberley Process”.

How Does the Kimberley Process Work?

Kimberley Process certification requires that each shipment of rough diamonds be in a tamper-resistant container and accompanied by a government-validated certificate. Any country declining to participate is effectively barred from the international diamond trade.

Why Not Reject All Diamonds from Africa?

Only a tiny number of the diamonds that come from Africa are used to fund conflict; the Kimberley Process says considerably less than one percent. However, the industry has a zero tolerance policy and will continue to work towards eliminating conflict diamonds entirely. Additionally, the revenues generated from diamond exporting play a significant role in helping to provide infrastructure, education, healthcare, and more to the people of Africa. Diamonds are a natural resource that overwhelmingly help Africa’s many growing nations.

Social responsibility is one important reason James O. Poag Jewellers offers Ontario Diamonds. To learn more about these beautiful diamonds, Click Here.


EthicallySourced

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