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"What is a carat? Everything about diamonds!"

In this blog, the four essential criteria - carat, clarity, color, and cut - are explained, which are used to assess the value and quality of diamonds. These internationally recognized parameters, adopted by almost all reputable gemological laboratories, play a crucial role in determining the unique characteristics of a gemstone.

Looking to make an informed choice when selecting a diamond that perfectly matches your preferences and budget? Let's quickly explore the role of the 4 criteria in evaluating diamonds of extraordinary value and beauty.

What is carat?

Carat, abbreviated as "ct," refers to the weight of a gemstone. One carat equals 0.2 grams or 200 milligrams. The carat weight directly influences the size of the gemstone, with larger stones often being rarer and, thus, more valuable. Carat weight also plays a significant role in determining a gem's price, often calculated per carat, with the total cost determined by multiplying the carat weight by the price per carat. This means that a 2-carat diamond per carat may cost more than two 1-carat diamonds, even if their total weight is the same. Some jewelry descriptions may include "Total Carat Weight" (TCW), representing the combined value of the main stone and surrounding stones.

What is clarity?

Clarity refers to the absence of imperfections, inclusions, or features in a gemstone that may affect its brightness and transparency. A gemstone with higher clarity is considered more valuable as it exhibits optimal brightness and purity, allowing light to pass through the stone unhindered and enhancing its brilliance. Different gradations are used to classify the presence and visibility of inclusions:

- Flawless (F): The highest clarity level, with no internal or external imperfections visible, even under a 10x magnification. Flawless gemstones are exceptionally rare and valuable.

- Internally Flawless (IF): No internal imperfections are visible, although external characteristics might be present. IF-grade gemstones also possess exceptional quality and beauty.

- VVS (Very, Very Slightly Included): Indicates minute inclusions that are difficult to detect, even under magnification. VVS gemstones still display high clarity and purity.

- VS (Very Slightly Included): Gemstones in this category have small inclusions, visible under magnification but usually not with the naked eye. VS-grade gems offer an excellent balance of clarity and value.

- SI (Slightly Included): Inclusions are clearly visible under magnification, and some may be observable with the naked eye. SI-grade gemstones still provide good brightness and are a popular choice for affordable jewelry.

- I (Included): The lowest clarity grade, with inclusions easily visible to the naked eye. I-grade gemstones have lower purity but can still possess unique beauty and appeal.

The choice of clarity depends on individual preferences, budget, and the intended use of the gemstone. For precious and valuable jewelry, higher clarity grades are often sought, while lower clarity gemstones are used for more affordable pieces. Whatever the choice may be, clarity plays a significant role in revealing the inner beauty of each gemstone, making it a cherished work of art that evokes admiration for generations to come.

What is the color scale in a diamond?

The color grading of a diamond is measured using a scale (see image). Diamonds with colorless (D) or nearly colorless (E-F) classification are extremely rare and considered the most valuable in the market. These diamonds reflect light in a stunning manner, resulting in remarkable brilliance and liveliness. The lower the diamond's color rating (e.g., J, K, or L), the more visible color deviations may be, such as a slight yellow or brown tint. These diamonds are still beautiful but generally more affordable than their colorless and rarer counterparts. In addition to color, diamonds can also display natural fancy colors, such as blue, green, yellow, pink, and even rare red shades. These natural colors are caused by certain elements or pressure during the diamond's formation. Fancy colored diamonds are exceptionally rare and can fetch astronomical prices depending on the intensity and rarity of the color.

What does cut refer to?

One of the most critical factors that influence the brilliance and value of a diamond is its cut. The cut refers to the craftsmanship process where facets are precisely cut on the diamond to maximize light performance. Most gemological laboratories use a grading system that consists of five categories:

- Excellent: The diamond is excellently cut with perfectly placed facets, resulting in extraordinary brilliance.

- Very Good: The diamond is very well cut with accurately placed facets, ensuring optimal light reflection and refraction.

- Good: The diamond is well cut and exhibits satisfactory brilliance but may lack some quality compared to Very Good and Excellent cuts.

- Fair: The diamond has a reasonable cut, but its brilliance may be noticeably less than that of a diamond with a higher grading.

- Poor: The diamond is poorly cut, significantly affecting its brilliance and resulting in a less attractive appearance.

Gemmological laboratories and certifications:

Gemmological laboratories are specialized institutions dedicated to the analysis, classification, and certification of gemstones. These laboratories use advanced technologies and research methods to provide accurate and objective information about the characteristics and quality of gemstones. Some important functions and activities of gemmological laboratories include:

- Gemstone Analysis: Gemmological laboratories conduct detailed analyses of gemstones to determine their identity, clarity, color, cut, carat weight, and other characteristics. This information helps establish the value of gemstones and verify their authenticity.

- Certification: After analyzing a gemstone, gemmological laboratories issue official certificates containing all relevant data. These certificates serve as guarantees of the gemstone's quality and authenticity and are often provided with the sale of valuable stones.

- Fraud Prevention: Gemmological laboratories play a crucial role in preventing fraud and deception in the gemstone trade. By verifying the authenticity and quality of gemstones, they contribute to consumer and industry professionals' confidence.

Starlit Splendors strives to offer as many pieces of jewelry as possible with certificates from gemmological laboratories.

Alles wat je moet weten over een karaat, zuiverheid, kleur en slijpvorm bij diamanten.



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