Contrary to common belief, a diamond’s cut does not refer to its shape – pear, round, oval. A diamond’s cut grade specifically refers to the proportions and angles of the stone, and how those facets reflect light. It takes a master diamond cutter to reveal the truest epitome of a diamond’s beauty. A well cut diamond reflects light from one mirror-like facet to another and projects the light through the top of the stone. The result is a brilliant fiery display.
After cut, color is generally considered the second most important characteristic when selecting a diamond. A diamond’s color is established by a D-to-Z grading scale implemented by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). A D-grade recognizes colorless diamonds, as color increases, a reaches a Z-grade. Thus, the less color a diamond has, the higher its color grade. Color differences can be so subtle that diamond colors are graded under controlled lighting conditions and are compared to a master set of stones for accuracy. While truly colorless Grade D diamonds are treasured for their rarity, diamond color is widely personal preference.
A diamond’s clarity is the measurement of the number and size of the tiny imperfections called inclusions and blemishes that occur in nearly every diamonds. Many of these imperfections are microscopic, and do not affect a diamond’s beauty in any discernible way. By GIA standards, evaluating diamond clarity involves determining the number, size, relief, nature, and position of these characteristics, as well as how these affect the overall appearance of the stone. The greater a diamond’s clarity, the greater it’s value and rarity.
By GIA standards, carat (abbreviated “ct.”) is a measurement of a diamond’s weight. One metric carat is two-tenths (0.2) of a gram. A metric carat is divided into 100 points with one point comprising one hundredth of a carat. This permits the most precise measurement of a diamond’s weight. By carat size, larger diamonds are worth more than smaller diamonds, because of their rarity. For example, a 1-carat diamond would weigh the same as four 0.25 ct. diamonds, but is considered more valuable because the larger size of a 1-carat diamond is more rare than the four smaller 0.25-carat stones.