Diamond Buying Guide

Millions of carats are mined each year but only a handful of diamonds are truly flawless. Though diamonds are cut to rigorous standards, nature endows each with its own identity. Tiny quirks, most invisible to the naked eye, exist in the form of specks, bubbles and feather-like lines.

Cut

More Weight or More Brilliance, that is what Diamond Cutters must choose between. When a diamond crystal comes from the ground, the fire, brilliance, and scintillation that constitute the unique beauty of a polished diamond are still locked within it. The way in which a diamond cutter decides to cut the new diamond ultimately determines the diamonds beauty and brilliance. The cut of a diamond is made up of many elements to determine the quality of a diamond’s cut. Gemological laboratories use sophisticated measuring devices to determine how well a diamond has been cut. The Cut Of A Diamond Is The Most Important Element Of Diamond Beauty. To the right are various choices of the shapes of diamonds available on the market today. In and Ideal world, why should your Diamond Cut be anything less? At Classic Creations, we go to painstaking lengths to give you the best quality diamonds for the best possible price. So while other jewellers may tell you that Very Good is th best diamond cut they have, we go one step better by offering you Ideal Cut Diamonds. Ideal Cut Diamonds are cut to exact mathematical proportions to make the absolute most of your diamond’s brilliance. They’re so special that only 3% of all natural diamonds earn the right to be called Ideal Cuts. Not only do we carry Ideal Cuts, but we price them less than what most jewellers charge for inferior diamond cuts such as Very Good, Food, Medium or Fair. Don’t be fooled by ads on internet sites that use the word Ideal to describe their stones. All of our stones come with a Gem Scan certificate that follows strict AGS guidelines to ensure that your Ideal Cut Diamond meets requirements of a true Ideal Cut Diamond. So remember, when you’re looking for your perfect diamond, don’t forget the other two C’s. Classic Creations.

To understand a diamond cut, it helps to understand how light reacts within a diamond. When light enters a diamond or any given material it bends or refracts along with the angles inside. The degree to which it bends is known as the refractive index. The refractive index of diamond is 2.41, the highest of any natural transparent gem. In diamond the maximum angle of refraction is 24.5 degrees. This is known as the critical angle. Light traveling through a diamond is reflected if it strikes a surface outside the critical angle. Light striking a surface inside the critical angle will be refracted out of a diamond. The critical angle is represented as 24.5 degree cone in the diagram.

AN IN-DEPTH VIEW/ ANATOMY OF A DIAMOND

In a well-made diamond, a high percentage of light entering through the crown starts out striking the pavilion outside the critical angle. Thus it is completely reflected to the other side of the pavilion. There it strikes outside the critical angle again, and again and is completely reflected, this time towards the crown, where it strikes within the critical angle and leaves the diamond traveling in directions in which it can be seen. Such controlled release of light is planned leakage. If the pavilion is too deep, or too shallow, much of the light strikes inside the critical angle and leaks out the back of the stone rather than reflecting through the diamond and back through the top to the eye.

Colour

The color of a diamond refers to the tone and saturation of color, or the depth of color in a diamond. The color of a diamond can range anywhere from colorless to a yellow or brown hue. A more colorless diamond is rarer and more valuable because it appears white and brighter to the eye. The most respected system used today for evaluating diamond color was developed by the Gemological Institute of America, (GIA).

The  GIA COLOR GRADE SCALE  classifies diamond color into 22 grades from letter grade D (colorless) through letter grade Z (fancy color).

Diamonds are assigned color grades by comparing them to diamonds with color grades which have been certified by GIA as master color comparison diamonds. The color grade of a diamond is determined by arranging the GIA master color comparison diamonds about one half inch apart, the lightest on the left and the others on the right in order of increasing darkness To accurately determine color, a diamond must be completely free of all dirt and oil. A diamonds color is best observed when viewed through the pavilion in the table-down position on a flat white diamond grading trough with line of sight parallel to the girdle plane.

A diamonds color grade is determined by moving it along the row of masters comparison guide diamonds until one seems to match. After that it is placed on the side of the master, and then on the other side and compared carefully. If the diamonds color tone is lighter than the master, the next highest color grade is assigned to that diamond. If the diamond is the same or only slightly darker, the grade of the master comparison guide diamond is assigned. To attain the most accurate analysis of a diamonds color, it is recommended that a diamond be color graded in a white color free environment. Color grades are most accurate when evaluated in a darkened room using only the correct light source. Filtered, cool white, balanced fluorescent light is best; unlike sunlight, it is nearly free of ultraviolet light.

Clarity (Characteristics)
The “Diamond’s Fingerprint”

Clarity refers to the presence of identifying characteristics on your diamond or inside it. Most of these characteristics have been present in your diamond since the earliest stages of its growth rather than being the result of any stresses of the cutting process. They are proof of your diamond’s identity. Since no two diamonds are exactly the same, comparing your diamond’s unique clarity characteristics with the plot provided on your diamond’s certificate lets you know the diamond you pay for is the same diamond you receive.

Clarity grading involves analyzing the size and location of inclusions and blemishes. Inclusions originate during the natural formation of the diamond, while blemishes could be a natural occurrence or the result of mining or manufacturing processes. Inclusions: Internal characteristics such as: included clouds, crystals, or feathers.

BLEMISHES: Characteristics that exist only on the surface of a diamond.
CLOUDS: A group of extremely tiny inclusions too small to be distinguishable from one another, even under magnification.
CRYSTALS: Tiny trace minerals trapped inside the diamond.
FEATHERS: Small breaks in the diamond.

GIA Diamond Clarity Grades

Diamonds are clarity graded using microscopes set at 10-power magnification. Although many characteristics are not visible to the unaided eye, their presence might affect the stone’s clarity grade. By evaluating the size, location, number and color of all inclusions and blemishes, a clarity grade is assigned to a diamond. These grades are universally accepted as standards in the trade and were established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Classic Creations Jewellers offers diamonds in grades ranging from IF (internally flawless with no visible inclusions) to SI1 (slightly included, noticeable using 10X magnification). None of our diamonds will have inclusions visible to the naked eye.

FL

IF

VVS1, VVS2

VSI, VS2

SI1, SI2

I1, I2, I3

Flawless

Internally Flawless

Very, Very Slightly Included

Very Slightly Included

Slightly Included

Included

No visible blemishes or inclusions are detected by a trained gemologist using 10X magnification. No visible inclusions are detected by a trained gemologist using 10X magnification, but may contain very minor blemishes. Minute inclusions are faintly discernable by a trained gemologist using 10X magnification. Minor inclusions such as clouds or feathers are visible to a trained gemologist using 10X magnification. Inclusions such as crystals, knots, clouds, or feathers are noticeable using 10X magnification. Inclusions are obvious, sometimes visible to the unaided eyes and might affect the beauty or durability of the stone.

Carat Weight

CARAT (ct.) :  is the unit of measurement used to define the weight of a diamond. The word is taken from the carob seeds that people used in ancient times to balance scales.Do not confuse the terms Carat and Karat. CARAT :  A measurement of weight. One metric carat is equivalent to 0.2 grams (or 200 milligrams). KARAT :  A measurement of gold purity. POINT :  A carat equals 1/5 of a gram (or 1/142 of an ounce); each carat is further divided into points, each point representing 1/100th of a carat.

Carat Weight Scale

While the Diagram is not the actual size
the increase in proportion between each is to scale

This is probably the most common criteria shoppers are aware of. The carat weight of a diamond is simply the weight of the diamond. A carat is a unit of measurement and 1 carat is equal to 200 milligrams or 0.2 grams. Hence a 1.25 carat diamond will weigh 250 milligrams.

The value of a diamond comes partly due to the fact that larger diamonds are found far less often than smaller diamonds. This means that the price of a diamond will increase exponentially as the carat size of the diamond increases. All other things being equal, a 2 carat diamond will always be worth more than two 1 carat diamonds. The most common size of diamond that Classic Creations Jewellers sells is between 0.6 carats and 1.25 carats in size. This range of diamond has the best size for value ratio and is easily fitted in most pieces of jewellery.

When choosing the carat size of your diamond, remember to keep a good balance between size and quality. If you are looking for a larger diamond, you may have to lower the colour or clarity.

Certification

The most important step in choosing a diamond to purchase is to review a copy of that diamond’s certification. A diamond certificate documents your diamond’s quality characteristics and becomes your guarantee of its identity.

A diamond with certification has been scrutinized under a microscope by a gemologist who has analyzed its 4 Cs, its dimensions, finish, symmetry, and other characteristics. Diamond certificates are also known as grading reports.

UN-CERTIFIED DIAMONDS 

If you choose to buy a diamond without certification, keep in mind that you are buying the diamond based solely on someone’s claim about its quality. A trained gemologist may disagree with that person’s assessment.

Note that a certificate, or grading report, is not the same thing as an appraisal. Your diamond’s certificate describes the diamond’s quality characteristics, but it does not place a monetary value on the gem like an appraisal does. As a complete evaluation of your diamond, it includes information on the 4Cs, including:

– Your diamond’s color grade, clarity grade and carat weight

– The diamond’s cut quality (not all reports grade cut)

– An evaluation of the diamond’s symmetry and polish

– It also may comment on the diamond’s fluorescence, girdle and culet

– grading report also includes a diagram that ‘maps’ the diamond’s inclusions. Since each diamond is unique, the diagram acts like a fingerprint to identify that particular diamond.

Classic Creation’s View on Conflict Diamonds

Conflict free diamonds are guaranteed to originate from ethical and environmentally responsible sources. Conflict free diamonds are free from violence, human rights abuses, and environmental destruction.

What is a Conflict Diamond?

Conflict diamonds have funded devastating civil wars in Africa, ending millions of lives. These conflict diamonds also known as “blood diamonds” are associated with human rights abuses, environmental damage, and terrorism.

Our Conflict Free Diamond Guarantee

We exclusively offer conflict free diamonds, which are carefully tracked from the mine through cutting, polishing, and transport. This ensures that our diamonds enter an uninterrupted chain of custody, and our supply is not corrupted by illicit or conflict diamonds. Many other retailers make vague claims that their diamonds are conflict free but have no such certification process to guarantee the ethical source of their diamonds. Because each of our diamonds is tracked from mine to customer, we can be confident no diamond treatments or alterations have been used.

All of our diamonds have certification policies compliant with one of the leading bodies for Canadian diamonds, including Canadian Diamond Code of Conduct, and the Government of the Northwest Territories. These policies provide independent validation to give you the peace of mind to know your diamond is conflict free.