Learn About Your Jewellery • Feel Confident in Your Purchases
We at Maxime’s believe in serving our customers, not selling to them. We do this is by providing you with a tailored education program to suit your individual needs. This will allow you to feel confident about making one of the most important purchases of your life.
There is much more to a diamond than just the four C’s, but let’s start there…
Cut and proportions:
The cut of a diamond varies greatly depending on the crucial decisions a cutter makes when fashioning a diamond.
- The size of the table,
- The crown and pavilion angles
- The girdle thickness.
Other important factors of the cut include:
- The symmetry of the facets and their relationship to one another
- The finishing and polishing.
All of these elements will contribute to the overall brilliance, fire and scintillation a diamond will have.
Clarity is a diamond’s relative freedom of any clarity characteristics often referred to as inclusions and/or blemishes.
Inclusions are imperfections that are enclosed inside a diamond or depending on the type of inclusion, they can extend into a diamond from its surface. Inclusions can become a part of a diamond during the formation period. They can either be visible with the naked eye or require magnification. The harder it is to detect an inclusion or how few inclusions a diamond has, will greatly impact its value.
Blemishes are confined to the surface of the diamond such as polish lines and often have less impact on a diamonds value than inclusions do.
How diamond graders determine diamonds clarity?
There are five key factors that determine a clarity grade. Most of them relate to how readily you can see a clarity characteristic/inclusion.
- Size – How big an inclusion is? A larger inclusion will be more visible thus making affecting a clarity grade more than a smaller one.
- Number – How many inclusions there are? However, it is not just a matter of simply counting the amount of inclusions. Many tiny inclusions can be very hard to detect thus making it higher on the clarity scale.
- Position – Where the inclusion is located? An inclusion’s position affects its visibility and can affect the overall clarity grade.
- Nature – What kind of inclusion a diamond has? Large breaks in the stone such, as feathers are potentially hazardous.
- Relief – The colour of the inclusion? Most inclusions are white or colourless, however, some can be black, brown, dark red or green.
A diamonds colour grade is based on how noticeable the colour is, also referred to its depth of colour. Diamonds that range from colourless to light yellow and light brown fall within the normal colour range. The Gemological Institute of America or GIA created the D-Z scale where each letter represents a diamonds grade, D is the most valuable where as Z the least. We invite you to view the diagrams and charts below for further explanation.
The weight of diamonds as well as most other gemstones is expressed in metric carats. One metric carat equals 0.200grams; a carat is divided into 100 equal parts called points.
1.00 = 100 equal parts = one full carat
0.65 = 65 points (under one full carat)
If all other factors are equal, the more a diamond weighs, the larger it typically is, and the more valuable it will be.
Please note: the weight of a diamond does always translate to the visual size of a diamond. If a diamond is not cut properly the diameter of the stone can vary greatly, often making it appear larger or smaller and impacting the refraction.
What are some other discerning factors that can greatly affect a diamonds appearance and value?
Fluorescence is when a diamond emits light or glows when it is exposed to ultraviolet radiation (UV light). About 35 percent of gem quality diamonds emit some degree of fluorescence and is most noticeable under a UV lamp, however, can be visible in normal daylight. Diamonds with strong fluorescence can have an oily or cloudy-like appearance even under normal light.
Please take the time to view the two images of diamonds shown below. These two diamonds are the identical cut, clarity, colour and carat size. Notice how the one on the right is quite noticeably cloudy or milky in appearance, even though they are both graded as a VS1 clarity, E colour, and Excellent cut grade.
Internal Graining, Grain Lines or Graining:
Graining or grain lines are visible, shadow-like lines in a diamond caused by irregularities in the crystal structure. Graining occurs when environmental conditions change during the crystal growth process. There are several types of graining that can appear in a diamond.
Other common irregularities that can affect a diamonds appearance:
- Glide Plane – When part of the crystal lattice is slightly out of line in relation to the rest, this happens during the growth process and the crystal structure becomes deformed
- Bearded Girdle – Small feathers that extend from the girdle surface into the stone; can be a result from the cutting process
- Surface Graining – transparent lines similar to internal graining, except it appear on the surface and are impossible to remove because it is part of a diamonds distorted crystal structure.
- Polish Lines – Polishing sometimes leaves fine, tiny, parallel groves and ridges
There are a myriad of factors that can compromise the overall appearance of a diamond, especially for those with a discerning eye. When purchasing a diamond at Maxime’s you trust us to the best job for you finding your perfect diamond. You will also have the ability view the stone in person with a highly qualified diamond consultant or GIA gemologist. If you do not feel the diamond is the right fit, we will find one that is.
Please visit us in-store today for a curated tutorial or email us with any general inquires using the form.