How to choose the right Diamond?
reading - words
The diamond was born more than 3 billion years ago deep in the bowels of the earth. It is hard, beautiful and rare. No wonder that, from the earliest ages of mankind, it has been sought after. This precious stone has always fascinated and amazed; it has even been endowed with magical and religious powers.
In this article, you will discover :
- What makes diamonds famous
- Why they are associated with love
- How they represent an attractive financial investment
- The details of the 4 criteria that allow to choose the right diamentum
We wish you a pleasant reading!
Why are diamonds famous?
Diamond, the gem of celebrities
And if Agnes Sorel in France and Elizabeth I in England paved the way for the desacralization of diamonds, it was to make them a sign of wealth and power. The biggest ones will now be set in the most beautiful jewels of the European monarchies.
Closer to home, alongside queens and princesses, Hollywood stars and the wives of industry magnates displayed a strong taste for jewelry and gemstones. Gloria Swanson, Liz Taylor, Marlene Dietrich ... have they not been called "Diamond Crunchers"? These personalities helped to popularize this exceptional stone and make it desirable all over the world.
Moreover, the famous jeweler Tiffany & Co. has specialized in this gem. Its co-founder, Charles Lewis Tiffany, has the glorious nickname of "Diamond’s King".
But if, in the 21st century, diamond always rhymes with celebrity, this mythical stone is no longer reserved for princesses and stars.
The diamond, a precious stone pledge of love...
Today, diamonds are no longer only used to make sumptuous tiaras and other ornaments. It also adorns rings, pendants or earrings.
It has even become a symbol of eternal love. Let's not forget that the word comes from the Greek and means "indestructible". This is probably why the "diamond wedding" celebrates 60 years of marriage. An eternity! The diamond ring, on the other hand, is the engagement gift par excellence and the diamond wedding band is becoming more and more common.
The diamond, an interesting financial investment
This gem, today, is also considered a relevant investment opportunity. Over the last decades, its price has been steadily and regularly increasing. This trend is expected to continue as supply is increasingly limited - new diamond discoveries are very rare - while global demand continues to increase.
In addition, its specific characteristics reinforce its attractiveness. A diamond concentrates a high financial value on a small volume; it can be traded worldwide and is not subject to any reporting requirements.
How to choose a Diamond?
The 4 criteria for a good choice of diamond
Whether it is for a piece of jewelry or an investment, choosing "your" diamond is not easy. It is indeed a question of piercing the secrets of a stone that plays with light. Professionals have defined universal criteria to evaluate each diamond. In English, they are called the "4Cs":
- Carat (weight)
- Color (color)
- Clarity (purity)
The quality of the cut, the weight, the color, and even those tiny impurities - all different - found in some stones, make each diamond unique. Just as unique as the person wearing it.
In the center: Optimal size of a diamond
The quality of the cut sublimates the stone
An important criterion to take into account is the quality of the cut. It is the craftsman's hand that reveals the hidden beauty of the rough stone. It is a question of making play the optical effects specific to the diamond to obtain a subtle balance between :
- Brilliance, reflection of white light,
- Fire, decomposition of white light into colored light,
- Sparkling, when the diamond is in motion.
A good cut makes it possible to establish the right proportions between the diameter, the thickness, the table - the upper part of the diamond - and the body - the lower part - so that the light is reflected from one facet to another and diffuses through the table. A cut that is too flat causes light to leak from below, making the stone dull; a cut that is too deep causes light to leak from the sides, diminishing the brilliance of the stone.
The GIA (Gemmological Institute of America) has determined a cut classification for round diamonds that ranges from "Excellent" to "Fair". It should be noted that only "brilliant" cut diamonds are able to obtain an "ideal" cut.
Today, the round shape in "brilliant" cut - which generally has 58 facets - is the most sought-after. But the buyer also has the choice between a multitude of other diamond shapes (fancy cut):
- Square or rectangular, the "princess cut" is also very popular for engagement rings because of its brilliance.
- The "emerald" and "Asscher" cuts are aesthetically close to the "princess" cut.
- The "oval" cut diamonds particularly highlight long and thin fingers.
- The same is true for the "marquise" (or "shuttle") cut, which also makes the stone appear larger.
- Thanks to its elongated shape, the "pear" diamond refines and slims the fingers.
- But diamonds do not only adorn rings and, with its octagonal shape, the "radiant" cut is appreciated on other jewels.
- The "heart" cut, as bright as the round shape, is obviously used as a symbol of love.
- With its rounded corners and large facets, the prestigious "cushion" was particularly appreciated in the past.
Top, Left: Diamond, Heart cut, Right: Diamond, Emerald cut, Bottom, Left: Diamond, Radiant cut, Right: Diamond, Oval cut
The weight of this gem determines its size
The weight of the diamond is also an important element that determines its size, therefore its diameter, therefore its value.
The weight is measured in carats (not to be confused with the carat which reflects the purity of precious metals). Here, one carat is equivalent to 0.2 g and is divided into 100 "points". The term comes from the seed of the carob tree, which, with a constant weight of 0.2 g, was used by merchants in antiquity.
While the weight factor plays an important role in the price of a diamond, the price is not directly proportional to the weight: a 1.5 carat diamond, for example, will be worth much more than the sum of three 0.5 carat diamonds. With a large stone, one pays the price of rarity. It is also important to know that a rough diamond loses a large part of its weight once cut.
Not all diamonds are colourless
- The appearance of a diamond also depends on its color. Because not all diamonds are completely colorless. Diamonds with yellowish tones are also very common.
- The more colorless the stone is, the more valuable it is because the white light that penetrates it then breaks down completely into all the colors of the rainbow. This is why diamonds are graded on an international grading scale ranging from D (perfect transparency) to Z (very pronounced yellowish color).
- There are also frank colored diamonds, called "Fancy Colours". They have their own grading standards. Much rarer, they can sometimes be of greater value than white diamonds. They also have their celebrities such as :
- - The blue diamond of the Crown of France, which became the "Hope", currently on display in Washington;
- - The "Eye of Brahma" also called "Black Orlov";
- - The Green Diamond on display in Dresden;
- - The red "Moussaieff";
- - The pink diamond "Le Grand Condé";
- - The yellow diamond "Tiffany Diamond" was worn by Audrey Hepburn for the promotion of the film "Diamond on the Couch".
Absolute purity is very rare
The fourth criterion to be taken into account is the degree of purity of the diamond. The closer a diamond is to perfect purity, the more valuable it will be.
But diamonds of absolute purity, i.e. without any inclusions, are extremely rare. Minerals, cracks or growths often appear at the time of their formation. The regularity, size, nature and position of these tiny natural impurities - often invisible to the naked eye - are taken into account and evaluated on a scale ranging from IF for "Internally Flawless" to P3.
Cut diamonds are considered "pure" when no inclusions are visible under a ten-fold magnifying glass. Diamonds with inclusions visible to the naked eye are graded from P1 to P3.