Diamond Buyers Guide
Buying a diamond is often an experience filled with mixed feelings for the first-time buyer- excitement towards the prospect of wearing this beautiful jewel or gifting it to that someone special and sometimes trepidation and concern about making the right choice.
Diamond jewellery is the ultimate expression of love whether it is in the form of a ring for your loved one or a necklace for your mother or that gorgeous bracelet for yourself. Choosing and wearing diamond jewellery is an enjoyable experience and nothing should dampen this experience, especially when you are shopping with India’s leading diamond jewellery expert- ORRA.
When buying diamonds, it is important to understand its characteristics in the form of the 4 Cs- Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat. And this basic knowledge will help you understand the diamond’s quality and enable you to find a stunning diamond that will fit into your budget.
Of all the 4 Cs, the cut is the most important factor to ensure the brilliant dazzle of a diamond. While all of the other Cs are determined by nature, this is the only factor that is determined by man.
Diamond cut is often mistaken to be the shape of the diamond, but cut refers to the proportion and alignment of the facets, symmetry, the polish of the diamond and the quality of craftsmanship. A diamond sparkles brilliantly due to its ability to reflect and interact with light and this ability is determined by the perfection in the cut.
When a diamond is cut well, light enters through the table and travels to the pavilion where it reflects from facet to facet till it is thrown back through the table to the observer’s eye. This is called the light performance of a diamond. A poorly cut diamond makes the light seep out from the sides and the bottom of the diamond and it looks dull and lifeless despite its clarity and colour grading.
So even a flawless diamond with the whitest possible colour will start to look dull and lacking shine, if it is not cut to perfection.
ORRA Crown Star The Patented 73 Faceted Diamond
At ORRA, we take the business of dazzling diamonds very seriously which is why we have launched the patented 73 faceted diamond to ensure maximum light performance. These 73 faceted diamonds are cut to maximise brilliance, fire and sparkle of a diamond.
Brilliance refers to the brightness of a diamond, created by the combination of all the white light reflected from the surface and the inside of a polished diamond. When light hits a diamond's surface, some light enters and some is reflected back. A round diamond will typically display more brilliance than a fancy shape due to the ability of the round cut to maximise the reflecting light.
Fire refers to the brilliant, colourful flashes reflected by the diamond. The fire effect is caused by the dispersion of light as it travels through the diamond. The better the cut of the diamond, the more vibrant the dispersed colours will appear.
Sparkle refers to the dance of light which is produced when a diamond is moved from side to side. These flashes are caused when the light that isn't reflected back from the table, enters the diamond and bounces off the inside walls of the diamond.
For a diamond to be magnificently brilliant, this light performance of brilliance, fire and sparkle needs to be at the maximum. ORRA Crown Stars are cut to maximise this light performance.
Clarity is the assessment of the imperfections present on the surface of the diamond and within the diamond. Imperfections on the surface are called blemishes while they are called inclusions when they are present inside the diamond.
These imperfections are usually microscopic and are not seen by the naked eye. Hence, the real measure of clarity is to ensure that the diamond is ‘eye-clean’ or you need a magnifying glass or loupe to see these imperfections. In most cases, a diamond’s beauty is not affected by these flaws since most inclusions can’t be seen with the naked eye. Diamonds with the fewest and smallest inclusions receive the highest clarity grades. But Natural inclusions and blemishes are inevitable as these diamonds are made under the Earth’s surface through enormous pressure and heat. In fact, gemologists refer to these imperfections as the diamond’s ‘internal characteristics’ and not flaws. While clarity is less important than a diamond’s cut or color, if you are buying a diamond over one carat or considering certain fancy-shaped diamonds (like an emerald or Asscher cut where flaws are more visible), you may want to spend more for a higher clarity grade. As diamond size increases, the size of the facets (the multiple mirror-like surfaces on the diamond) become more abundant. This can make inclusions more visible. Evaluating the diamond’s clarity involves determining the number, size, nature and position of these characteristics, as well as how these affect the overall appearance of the stone. The closer the diamond comes to purity, the higher its value.
Any more inclusions than the SI quality, the diamond starts to lack in brilliance and transparency.
|Flawless (FL)||No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification|
|Internally Flawless (IF)||No inclusions visible under 10x magnification|
|Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2)||Inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification|
|Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2)||Inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification but can be regarded as minor|
|Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2)||Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification|
The colour of a diamond is evaluated in terms of the degree of absence of colour. The more colourless the diamond, the higher its value. However, most diamonds which appear colourless actually have slight tones of yellow or brown.
Some of these differences are not visible to the naked eye, but directly impact the overall quality and price of the stone. Only a certified grading professional can determine a diamond’s color grade. Also the tone of the jewellery’s setting can affect the appearance of diamond color and hence the colour grading is done before setting the diamonds into jewellery. If you are buying a diamond under 1 carat, you might consider choosing an I, J, or K color diamond. But for diamonds over 1 carat, we recommend higher colour-grade diamonds.
|D||Absolutely colourless with a pure icy look. The highest quality of a diamond colour, which is extremely rare.|
|E - F||Colourless. Very negligible traces of colour can be noticed by an expert gemmologist.|
|G - H||Near-colourless. Colour noticeable when compared to diamonds of better grades, but no discernible colour.|
|I - J, K||Colour slightly detectable. Budget- friendly choice.|
The term carat is often misunderstood. It refers to a diamond's weight, not its size. Generally speaking, the higher the carat weight, the more expensive the stone. Two diamonds of equal carat weight, however, can have very different quality and price when the other three Cs are considered.
A common misperception is that a larger carat weight is always better than a smaller carat weight. But this needs to be in conjunction with a perfect cut. In fact, a high carat weight diamond with a poor cut may look smaller than a diamond with a smaller carat weight and a very good cut.
So having understood the above factors, choose your diamond keeping in mind how to get the best value for your budget. With ORRA, you can rest assured, that our diamonds are cut to ensure brilliance because without that special dazzle, a diamond has no raison d'être.
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