Welcome to the CaratX Diamond Guide! Let's start with the basics! The first thing to learn about, and wrap your head around is: The 4 C's
Carat: The word "carat" has a unique origin and is the weight of the diamond. In fact the origins of the word carat can be traced in multiple languages. In arabic it is derived from the root word: qirat, which means "fruit of the carob tree," also "weight of 4 grains." It also has ancient greek and italian roots! When deciding on a diamond the carat weight is important. It's also important to note the difference between "carat" and "total carat weight". "Carat" is used to measure a single stone, while "total carat weight" or " CTW" measures multiple stones in one setting. You can always determine the main stone weight by looking on your certificate for "center stone carat weight".
Cut: This is one of the first things to consider. The cut is not to be confused with the shape. The cut grading is a grading on the excellence and attractiveness of the diamond's proportions, angles, polish, finish, scintillation, fire and brilliance! These components determine how well a diamond presents itself, and are the primary aspects to its beauty, sparkle and overall shine!
Color: This determines the colorlessness or whiteness of the diamond. Diamond color grades from GIA (The Gemelogical Institute of America) range between D and Z. The most colorless stones being a D color, and the stones that have a yellow or yelowish brown tint would be a towards the Z end. Be sure to check your certificate or appraisal to determine the true diamond color. If in doubt, always consult a reputabe gemologist.
Clarity: This determines how clear or clean a diamond is to the naed eye as well as under a 10x microscope. Clarity is a measure of the inclusions in the diamond. Inclusions can be dirt, carbon spots, feathers, cracks and other things that obscure and deminish a diamond's sparkle. Darkness, size and location of the inclusions are also an important factor in deciding the right diamond for you. GIA grades clarity as follows:
IF (Internally Flawless)
VVS1 (Very, Very Slightly Included 1)
VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included 2)
VS1 (Very Slightly Included 1)
VS2 (Very Slightly Included 2)
SI1 (Slightly Included 1)
SI2 (Slightly Included 2)
I1 (Inclusions 1)
I2 (Inclusions 2)
The Round Cut
The modern round brilliant cut diamond was created in 1919 by a Russian mathematician: Marcel Tolkowsky, after extensive research on reflection and dispersion of light in diamonds. In his honor, round brilliant cuts are sometimes referred to as the ‘The Tolkowsky Cut’.
The round brilliant cut diamond is one of the, if not the most popular diamond used in the diamond industry today. It's one of the classics. Engagement rings with this shape are extremely popular, with countless designs that exist and many more vairations.
The ideal round brilliant cut diamond has a 16.2% crown height, 43.1% pavilion depth, 53% table diameter, and a 34.5-degree crown angle. It features 57 facets, consisting of 1 table, 8 star, 8 kite, 16 upper girdle, 16 lower girdle and 8 pavilion facets. There is no culet and the girdle is very thin and unfaceted. Tolkowsky’s diamond cuts and proportions serve as the basis for the American Standard round brilliant diamond, which is commonly used in North America and abroad.