Diamond Education

Interesting Diamond Facts
 
What is the typical (ideal, excellent) percentage size of a table of a round brilliant cut diamond?
 
57%
 
What is the typical (ideal, excellent) percentage size of depth of a round brilliant cut diamond?
 
61.1%
 
What are 3 different reasons a G/SI2 GIA certified diamond can range in price from $8,000 - $14,000?
 
Cut grade - good grade compared to excellent
Inclusions - a lower priced SI2 may have surface breaching inclusions in the centre of the table, whereas a higher priced S12 will have inclusions to the outside of the diamond (which is exactly what The Diamond Vault look for when choosing a diamond)
Colour - a ‘yellow’ G compared to a ‘brown’ G
Certification - ADGL compared to GIA
 
 
The names of fancy shaped diamonds
 
Radiant
Oval
Marquise
Cushion
Heart
Ascher
Emerald
Trapezoid
Trilliant
 
 

Which Shape Is For You

 
From round brilliant diamonds to pear-shaped diamonds, there are several fancy shapes when it comes to diamonds. We have so many different styles, and yes it can be very hard to choose between them all! The shape of the diamond you choose is a wonderful way to reflect your personality. 
 
 
  
 

Round Brilliant Diamonds

Round brilliant diamonds are a very popular style for diamond engagement rings. The perfectly symmetrical shape lets the light disperse beautifully from every angle from the bottom and out through the top of the diamond. 
 
Cut with 57 facets, a round brilliant diamond radiates the most fire, sparkle and brilliance and has a timeless style, so you'll treasure your diamond for a lifetime. 
 

Princess Diamonds

A modern cut, the princess cut diamond showcases a contemporary square cut and is the most dazzling and brilliant of all square-shaped diamonds. Princess cut engagement rings are the perfect choice for proposing to someone with a glamorous sense of style and someone who loves to give every look the wow-factor.
 
This style works wonderfully for engagement rings with larger carat diamonds. And of course, the 'princess' title is an added bonus! 

Oval Diamonds

Vintage-inspired, the oval-shaped diamond reflects a bygone era and classic diamond designs. A stunning twist on the round brilliant cut, oval engagement rings have plenty of brilliance and fire. 
 
A very fashionable cut for engagement rings, oval-shaped diamonds look beautiful with a halo of smaller round brilliant diamonds set around it. This diamond cut is perfect for someone who loves to fuse contemporary and classic style. 

Marquise Diamonds 

A truly elegant design, the marquise diamond is a true statement of glamour. Described as 'boat'-shaped, this lovely cut can help fingers look long and slender. The way the diamond is cut also gives you a visually larger diamond, making your diamond ring incredibly luxurious. 
 
Marquise cut diamonds are a beautiful choice for an engagement ring and are perfect for someone who loves to stand out and wants something beautiful, but a little different.
 

Pear Diamonds

A unique and beautiful cut, a pear-shaped diamond blends the shape of a round brilliant diamond with a marquise shape for a truly wonderful sparkle. Pear-shaped diamonds are also known as teardrop diamonds because of their shape and they can be worn with the point upwards or downwards, depending on your preference. 
 
Pear-shaped diamonds are also very popular for other jewellery pieces, so if you've fallen in love with this style, be sure to look out for other pear-shaped jewellery pieces. 

 

Emerald Cut Diamonds

Inspired by emerald stones, diamond experts found that the emerald shape is also a beautiful way to cut a diamond. Emerald cut diamonds feature a rectangular-shaped diamond with elegantly rounded corners. 
 
The long facets of an emerald-cut diamond will highlight the stones clarity very clearly. An emerald cut engagement ring is a lovely choice for lovers of vintage-inspired and sophisticated design. 

Cushion Diamonds

Cushion cut diamonds have a very glamorous and feminine feel. Featuring a square-shaped diamond with elegantly rounded edges, the cushion cut diamond resembles a pillow, as the name suggests. 
 
Cushion cut diamonds have large facets which allow greater separation of white light into spectral colours, dispersing all the colours of the rainbow. Cushion cut engagement rings also look beautiful framed with a halo of round brilliant diamonds for a truly dazzling engagement ring. 

 

Baguette Diamonds

Narrow and rectangular, baguette cut diamonds have been a popular choice for engagement rings since as early as the 1920s. Baguette diamonds are reminiscent of the Art Deco movement with the geometric form and clean lines, so are a good choice for those wanting an art deco engagement ring. 
 
Baguette cut diamonds are often used to create a cluster design for engagement rings, with more than one stone to enhance the sparkle. They also look beautiful when used to embellish an engagement ring's shoulders, matched with a dazzling round brilliant diamond in the centre. 
 
 
 
 
Colour grading
 
To grade a diamond, gemologists often place the diamond on a white background to see the body colour next to another diamond that has been previously graded.
 
Here is a list of how the colour of diamonds fall - 
 
Colourless - DEF
Near colourless - GHIJ
Faint yellow - KLM
Very light yellow - NOPQR
Light yellow - STUVWXY
How is a diamond made?
 
A diamond is basically carbon that has been compressed underground under extreme heat and pressure until it crystallizes into a white diamond. This can take millions of years. The better it has crystallized, the whiter it has become. The less carbon marks (or inclusions) that can still be seen in it, the better and more expensive the diamond will be.
 
 
What is fluorescence?
 
Fluorescence is a chemical composition that often affects the colour of a diamond. Under ultraviolet light a diamond’s fluorescence is the most visible. If a diamond has fluorescence you will see shots of blue or yellow emitting through the diamond when exposed to the UV rays. 
 
What is a natural inclusion in a diamond and how is it formed?
 
A natural inclusion is a birthmark found inside a diamond as it forms. Diamonds are a crystal that forms deep inside the earth under high pressure and extreme heat. During this process another crystal or even a smaller diamond can be captured inside the stones structure. These captive crystals look like small dots and if there any many of them in a certain area of the diamond, they can appear as light or dark clouds within the stones.
 
When diamonds are formed, the pressure needed for a diamond’s crystalline structure can also form irregular lines and shapes within the structure. In the formation process the diamond may also have captured air within the structure that leads to small bubble like inclusions. All these inclusions are part of a naturally occurring process. Inclusions can either be visible to the naked eye or may not be seen unless viewed under magnification. Some of the types of inclusions that you will see listed on a diamond’s certification are - bubbles, crystal, feather, natural, wisp. 
 
 
GIA diamond scale
 
FL - Flawless: no inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification. They are extremely rare, less than 1 in 5,000 jewellery quality diamonds are rated FL.
IF - Internally flawless: no inclusions, only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification. FL and IF diamonds appear identical unless viewed under 10x magnification by a skilled grader. Less than 3% jewellery grade diamonds are graded IF.
VVS1/VVS2 - Very very slightly included: inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification. VVS1 inclusions are typically only visible from the pavilion, while
VVS2 inclusions are visible from the crown. In each, the inclusions are visible to the eye, appearing identical to the higher grades unless viewed under 10x magnification by a skilled grader.
VS1/VS2 - Very slightly included: inclusions are very clearly visible under 10x magnification but can be characterised as minor. Inclusions are not visible to the naked eye, perhaps 1 in 100 untrained observers can detect VS2 inclusions with the naked eye on close inspection.
SI1/SI2 - Slightly included: inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10x magnification. SI1 is the lowest grade with flaws often visible to the naked eye. SI2 inclusions are usually visible to the naked eye although they will require close inspection.
I1/I2/I3 - Included: inclusions are obviously under 10x magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance. I1 diamonds have inclusions almost always visible to the naked eye. Because I2 and I3 diamonds have pronounced inclusions, and in the case of I3 may even affect the diamond’s durability they are not offered by Hardy Brothers.
 
 
Diamond Cut 
 
Cut does not refer to a diamonds shape but to its’ proportions, symmetry and polish. The beauty of a diamond depends more on cut than other other factor. Though extremely difficult to analyse and quantify, diamond cutting has three primary effects on appearance:
 
Brilliance - the brightness created by the combination of all the white light reflections from the surface and the inside of a polished diamond
Fire - the dispersion of light into the colours of the visible spectrum, seen as flashes of colour
Scintillation - the flashes of light and dark, or sparkle, when a diamond or light source is moved
 
When a diamond is cut from a rough stone the cutter must balance optimal cut against size. Because many customers are willing to pay more for a larger fair cut diamond than a slightly smaller well cut diamond, there is often pressure on the cutter to sacrifice appearance for weight. That is why the cut grade is so important, it allows the purchaser to identify stones that have been cut well to poor, in an effort to gain a larger stone.
 
 
Diamond symmetry
 
Symmetry refers to how precisely the facets of a diamond align. A diamond with poor symmetry may misdirect light that comes into the diamond, sending it off at the wrong angles which reduces its brilliance. Often a diamond cutter will purposely allow a minor reduction in symmetry as a way of preventing a defect present in the rough stone from being part of the finished diamond. 
 
Symmetry grades used by the GIA:
 
  1. Excellent - No symmetry defects visible at 10x magnification.
  2. Very Good - Any defects are extremely difficult to see at 10x magnification.
  3. Good - Any defects are difficult to see at 10x magnification.
  4. Fair - Defects are noticeable at 10x magnification and may be visible to the naked eye.
  5. Poor - Defects are visible to the naked eye.
 
 
Diamond Polish
 
Diamond polish refers to how smooth each facet of the diamond has been measured by a gemologist. When a diamond is cut and polished, microscopic surface defects may be created by the polishing wheel if it dragged tiny dislodged crystals across the diamond’s surface.
Depending on the severity, these defects may disrupt light patterns as the light rays enter and exit the diamond. The GIA uses the same scale for grading polish as mentioned above in symmetry. 
 
 
Can diamonds be chipped or damaged?
 
Even though diamonds are the hardest gemstone, they can still be chipped or damaged depending on where inclusions are placed in the diamond.
 
 
What is laser drilling and why is it done?
 
Laser drilling is a process where a small laser beam is used to drill into the diamond, tunnelling into the stone to remove inclusions. This is done to remove visibly seen inclusions to enhance the diamond’s appearance. 
 
 
What is fracture filling and why is it done?
 
This is a treatment where a clear resin substance is used, it is injected into a diamond to fill cracks. This is done to enhance the appearance of the diamond.