The cut of a diamond is carefully calculated to maximize its brilliance. A cut and polished diamond’s radiance is based on its relationship with light: how light strikes the surface, how much enters the diamond, and how much – and in what form – light returns to your eye. A diamond cut with correct proportions maximizes its interaction with light. The result is spectacular fire and brilliance.
The heat and pressure required to form diamonds create imperfections known as inclusions. Inclusions are like a diamond’s natural “fingerprint” (truly flawless diamonds are extremely rare) and contribute to the stone’s character. A diamond’s clarity is a measure of its inclusions. The GIA Clarity Scale includes 11 clarity grades ranging from Flawless to I3.
Although they may look colorless, most diamonds actually have a small amount of color.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has created a color scale that extends from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). Color grades are determined by examining each diamond in a controlled environment. Each letter represents a level of discernable color.
Carat weight refers to a diamond’s weight. One carat equals 200 milligrams in weight. Each carat is divided into 100 points. A 1-carat diamond = 100 points, a .75-carat diamond = 75 points, etc. Remember, diamonds with the same carat weight can vary greatly in value, depending on color, clarity, and cut. Choosing the perfect stone is a matter of deciding what matters most to you – size or quality – then finding the best combination of factors to suit your needs.