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The Diamond is the strongest of all minerals. The name Diamond is derived from the Greek word 'Adamas', which means 'unconquerable', so it is given to the stone due to its supreme hardness. What makes a diamond so hard is it's immensely strong crystal structure and the fact that it is made of pure carbon.

There are four factors that determine the valuation of a diamond, they are known as the four C's.

 
Colour Clarity Cut Carat
  • Colour

    Colour is regarded as the most important factor of the Four C's. It is one of the main factors to be considered when valuing a diamond.

    To the untrained eye, most Diamonds may appear white/colourless. However, most stones will contain a trace of colour which is barely visible to the naked eye. The best way to see the true colour of a Diamond is to look at it against a white surface or in natural daylight.

    An ideal colour is one which is of complete absence of body colour; colourless. The nearer a stone gets to colourless, the rarer and more valuable that stone becomes.However, some stones contain strong colours and these are known as 'FANCIES'. Within these colours you can find pink, blue, yellow, green and orange amongst others.

    A precise scale of colour grading has been devised by The Gemmological Institute of America (GIA). The grade given to a stone is represented by letters of the alphabet and starts at D (colourless).

  • Clarity

    Clarity refers to the natural inclusions/imperfections within a Diamond. These imperfections are traces of Carbon and are rarely visible to the naked eye and require a magnification of X10 from a standard loupe.

    When valuing a Diamond, the number, type, colour and position of the inclusions will affect a stones value.

    Almost all Diamonds contain small inclusions. However, the fewer there are the more expensive and less common the stone becomes.

  • Cut

    This is the only characteristic within a Diamond that is directly influenced by man; the other three are dictated by nature.

    Cut refers to the shape of a Diamond as well as the inner proportions and facets (tiny planes that create angles to reflect light).

    The most traditional and popular cut of Diamond is the 'Round Brilliant Cut' Diamond. A well cut 'Brilliant Cut' Diamond will release the best life, fire and sparkle of any Diamond. This is due to the layout and proportions of its 58 facets that create a good reflection of light.

    A well cut Diamond will reflect any light entering through it, from one facet to another and then release the light through the top of the stone, resulting in great brilliance and fire. Diamonds that are not so well cut, too deep or too shallow, will lose any light through its sides or bottom.

  • Carat

    The term carat (ct) refers to the weight of a diamond. The carat is divided into fractions (1/10ct) or decimals (1.25ct) up to two decimal places. Stones under a carat are weighed in 'points'; 0.25cts refers to quarter of a carat. 100 points make up a carat.

    Carat refers to the weight of the diamond. One carat is divided into 100 points, so a half carat diamond equals 50 points or 0.50 carats.

    It is generally regarded that weight is the most obvious factor in valuing a Diamond. However, 2 stones of the same carat can have very different values due to its quality.