Almost all diamonds contain tiny natural birthmarks known as inclusions; the fewer inclusions, the rarer and more valuable the stone. In addition to internal inclusions, surface irregularities are referred to as blemishes. These two categories of imperfections-inclusions (internal) and blemishes (external) comprise a diamond’s clarity.
Many inclusions are not discernable to the naked eye. To determine a diamond's clarity, an expert views it under 10-power magnification. We recommend a clarity of SI2 or better; this represents the point at which inclusions are typically not apparent to the average naked eye.
Higher clarity does not always make a more beautiful diamond. If the inclusions are not visible to the naked eye, a higher clarity doesn’t necessarily improve the diamond’s appearance, only its rarity and price. For some customers, that rarity is important; for others, the outward appearance matters more. Knowing that you have selected the right clarity for the right reasons is most important.
Carat Weight is the size of the stone. The word carat comes from the carob tree, whose tiny seeds are well known for their uniformity and consistent weight and were used to balance scales in ancient times. Traditionally diamonds and gemstones were weighed against these seeds until the system was standardized, and one carat was fixed at 0.2 grams.
The larger the diamond, the more it weighs. One carat is divided into 100 points. A diamond weighing one quarter of a carat can also be described as weighing 25 points or 0.25 carats.
The rarity of a diamond is greatly affected by its size. A one-carat diamond is more than twice as rare as a half carat, and a two-carat diamond is infinitely rarer than a one-carat diamond. Hence the price of natural diamonds is not a linear relationship based on size
Whatever shape and quality you prefer, a grading report from a professional grading lab should accompany any significant diamond purchase. A professional gemological laboratory has more advanced grading capabilities than most jewelers have in-store, and it also provides a third-party verification of your diamond’s value for appraisal and insurance purposes.
Fakiér diamonds are graded by the most prestigious and trusted gemological laboratory in the world, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). GIA, based in Carlsbad, CA or NY is accepted around the world as the gold standard of gemological grading
Fluorescence is a separate characteristic referring to some diamonds’ ability to fluoresce (glow) under ultraviolet (UV) light. When exposed to UV light—such as a black light—fluorescent diamonds will give off a distinctive glow. Fluorescence can occur in different colors, but the most common is blue. Although fluorescence is a characteristic that can be measured, it is seldom an issue when selecting a diamond. Fluorescence is ranked by its intensity as either None, Faint, Medium, Strong, or Very Strong.
Diamond color is ranked from D to Z. But at a certain point—beyond Z—a diamond’s color saturation is deep enough that it becomes an asset rather than a detraction. At this point, it becomes known as a Fancy Color diamond, and it is even more rare than a white diamond.
Diamonds naturally occur in all colors, such as yellow, blue, pink, red, orange, green, and more. Fancies are evaluated by a different set of color standards to determine value, which because of extreme rarity can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for diamonds less than one carat.
A laboratory-grown diamond is chemically, physically, and optically the same as a diamond mined from the earth. All diamonds, whether mined from the earth or grown in a laboratory, are made of carbon that’s been compressed under intense heat and pressure until it becomes the clear gemstone we know as diamond.
The only difference between a natural mined diamond and a lab-grown diamond is the amount of time it takes to create and, subsequently, its rarity, which affects its price. Natural diamonds are created deep in the earth over billions of years, while lab-grown diamonds are created in a growing machine that replicates the heat and pressure of the earth. Read more about the lab-grown process here. Both are equally beautiful and desirable.