Insights into the inner workings of the diamond industry with some quick and easy guides on evaluating and buying diamonds
Diamond is an allotrope of carbon in its purest crystalline form.
A pavé setting is when the diamonds are closely set together with minimal visibility of the metal prongs holding the stones.
A diamond’s intrinsic value is in its brilliance.
Fancy cut diamonds differ in shape and cutting style from the usual 57 facet round brilliant. These include cuts such as: pear, oval, marquise, emerald and cushion
The table is the largest facet that caps the crown of a diamond and plays a critical role in the diamond’s appearance – specifically its brilliance and light performance.
‘Internally flawless’ is a clarity grade which indicates a diamond without visible internal imperfections under 10x magnification.
The word ‘diamond’ comes from the Greek word ‘adamas’, meaning invincible or indestructible.
A diamond loses up to 50% of its original weight during the cutting and polishing process.
A diamond’s Cut grade is all about how well its facets interact with light.
A ‘natural’ on a polished diamond is the unpolished remnant of the ‘skin’ of the rough crystal from which the stone was cut.
Pear shaped diamonds, reminiscent of a teardrop, blends the best of the round and marquise shapes.
Emerald cut diamonds are said to represent elegance and refinement.
Round brilliant diamonds are said to represent everlasting love.
Oval cut diamonds are said to represent fertility.
‘Cut’ determines a diamond’s brilliance and fire, and is considered to be the stone’s most important but least understood characteristic.
GIA’s D-Z colour grading scale is the industry’s most widely known and accepted grading system.
A diamond’s colour distinctions are subtle and invisible to the untrained eye but have a big impact on its price.
A natural diamond’s markings and inclusions are symbols of their age and can be considered tiny time capsules that tell the stories of Earth’s formation.
‘Cut’ determines a diamond’s brilliance and fire and is considered to be the stone’s most important but least understood characteristic.
Fluorescence does not affect the diamond's physical strength or its structure and can be used as an identifying factor for a diamond.
Fluorescence is the glow when a diamond emits visible light upon exposure to ultraviolet rays.
30% to 35% of all natural diamonds exhibit some degree of fluorescence when exposed to UV light.
It’s true that diamonds are forever, but contrary to popular belief, their investment potentials are skewed. I’m a diamond wholesaler and I’ll give it to you straight: many potential buyers prize certain attributes and characteristics of diamonds while severely overlooking other important traits. With the rise of the digital age and the internet, customers (perhaps like yourself) are certainly becoming better informed. However, despite the wealth of information available on the internet authoritatively discussing the 4Cs, many diamond buyers are still victims of skepticism, speculation and often distortions.
The concept of a wholesaler in business is well known, but to the average consumer, it is a concept that doesn’t seem congruent with their version of how the diamond industry operates. In the diamond industry, wholesalers account for approximately 30% of the independent businesses in the diamond value chain. The majority of diamond jewellery businesses are independent & family owned, and at the wholesale level, family ownership accounts for almost 90% of all wholesale diamond companies.
I remember asking, “how much is this worth, Papa?”, to which he would exclaim, “it’s not worth that much, Nikhil, but if you find enough of those, that will be your college education.” Though my simple, innocent mind could not comprehend the scale or value in his remark, it still spurred me to keep on hunting, for finding these little treasures was so significant, so real and so exciting.
People outside of the diamond trade often misunderstand the relationship between diamonds and colour. Many people think of diamonds as colourless. In reality, truly colourless diamonds are quite rare. Most diamonds used in jewellery are nearly colourless with a slight yellow or brown tint — most often very light yellow.
Fluorescence is the glow sometimes seen when an object emits visible light. Some diamonds fluoresce when they are exposed to ultraviolet light. This can cause them to emit a bluish glow of varying intensities and less often so - a yellow, green or even a white glow.
Most diamonds found in nature do not fluoresce. It has been established over the years, through extensive testing that approximately 30% to 35% of all natural diamonds exhibit some degree of fluorescence when exposed to UV light.
It’s sometimes hard to think of the words “diamond” and “colour” at the same time. After all, most people think of diamonds as colourless. In reality, most diamonds in the market range from colourless or nearly colourless to light yellow, brown or even grey-green.
This is known as the standard colour range. It’s also called the D-Z range because of the letter designations given to each step in the colour scale, ‘D’ being absolutely ‘colourless’ and ‘Z’ being essentially yellow, on the border of ‘fancy.’