Diamonds and Design

January, 23 2017

Ever wonder what makes a diamond so brilliant?  There are many factors.  First, consider the four C’s: cut, color, clarity and carat weight.  Emotions also play an important role in choosing one diamond over another.  Diamonds speak to us and beg our attention.  This has been the case from the beginning of time. 

The diamond is the only gemstone composed of one pure element – carbon.  A diamond comes to life in only the most perfect of circumstances – where the molecules are bonded in perfect symmetry over billions of years under the earth’s surface.  That perfect atomic structure is what makes the diamond the hardest natural substance on the planet – and one of the world’s most treasured gems (rather than the commonplace number two pencil).  Ownership of even a single perfect representation of nature’s ability to withstand heat, pressure and other natural elements is incredible. 

Let’s look deeper into what factors decide a single diamond’s beauty!



You cannot dismiss the color and clarity of a diamond because, after all, they do define the overall appearance of the stone.  The cut, however, is the most critical of the 4Cs because it is what gives a diamond its brilliance.  The way a diamond is cut determines how light interacts with the stone.  If the diamond is too shallow, light will be lost out of the bottom.  One that is too deep will refract light out the side.  An ideal diamond carries light from the table above and refracts light around the pavilion facets below bouncing colorful glimpses of reds, blues, and yellows to the beholder.    

When viewing diamonds for the first time, take note of your first impression as that is the language of the diamond speaking to your emotion!  Once you loupe the diamond or view it through a magnifying scope, you will see the internal characteristics that are unique to your diamond.  



Not to be confused with the brilliant flashes of color which mark the significance of the diamond’s cut grade, color, in this sense, refers to the diamond’s body color.  On the color scale, there are five categories.   Colorless, Near Colorless, Faint, Very Light and Light.  The scale characterizes diamonds based on the absence of color.  D is the highest color rating on the scale indicating no color and moving down the scale to Z which is in the category of Light Yellow (or ‘fancy yellow’).  Both spectrums on the scale are more favorable for their color rating and, therefore, more expensive than those in the center. 



Remembering the rarity of that common carbon substance making it through the process of ideal circumstances, under exact pressure and heat, and having the internal embodiment to present itself as a single brilliant diamond is a remarkable feat on its own.  Further narrowing the percentages, ask nature to make something perfect or nearly perfect, and you can expect to pay a higher price.    Therefore, on the clarity scale, Flawless and Internally Flawless diamonds are at a premium.  Clear to the naked eye until the Included category, the scale has varying degrees of internal markings on the diamond.  Diamonds that have inclusions may have fissures, feathers, or clouds, for example.  All are distinctive birth marks of a diamond.  They are unique to that stone alone and become an identifier to that individual diamond.  The clarity scale has five categories, some of which are divided, for a total of 11 specific grades. 




Carat Weight

Although seemingly obvious, the carat weight is the size of the diamond and the last of the four grading determinants.  A one carat stone has one hundred points in total.  Diamonds are classified on size according to that measure.  Therefore, a half carat diamond is 0.50 carat (ct).  A one and one third carat diamond is 1.33ct.  Representation of price is not linear where the smaller the diamond, the smaller the price; color and clarity factor in to pricing as well.  A smaller diamond with a higher color and clarity might have a higher price than a diamond two or three times its size but possessing lower color and clarity ratings. 


Of all of these factors, remember that emotion is a critical piece in making that important purchase decision.  Percentages and numbers are just that.  Numbers which don’t translate into real beauty until paired with the emotional tug begging ownership of the one diamond meant for just you. 

We welcome your questions and would love to show you the differences in person.  Our mission is to work alongside you to choose the perfect diamond in the perfect John Atencio setting.