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The Engagement Ring – Diamond Grading

This post is dedicated to the hubs. I supposed men assume the duty of ring hunting before he pops the question. This is not always true though because in this day and age, couples tend to go ring shopping together. I’m not suggesting that the ring has to come with diamond because there are other options available. Where to hunt for a ring.

However in this post, I am going to bring you through some good to have knowledge before looking for your desired diamond ring. Firstly you have to learn about the 4C’s: Carat, Color, Clarity and Cut of diamond grading. I am referring the GIA (the Gemological Institute of America) system as my ring has the GIA Diamond Dossier – so it’s more handy for me 🙂 There are other grading systems you can understand from as well. The diamond should come with a report/ certificate. If not you cannot be sure if it is the real thing, you know what I mean.

To most people Cut is the most important aspect. You want the diamond to look all sparkly and beautiful. Color and Clarity on the other hand are less obvious I think if the bling is near colorless or very slightly included. It costs a lot more to have a combination of high color and high clarity. Then again carat weight costs the most. The Round Brilliant shape is the most popular.

Carat Weight
Refers to the standard unit of weight for diamonds and other gemstones. Carat weight is measured at the GIA Laboratory suing a highly precise electronic scale.

One Carat = 200 milligrams
One Carat =  100 points

But two diamonds of equal weight can have very different values depending on the other members of the Four C’s: clarity, color and cut. The majority of diamonds used in fine jewelry weigh one carat or less.

Color
Color grades are established by comparing each diamond to a set of master comparison diamonds in a standard environment. The creators of the GIA Color Scale wanted to start fresh, without any
association with earlier systems, they chose to start with the letter D. Most diamonds found in jewelry stores run from colorless to near-colorless, with slight hints of yellow or brown.

Colorless – D, E, F
Near colorless – G, H, I, J
Faint – K, L, M
Very Light – N, O, P, Q, R
Light – S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

diamond color grades
Color grades: you want your diamond to be as colorless as possible

Clarity
Internal features (inclusions) and surface characteristics (blemishes) within or on a diamond when viewed with 10x magnification. The GIA Clarity Scale includes eleven clarity grades from Flawless to l3.

Flawless (FL) – No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification
Internally Flawless (IF) – No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) – Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification
Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) – Inclusions are clearly visible under 10× magnification but can be characterized as minor
Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) – Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10× magnification
Included (I1, I2, and I3) – Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance

Cut
Refers to how the proportions and finish of a diamond affect its overall appearance and quality. The cut of any diamond has three attributes: brilliance (the total
light reflected from a diamond), fire (the dispersion of light into the
colors of the spectrum), and scintillation (the flashes of light, or
sparkle, when a diamond is moved). When a diamond has a high quality cut (Excellent cut), light will
enter the stone through the table and crown, traveling toward the
pavilion where it reflects from one side to the other before bouncing
back out of the diamond’s table toward the observer’s eye.

GIA Cut Scale
Excellent (the best)
Very Good
Good
Fair
Poor

Hearts and Arrows Diamonds are precision cut variations of the
traditional 57 faceted round brilliant cut. They are cut to “ideal
proportions” with superior optical symmetry and a specific faceting
pattern. When all these factors are in harmony the result is a
repeatable, near perfect pattern of eight symmetrical arrows in the face
up position and eight symmetrical hearts when viewed in the table down
position. To see the hearts and arrows pattern in a diamond one must employ a specially designed light directing viewer.

Actual carat size chart
diamond hearts and arrows
Perfect hearts and arrows                                                                                 Imperfect

Ref: http://www.allaboutgemstones.com, http://www.gia.edu, http://en.wikipedia.org, http://www.pricescope.com, http://yumatusan.seesaa.net

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