Guide to Diamonds
As natural minerals, diamonds nearly always contain tiny 'Inclusions', which can take the form of crystals, clouds or feathers. These are rarely visible to the naked eye, but can be perceived under magnification. A diamond with no perceived inclusions is extremely rare and correspondingly expensive.
Some diamonds are Certificated by Independent bodies such as EGL, GIA, Anchorcert, IGI & others. These certificates give the buyer an additional piece of mind to help them with making their discussion when purchasing a diamond.
The descriptions under the (Gemmological Institute of America) GIA scheme are as follows:
- Flawless (FL)
- Internally Flawless (IF)
- Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1, VVS2) - i.e. very very small inclusions or blemishes
- Very Slightly Included (VS1, VS2) - i.e. very small inclusions or blemishes
- Slightly Included (SI1, SI2)
- Included (I1, I2, I3)
A carat is 0.2 grams and, along with "points" (one hundredth of a carat) forms the terminology used to describe the weight of a gemstone. Larger diamonds are rare and therefore considerably more valuable than smaller ones. The term derives from the use of carob seeds to measure the weight of gemstones in ancient times.
The colour of a diamond is determined using the GIA (Gemmological Institute of America) Scale, an alphabetical scale that grades the colour of a diamond from D (colourless - very rare and valuable) to Z (tinged with a yellowish colour).
The colour differences between diamonds (for example between a G or an H coloured diamond) are very subtle and difficult to ascertain without considerable training or experience.