Whether they’re on a ring, necklace or earrings, diamonds are forever. That’s what they say. So it can’t do any harm to have a closer look at these sparkly gems. Here’s little dictionary of diamonds, and so that we know what we’re talking about: Monogram, the current jewellery collection by Louis Vuitton.
The 4 Cs Carat, colour, clarity, cut: the four main criteria for diamonds, unsurprisingly referred to as the 4 Cs. The weight is given in carats, but that should never be the sole criterion when deciding whether or not to buy. One carat is equivalent to 0.20 grams. As large stones are more rare, they are more valuable. Rule of thumb for sizes: two carats are too many for young women, 0.25 are too few for the more mature. As for colour, D stands for completely colourless. Which is rare, so expensive. The clarity should be between IF (flawless) and SI1 (slight imperfections). Admittedly, it’s not possible to see even “very, very small inclusions” (VVS1) without a microscope. The Cut We should take a closer look at cut, one of the 4 Cs, because the cut is the only criterion that can be influenced by the human hand. The round brilliant cut is considered the classic and is also the most expensive compared to other cuts. Also popular: princess, oval, marquise and emerald. To talk shop: the perfect cut gives diamonds their sparkle, fire (the spectrum of colour caused by the light being refracted) and their brilliance (the amount of reflected light, which reaches 99% with perfect cuts and can’t be increased with settings that are open at the bottom). Symmetry and proportions ensure optimal incidence of light: both should be rated “excellent” or “very good”. As should the finish. Otherwise lines or scratches caused during polishing could reduce the lustre. Gemmologists check a stone’s fluorescence by shining UV light on it. The best category is called “none”; “slight” is still deemed acceptable. Other stones can appear dull in sunlight. The Certificate Every diamond has a certificate that makes it unique. It should be awarded by one of the three internationally renowned institutes: GIA, HRD or IGI.