The term ‘cut’ is used in two different ways within the jewellery industry. It is used to describe the shape of a diamond, for example an emerald cut or a princess cut. It is also used as a grading term to describe the proportion and finish of a diamond. Good proportions are important for maximising the brilliance a diamond has (its sparkle).
Because diamonds occur naturally, they come in all sorts of colours from black to pink, yellow and brown. Most engagement ring use colourless diamonds which have a bright, white appearance. There is a scale of colour used to grade traditional colourless diamonds ranging from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow).
Like most natural gemstones, diamonds contain inclusions – small imperfections that occur naturally when a diamond is formed. Inclusions can look like tiny crystals, feathers or clouds and are the ‘fingerprints’ of the diamond, making each stone truly unique.
Clarity is graded from ‘F’ (flawless) to ‘I3’ (included and visible to the naked eye). Most diamonds used in engagement rings are graded to the higher end of the scale, containing tiny inclusions that are impossible to see with the naked eye and very difficult to see under magnification.
Carat is the term we use to measure the weight of a diamond. Each carat can be subdivided into 100 ‘points’. This allows very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place.
Because diamonds are formed in very rare circumstances, they are usually only found in small amounts. The larger the diamond is, the rarer it is and the higher the price tag.