Understanding the value of a diamond

Being a precious metals refiner we see many diamonds come through our factory to be processed.  Although we do not work with mined diamonds, we do process diamonds though our stone removal, sorting and appraisal services.

We all know about the four “C’s” of valuing a diamond but we have come across some things you may not know.  Here are some interesting facts that may interest buyers and sellers out there.

What you may not know about Carat Weight (size):

Originally the carat was the weight of a carob seed which ancient lapidaries used to balance their scales, as the the seeds in a carob pod are very uniform in weight.  This weight was standardized to the metric system as 1 carat = 200 milligrams (one-fifth of a gram). A carat is further divided into points, with 100 points to a carat.  In general terms, rough and polished diamonds are weighed to two decimal places.


The Cut (Shape):

A rough diamond can be classified into several main shapes.  Stones (octahedron, dodecahedron), cleavage (broken stones), maccles, and cubes.  Each of these categories has a multitude of sub-categories and variations.  Here at Pease & Curren we don’t see rough diamonds but we see many different shapes of polished diamonds.

The Clarity (Quality):

Quality is determined by how clean the diamond is inside.  Very few diamonds can be described as “flawless”; most have inclusions which may be caused by carbon spots (piques), mineral inclusions (olivine), bubbles or cracks (gletz). The positioning of the inclusions within the diamond influences its value, as some inclusions may be polished out during the manufacturing process.  Some diamonds may be so heaviliy included that it is almost impossible to see into them (Boart).

The Color:

Generally, the closer a diamond is to being absolutely colorless (clear), the more valuable it will be. As the diamonds become more visibly yellow or brown, their value decreases.  However diamonds saturated with color can be more valuable and are known as “fancies.”  Diamonds can be almost any color of the spectrum, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and pink.  Impurities and different degrees of heat in which diamonds are formed cause various colors in diamonds.

Source: see http://www.ddcorp.ca/diamonds/the-value-of-a-diamond  for the full article.

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