As humans, we love to touch and hold things that seem rare and priceless. Diamonds are a perfect example. In its rare beauty, the diamond can communicate a message that cannot be expressed in words. Four quality criteria, collectively known as the 4 Cs, determine the value of a diamond.
No other gem offers the brilliance of a perfect diamond. However, a stone can only be termed absolutely pure if it has no inclusions whatsoever. Too many or rough inclusions prevent the light from being fully reflected. The ‘internally flawless’ (IF) quality grade is awarded if internal features can no longer be detected even by experts at tenfold magnification. It must be noted, however, that even diamonds with very small inclusions (VS = very slightly included) are difficult enough to find.
Although diamonds are usually encountered in their transparent form, a stone of flawless transparency is extremely hard to find. Cut diamonds often come in very fine shades of yellow to brown. So-called fancy diamonds are just as rare as high-white ones. These rose-tinted, blue, green or intensive yellow collector’s stones change hands for top prices. We are therefore of the opinion that the cut, carried out by a professional, is a diamond’s most important characteristic.
The size of a diamond is expressed in carat, which is a unit of weight. A one-carat stone is much more common than a two-carat one; the larger diamond is therefore more valuable. However, the size of a diamond will increase the value of the stone only if the other quality criteria are also met. This is quite rare, due to the fact that the probability of small inclusions is correspondingly higher with diamonds of several carats. One carat (1 ct) weight 0.2 grammes and breaks down into 100 points. So a diamond with 25 points weights 0.25 carat.
The brilliance of a diamond is the product of correctly proportioned cutting. Achieving optimum full inner reflection of the light is a science per se. Usually, the type of cut to be applied derives from the natural raw shape of the diamond. Whatever cut is finally chosen, the designation ‘brilliant’ can only be applied to particularly diamonds which are cut round with at least 57 facets.