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What’s The Difference Between Colorless and Near Colorless Diamonds?

Gemologists grade diamonds based upon a wide number of factors. The four most important factors are called “The Four C’s,” and this includes diamond color. The best graded diamonds actually refers to the absence of color, and these are known as colorless diamonds. While colorless diamonds are the most valuable, near colorless diamonds also offer a great value. For customers searching for a more affordable diamond ring, picking a near colorless diamond is a great option. Continue reading below to learn more about the difference between colorless and near colorless diamonds.

The Diamond Color Scale

Diamond color is a primary factor in determining the value of a diamond. The most well known rankings of diamond color are provided by the AGS and GIA. Although AGS is one of the standards, the majority of diamond retailers use the GIA scale. This scale rates diamonds from colorless to near colorless followed by faint, very light, and light color. Diamonds beyond a rating of Z on the GIA scale are known as fancy colored diamonds. Diamonds rated D through F are considered colorless diamonds while diamonds in the G through J range are near colorless.

four c's diamond color
Diamond color is an important aspect of the four c’s

 

Near Colorless Diamonds

As their name implies, near colorless diamonds contain only the smallest traces of color. Diamonds are colored by elements trapped inside, such as nitrogen. The nitrogen absorbs blue and violet light, which causes the diamond to appear with a yellow or brownish tint. While near colorless diamonds are not as pure as colorless diamonds, it can be extremely difficult to tell them apart without magnification.  When mounted in jewelry, it can be impossible to differentiate colorless and near colorless diamonds apart.

The Best Value

Since near colorless diamonds are much more affordable than completely colorless diamonds, they are a great value. Additionally, for customers who absolutely must have a colorless diamond, diamonds graded F are an excellent choice. Although these diamonds are graded as colorless, they are a more affordable options than diamonds graded D. Overall, the right diamond for you fits both your style and budget. Be sure to research diamond color in the Adiamor Diamond Education Guide before making a decision. This will allow you to get the best diamond for your budget.

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How To Read ASET Images for Loose Diamonds

Previously on the Adiamor blog, we spent some time breaking down the ASET image as a tool. However, one important topic we did not cover is how to read and use ASET images as a consumer. Although ASET images contain sophisticated information, they are relatively simple to understand. To help our customers make the best possible decisions when buying diamonds online, we will explain how to view ASET images and parse out the diamond specifications they include.

The Meaning of ASET Image Colors

When viewing an ASET image, one of the first things you will notice is there are three main colors: red, green, and blue. The red color represents the brightest light return in a diamond from a direct light source while green demonstrates light return from an indirect light source. This means the red and green colors demonstrate a diamond’s fire and brilliance. The most telling part of an ASET image, though, is provided by the blue colors. Blue is showing the diamond’s internal patterns, and therefore explains the quality of the diamond’s cut. A higher quality diamond cut will provide symmetrical blue coloring. On the other hand, diamonds with poor cut quality will have clustered areas of blue.

The Best Diamonds Have Symmetrical ASET Images

aset image

The easiest way to understand a diamond’s quality by viewing an ASET image is examine the symmetry. Take the above round cut diamond as an example; it is an excellent quality diamond. The more symmetrical the coloring, the higher quality the diamond’s cut. This is because diamonds with ideal proportions will return more light. Therefore, diamonds that return more light and have more sparkle will be more symmetrical. However, because a diamond’s cut is not the only way to measure a diamond’s quality, it is only one part of the equation. Although ASET images are helpful, they are not the only tool for deciding which diamond to purchase.  Before buying a diamond, all of the four c’s must be considered.

 

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What Is An ASET Image?

The quality of diamonds used in fine jewelry is extremely high. This makes diamonds with great fire and brilliance both rare and expensive. When buying diamonds, customers need to have the most information possible. While a knowledge of the four c’s is very important, there are other tools used to help determine the quality and value of a diamond. One such tool is the ASET image.

What does ASET mean?

ASET is an acronym of Angular Spectrum Evaluation Tool. It was designed by the American Gemological Society, or AGS, to show the way a diamond handles light. The purpose of ASET is to provide quantifiable results on diamond light performance. Using this tool, a jeweler or gemologist can explain how the light performance and the diamond’s proportions affect the value of a diamond. These images help customers make a more informed decision when buying diamonds.

What is in an ASET image?

ASET images consist of three colors: red, blue, and green. These colors are representative of light passing through a diamond. Light refracts as it passes through the diamond. Different wave lengths of light appear as different colors. The red color demonstrates the highest amount of light from above. Therefore, red is a good indicator of a diamond’s brilliance. On the other hand, green indicates returned light from less direct sources and reflected back at other angles. Finally, blue shows contrast, or light that enters the diamond but is blocked from returning.

aset image
A sample ASET image of a round diamond

 

Different diamond shapes will present different ASET images, so it is important to understand how to read ASET images. While the AGS created ASET as an evaluation tool, it is not the sole indicator of a diamond’s quality. Additionally, while many diamonds have ASET images, this is not always the case. For instance, recently cut diamonds will often not have one available. If you would like more help in understand a diamond’s ASET image, contact our customer service team today!

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Everything You Need To Know About The Four C’s

When making any purchase, having enough information is crucial. However, when making a once in a lifetime purchase like an engagement ring, you need to be an educated buyer. At Adiamor, we want our customers to make smart purchases. To help our busy customers who are also very much in a hurry, we’ve put together this guide to the four c’s: cut, clarity, color, and carat.

Cut Is King

The single most important factor in buying diamonds is the cut. However, cut is not the shape of the diamond as most people initially think. Diamond cut actually refers to the quality of cutting the raw, mined diamond into its final form. Essentially, the higher quality the diamond’s cut, the higher quality (and therefore, the more expensive) the diamond. The highest quality cut is affinity, then the rankings move to excellent, very good, good, and then fair. For customers looking for the most value, choose a cut rated “very good” or “good.” Customers looking for the most fire and brilliance should choose “excellent” or better.

Some Clarity on Diamond Clarity

All diamonds have internal characteristics, just like a fingerprint. Diamond clarity refers to these internal markings, also known as blemishes. Diamonds that are “eye clean” contain no blemishes that can be seen by the naked eye. These “eye clean” diamonds therefore offer customers the most value. However, these diamonds may still show markings under 10x magnification. When searching for the highest quality diamond, the best clarity rating is flawless followed by by internally flawless then very very slightly included (VVSI). Diamonds rated as slightly included are inspected by gemologists to be certain they are eye clean before they are placed into engagement rings.

four c's diamond color
Diamond color is an important aspect of the four c’s

Diamond Color

Although fancy colored diamonds are rare and valuable, most customers are after a sparkling diamond that is actually colorless. Colorless diamonds are the most rare, and therefore the most expensive. These diamonds are graded D through F. However, near colorless diamonds in the range of G to J offer great value. When mounted in a custom engagement ring, a near colorless diamond will appear virtually colorless.

The All Important Carat Weight

Carat weight refers to the actual size of the diamond. Carats are a unit of measurement equal to 200 milligrams. Additionally, each carat is divided into 100 points; this means a half-carat diamond can be referred to as a “50 pointer.” When determining which size diamond is right for your ring, consider the ring setting and diamond shape along with personal preference. Many customers find a one carat diamond is the ideal size for modest engagement ring. Customers looking for larger center stones tend to enjoy diamonds that are at least 2 carats.

For a more in depth learning experience, visit the Diamond Education center today!

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A Man’s Guide to Understanding Diamond Shapes, Part 2

Yesterday, we spent some time breaking down different diamond shapes. Today we conclude this series with part 2 of our Man’s Guide to Understanding Diamond Shapes.

oval diamondOval Diamond

Oval diamonds have a sparkle similar to round diamonds except with an elongated shape. Like other elongated diamond shapes, the oval diamond makes fingers appear slimmer. The diamond itself appears longer when mounted because of its extended silhouette.  Overall, the oval diamond contains fiery brilliance but with a unique profile which helps it stand out.

heart shaped diamondHeart Shaped Diamond

Just as it sounds, the heart shaped diamond is shaped like a heart. Starting as a pear shape, this diamond shape can only be created by the most skilled diamond cutters. While this diamond shape looks wonderful in engagement rings, it also works well with pendants, too. A primary reason many brides love their heart shaped engagement rings is because the heart symbolizes eternal love.

radiant cut diamondRadiant Cut Diamond

The radiant cut is a brilliant cut like the round diamond except with square or rectangular cut corners. This cut is a popular choice for those who enjoy clean lines but want something with more flair than the princess cut. While the radiant cut diamond is stunning on its own in a solitaire setting, this is one of the diamond shapes that truly shines when surrounding by accents which makes it an excellent choice for threestone or pave settings.

asscher cut diamondAsscher Cut Diamond

The Asscher cutwas created in 1902 by Joseph Asscher. It is very similar to the emerald cut; both are step cuts that have tiered facets and a mirror-like way of reflecting light, however the Asscher is square rather than rectangular in shape. Its geometric look was popular during the Art Deco period, and this has caused a surge in popularity in recent years. It is an excellent diamond shape to match future brides filled with flair and unique style.

Cushion Cut Diamond

Cushion Cut diamonds, also known as “candlelight diamonds,” are an antique cut that originated in the 1800’s. Cushions can be rounded squares or rectangulcushion cut diamondar shapes. Even though the cushion cut diamond is an older style, it still remains popular today because of the amount of sparkle they produce. The cushion cut looks excellent in solitaire settings, especially when the band features vintage designs.

For more information on diamonds, check out the Adiamor Diamond Education center today!

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A Man’s Guide to Understanding Diamond Shapes, Part 1

If your lady has been hinting at engagement rings lately, it’s definitely time to do your homework. Diamonds are an expensive investment, so it is important to know as much as you can before buying one. When it comes to diamond rings, there are plenty of options between metals, settings, and diamond shapes. If you don’t know the difference between a Princess Cut and a Marquise Cut diamond, then this is a good place to start learning everything you need about diamond shapes.

round cut diamondRound Diamond

The round diamond has been a popular staple in engagement and wedding rings for the past 100 years. This versatile cut mounts easily into engagement ring settings. Featuring 58 precision-cut facets,  round diamonds offer the most sparkle and brilliance inside the heart of the stone.  The round brilliant is  one of the most highly prized diamond shapes because it presents the largest array of color and clarity flexibility.

Princess Cut Diamondprincess cut diamond

The Princess cut diamond is the second most popular cut because it is also a versatile choice. This diamond shape is stunning in both classic and modern settings. This shape is square to slightly rectangular with pointed corners. Featuring chevron-shaped facets, the Princess cut diamond maximizes scintillation and fire. In short, whereas the round diamond is round, the princess cut is a square.

Marquise Cut Diamondmarquise cut diamond

Originally commissioned by King Louis XIV, the Marquise cut diamond is unique among diamond shapes.  Also known as the “navette” cut, which means “little boat” in French, the marquise cut is a modified brilliant cut. This means the diamond produces great sparkle and brilliance while maximizing carat weight.  With an elongated shape, the marquise makes fingers look long and slender.

emerald cut diamondEmerald Cut Diamond

The emerald cut is a step cut which means there are straight, tiered facets . This gives the pavilion (the top of the diamond) the look of a mirrored staircase. Cut corners on the outer edges of the diamond are its signature characteristic.  It is similar to the Princess cut except that the Emerald cut is a rectangle instead of a square.

Pear Shaped Diamondpear shaped diamond

On a pear shaped diamond, the round part of the pear contributes to its brilliance while the point makes this cut stand out. With a long silhouette, the pear shaped diamond is another one of the most versatile diamond shapes. This cut is also known as a tear-drop shape. Like the Marquise cut, the pear shaped diamonds gives fingers a slender look.

Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of A Man’s Guide to Understanding Diamond Shapes!

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Know Your Diamonds, Part 5: The Carat Weight Considerations

If you were to ask anyone on the street about diamond engagement rings, carat weight is one of the first things they will mention. This happens for a number of reasons. In celebrity engagement news, the size of the ring is almost always the lead information. Additionally, celebrities enjoy rather larger rings, often in the 5 carats and up size. However, while carat weight is a crucial aspect of the four C’s, it is possibly the most misunderstood. While large carat diamonds are certainly more rare and therefore more prized, the largest carat weight is not always the best possible diamond. To better understand carat weight and its relation to a diamond’s fire and brilliance, we conclude our Know Your Diamonds series with important information on carats.

Carat Weight and Diamond Cut

When most people first start shopping for an engagement ring, they often consider diamond size first. However, as we’ve discussed previously, the most important of the four C’s is actually diamond cut. The quality of a diamond’s cut directly affects fire and brilliance, better known as a diamond’s sparkle. If a diamond has a poor cut that results in less desirable proportions, light will leak from the diamond. Shallow cuts create glassy diamonds, and cuts that are too deep result in dark diamonds. However, many diamond shoppers are unaware that diamonds are often cut poorly on purpose. The reason for this is to maximize carat weight, and this process is known as spreading.

The Effects of Spreading

Spreading essentially means that a diamond retains the highest possible carat weight while being cut to a specific shape. When a diamond is cut with a laser, the shape of the diamond cut should have ideal proportions. However, in an effort to keep as much of the rough diamond intact, sometimes the cut sacrifices these ideal proportions. The reason for this is many customers prefer larger diamonds, and therefore they would rather purchase a less shiny 1 carat diamond than a perfectly cut ¾ carat diamond. While this is the current market trend, and has been for years, it certainly does not result in the best quality diamond for an engagement ring. Nevertheless, this does not mean that all 1 carat diamonds are poor quality. In fact, there are an incredible amount of gorgeous diamonds available that are 1 carat or larger.

Consider Your Options

When buying a diamond engagement ring, it is incredibly important to do your research. At Adiamor, we do our absolute best to inform our customers to they make the right choices. Whether you are creating a custom ring or shopping for a preset diamond ring, be sure you are paying close attention to the quality of the diamond’s cut in addition to the size of the diamond. For the best possible cuts, limit your diamond searches to Very Good and higher. After selecting the cut, then you can adjust the rest of your search settings based on personal preference. If your future wife wants a large gemstone, carat weight is the next place to explore. It is important to remember, though, that carats refer to a diamond’s weight and not total size.

carat weight chart
This carat weight chart shows relative diamond sizes and weights.

 

Be sure to pay close attention to the measurements of a diamond when shopping for diamonds online. If you have any questions while shopping, we are always here to help! Contact us today for assistance with your purchase.

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Know Your Diamonds, Part 4: Diamond Cut

In a continuing celebration of the diamond being April’s birthstone, we forge ahead with our Know Your Diamonds blog series. In part 4, we examine what most experts consider to be the most important of the four C’s: diamond cut. When many people think of diamond cut, they are actually thinking of a diamond’s shape. Diamond cut determines the gemstone’s proportions, and these proportions create brilliance, fire, and scintillation– also known as a diamond’s sparkle.

The Most Important of the Four C’s

In the diamond industry, a diamond’s cut is widely considered to be the most important aspect. Diamond cut will greatly affect how a diamond sparkles as well as the diamond’s carat weight. In order to keep the maximum weight of the mined rough diamond, most diamonds are “spread” when cut. The result of spreading creates a heavier diamond. However, this technique sacrifices the potential fire and brilliance of the stone. Therefore, the diamond could potentially have less sparkle, especially to the naked eye. The way light enters and exits the diamond depends heavily on the cut because the width and depth have the greatest effect on how light travels within the diamond. The light exiting the diamond is also affected. Both shallow cuts and deep cuts have specific characteristics.

Shallow Cuts and Deep Cuts

When diamonds have shallow cuts, light leaks out of the bottom. Unfortunately brilliance is lost, and the diamond appears dark or watery. A shallow cut diamond with these characteristics is referred to as a “fisheye”. On the other hand, in diamonds with deep cuts, light leaks out of the sides. This means brilliance is lost, and the center of the diamond will appear to be dark. A diamond with these characteristics is referred to as a “nailhead”. When a diamond has an ideal cut, it will retain the maximum amount of light, resulting in a more brilliant diamond.

Diamond Cut Characteristics
Diamond Characteristics

Grading A Diamond’s Cut

There are several measurements used to grade a diamond’s cut. Two key factors in grading diamond cut are known as depth percentage and table percentage. Depth percentage measures the height of the diamond against the width of the gemstone. To calculate table percentage, a gemologist would take a measurement of the diameter of the top facet of the gemstone against the average width of the diamond. The GIA or AGSL grading reports that accompany every loose diamond from Adiamor list these percentages.

While different gem experts possess differing opinions on the best table size and the best depth for a diamond, these two factors are not enough to fully grade a diamond’s cut. A number of other factors contribute to the overall diamond cut quality, including crown angle, culet size, girdle thickness, polish, and symmetry.

Thanks for checking in on our current installment of the Know Your Diamonds series. For more information on diamonds, visit the Adiamor Education Center.

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Know Your Diamonds, Part 3: Diamond Inclusions

The four Cs – carat, color, clarity and cut, are the primary focus for people buying loose diamonds. The clarity scale runs from flawless to heavily included, with the former having no visible blemishes. The latter has obvious flaws that are visible under 10x magnification. A high clarity grade means that the diamond is free from imperfections, but these imperfections might not be something you need to avoid. When buying a diamond, price is often a key factor, so if you are happy to compromise on inclusions, you can find something bigger, with a higher quality cut, or with less color.

Diamond inclusions
A diamond with inclusions

However, diamond inclusions aren’t necessarily a bad thing . A slightly included diamond might not sparkle any less than a very slightly included diamond. It all depends on the individual diamond, but there are a few things to consider.

Diamond Birthmarks

A nice way to think about inclusions is that they are the birthmarks of your diamond. Research has shown that minerals inside diamonds that cause inclusions take billions of years to form. This means the inclusions can help to date your diamond. Scientists recently discovered that the inclusions found in diamonds often differ depending on the location of the diamond mine. They studied diamonds from two mines just miles apart and found distinct differences between the inclusions found in diamonds. If you want to be reminded just how old your diamond is, inclusions can help.

Diamond Inclusions Are Used In Identification

Since inclusions are unique to your diamond and mapped on your diamond certificate, this is an excellent way to protect yourself against theft. If you diamond is ever stolen and re-cut or re-set, you will have a much better chance of seeing this returned to you if you have inclusions in your diamond to help identify it.

Diamond Inclusions Can Be Faked

If you are concerned about the risk of buying a fake diamond, then you will be happy to learn that inclusions can be used to definitively prove if a diamond is real. The inclusions seen in real diamonds differ from the lab-grown variety, so purchasing a diamond with inclusions can help to safeguard against the fake diamond trade.
When you consider these so-called flaws will be invisible to the casual viewer, if you’re looking for a diamond with character, inclusions could be your best friend. These flaws offer a window into your diamond’s past and a link to its origins.

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Know Your Diamonds, Part 2: Diamond Flouresence

All of us are inspired by the beauty of diamonds. These rare stones, mined from the very depths of the earth, are visually compelling. In general, diamonds are often considered devoid of intrinsic color. Their clarity is seen as the epitome of perfection. This is not a casual observation of the uninformed, but the sight of a well cut diamond set in an appropriate reflecting natural light that instills awe into most observers. The diamond is capable of a magnificent spectral display, due to natural scientific refraction of white light into its constituent ‘rainbow’ colors. In addition to this refraction, and the resulting myriad of color, there is another component: Fluorescence.

Flourescence
Diamond Fluorescence

Color is just color right?

Well, sort of. Diamonds come in few colors; all of them are transparent so the refraction of light is maintained through the yellow/blue-tints found in some stones. In general diamonds are white (i.e. colorless). Regardless of their actual color, diamonds have fluorescent qualities. Fluorescence is a means by which the energy from an electromagnetic wave (i.e. light, in this discussion) is stored in a substance (i.e. a diamond) and re-transmitted at a different frequency. In layman’s terms, this means light hits a diamond and is re-emitted as a different light. This re-emitted light is called fluorescence. In diamonds the fluorescent emission is rated by examining experts and a part of the grading process. The internationally accepted grades are: inert, faint, medium, strong, very strong. These grading are self-explanatory but it is important to know these facts before fluorescence is considered as a purchase criteria;

· Diamonds do not all fluoresce. In fact only 35% do
· Of the 35%, most are blue-fluorescent (97%)
· Of the 3% that are not blue-fluorescent, green/Yellow/Red are potential colors, but many shades in-between are possible. These are rare and expensive stones. Professional advice should be sought when purchasing these stones as some can produce a milky (and unattractive) view when viewed under certain lights. These are named “overblues” and although rare, are not sought after.
· Strong blue fluorescence has the effect of yellow cancellation, so these stones produce a much more desirable visual spectrum. Yellow tinted stones which can fluoresce in blue can make an otherwise less attractive yellow diamond into a very pleasing gemstone.

Choose carefully…

Many fluorescent diamonds, especially when mounted in jewelry, exhibit dullness or cloudiness when viewed in certain background lights. When examining such stones, varying light sources including sunlight should be used, before a purchase is made. Diamond fluorescence is a complex science, but in the world of diamonds, a fairly straightforward quality grading process. At the end of the day, the ‘eye is in the beholder” – but note that the highly fluorescent diamond is not necessarily the best!