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Diamond Education and Diamond Certification

Most people benefit from the advice of diamond professionals when choosing a diamond. The experienced diamond consultants at Windsor Diamonds have had decades of experience buying, grading and wholesaling diamonds. If you find a diamond on our extensive diamond search engine you can phone or e-mail to discuss your selection.

          Most of our industry relies on the diamond grading system developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)   at  http://www.gia.edu/ . It is the most recognized system for evaluating diamonds. This grading system is based on a diamond's cut, color, clarity and carat weight, which are commonly referred to as the 4C's.

Diamond grading is not an exact science. Our intention is to give you a basic understanding in order to select a diamond right for you. Do not become obsessed about whether your diamond meets the GIA text-book definition because there are no absolutes in the diamond grading system. There are, however, guidelines and individual interpretations (based on education and experience).

 
    Color
   

Diamonds are graded for color based on a scale developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Colors are graded D through Z.

  • Colors D, E, and F are called colorless  (super white)
  • Colors G, H, and I  are called near colorless
  • Colors J , K, L, and M are faint  yellow
  • Colors O through Z are light yellow
  • Fancy Yellow diamonds are graded light fancy, fancy, intense and vivid yellow. (colored diamonds are a separate subject).

Price varies with color.  For a specific clarity (say VS2) the cost of a “D” color stone is substantially higher than an “H” color or a “J” color diamond.

A 1ct Round D VS2 is 38% more than an H VS2 and 79% more than a J VS2.
A 2ct Round  D VS2 is 46% more than an H VS2 and 116% more than a J VS2.
A 3ct Round D VS2 is 59% more than an H VS2 and 136% more than a J VS2.

So if you have set your heart on a 1ct Round with a VS2 clarity then you will pay a lot more for a D color than a J color.The compromise would be to buy a diamond that looks white to the avarage person. Any diamond I color and above is considered white. There is clearly a difference between a D and an I , but only when put side by side. I like G and H as a good compromise.
If you feel that you must have a D color and have a limited budget you will have to compromise on either clarity or size.You could have a 1ct round D SI2 for the same price as a !ct round H VS2 or a ct round J Internally Flawless.Never Compromise on Cut!!!!!! 

The experts at www.windsordiamondsonline.com will help you with this type of decision.
Phone 954 523 0617 or e-mail diamondman@prodigy.net


Fluorescence: There is a phenomenon known as fluorescence that actually enhances the beauty of some diamonds.  It is the reaction of a diamond to UV light.  If your diamond turns blue white in sunlight it has fluorescence.  The only fluorescence to avoid is very strong blue or yellow.
Very strong (excessive fluorescence) may cause a diamond to become milky and reduce brilliance.  The GIA’s faint, medium and strong blue fluorescence is acceptable.  In diamonds I color and below will make the diamond look whiter.

 

    Clarity
   

Clarity is an indication of a diamond’s purity.  In all diamonds, except the most rare, tiny traces of minerals, gasses, or other elements were trapped inside during the crystallization process.  These are called inclusions, but are more like birthmarks.  They may look like tiny crystals, clouds, or feathers and they are what make each diamond different and unique.
These inclusions, as defined by the GIA are “characteristics”, which are entirely inside a stone or extend into it from the surface.  This includes: small diamond particles present within the diamond (mineral crystals); feathers and/or breaks; carbon deposits; air bubbles; clouds; laser drill holes left by man’s attempts to remove or lighten other natural inclusions.  Blemishes, as defined by GIA, are “characteristics confined to or primarily affecting the surface.”  These may include scratches, small nicks, and chips.  A diamond free of inclusions and blemishes is very rare, and thus more valuable.  Therefore, the clearer the diamond, the more it costs. (For the same color, size and shape)

 

GIA diamond clarity scale, as viewed under 10X magnification:
Internally Flawless (IF) - free from all internal imperfections (inclusions) but may possess minor surface blemishes that does not penetrate the diamond (less than 1% of diamonds are Internally Flawless).
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1, VVS2) - contain minute inclusions so small or insignificant that they are difficult to locate under magnification.
Very Slightly Included (VS1, VS2) - minor inclusions of a size, number and location somewhat normally visible under magnification.  Rarely visible to the unaided eye.
Slightly Included (SI1, SI2) - very visible under magnification.  Minor or very small inclusions normally invisible to the unaided eye.  Exceptions to this rule can occur in emerald cuts or shallow diamonds.
SI3  ( technically an I1 but clean to the naked eye and hence considered better than an I1 but not as good as an SI2).This grade is not an option with the GIA, but is with the EGL
Imperfect 1, 2, 3 (I1, I2, I3) -obvious inclusions when viewed under magnification and are visible to the unaided eye.
Diamonds with imperfections visible to the unaided eye are normally graded below SI2.  Above this range, you need a 10 power (10X) magnification to see the imperfections.  Diamonds graded I2 and I3 have enough imperfections to block the clear passage of light into the gems, thus reducing the brilliance and sparkle.  Diamonds are not defective, however, if they have inclusions.  Inclusions are normal characteristics and all diamonds have inclusions, even those graded flawless (F), when viewed under 20 – 30X magnification.
Acceptable: all clarity grades SI2 and above.

Exception: Diamond stud earrings are often bought with size a more important factor than clarity.  Providing the inclusions are not too obvious or the diamonds dull to the presence of inclusions, you can accept SI3 or I1 clarity grades for stud earrings (in fact this is the most common clarity grade for diamond stud earrings).

 

    Cut
   

While nature determines a diamond's color, clarity, and carat weight, the hand of a master craftsman is needed to release its fire and beauty. The cut gives each diamond its unique sparkle and brilliance by allowing the maximum amount of light to enter and reflect back out of the diamond.
If the cut is too deep or too shallow light will spill through the side or bottom and be lost, resulting in a less brilliant display and thus, a less valuable diamond. The cut plays a big part in determining the value of a diamond. A well-cut diamond will be considerably more beautiful and valuable than a poorly cut stone of the same size, clarity, and color.
 

If a diamond seems too cheap for its grade it very often has a poor cut.
Four factors: depth, table size, polish, and symmetry determine the "cut" quality.
The most important are the depth of the diamond and the table size (both are reported as a percentage of the diameter, or width, in a fancy shape). These two measurements determine if the diamond is too shallow, well proportioned, or too deep.
The polish refers to the finish on the diamond, and the symmetry refers to how well aligned the facets are.
The following table shows the ranges of acceptability for each factor in different shaped stones

For round diamonds only:
 

 

Acceptable (well cut)

Unacceptable (poor cut)

Depth

57-63%

Less than 57% or more than 63%

Table

53-64%

Less than 53% or more than 64%

Polish

Cert states good or better

Cert states fair or poor

Symmetry

Cert states good or better

Cert states fair or poor

Recently the GIA have introduced a cut grade for round diamonds that is stated on the grading certificate. This is a measure of brilliance based on computer evaluation. They have found that some diamonds that would normally be defined as badly cut in the past due to depth, table size etc measure up well for brilliance and may even be described as having an “excellent” cut grade .This can be confusing as a brilliant heavily cut diamond will look small in comparison to a well cut diamond of the same weight, and will be of less value. The lesson here is that you need to look at all the specifications on a certificate, and not be influenced only by the word “excellent” that has now become more common place. This is also true for polish and symmetry. Diamond dealers with a loupe can not tell the difference between “excellent” polish and symmetry and “very good” polish and symmetry, and yet you will pay a lot more for the excellent to appear on the certificate.

For fancy shapes we have different specifications. A fancy diamond must have a good shape or outline. Shape is a function of the ratio between length and width. Percentage depth differs for fancies (see table below).
Shape is most important in fancies:
 

Shape

Length to Width Ratio

Acceptable Depth (well cut)

Emerald Cut

1.40-1.70

60-70%

Marquise

1.75-2.00

60-75%

Oval

1.35-1.70

58-65%

Pear

1.40-1.70

58-65%

Princess

Either square or rectangular

60-75%

Radiant

Either square or rectangular

60-75%

Note: length divided by width gives above ratio.

 

    Carat Weight
   

Diamonds are weighed in “carats”.
Two diamonds each weighing 1 carat (1ct) can have very different values since the quality is still determined by color, clarity and cut.
Large diamonds are found relatively infrequently in nature.  For example, less than one percent of all women will ever own a diamond weighing 1 carat or more.

Since the bigger the diamond the rarer it is, the cost of a 2ct diamond with the same color, clarity and cut as a 1ct diamond will be more than twice the price.  In fact, for a D VS2, a 2ct is 3 times the price of a 1ct and a 3ct is 7 times the price of a 1ct.

 

    Conclusion
   

Most people benefit from the advice of diamond professionals when choosing a diamond. The experienced diamond consultants at Windsor Diamonds have had decades of experience buying, grading and wholesaling diamonds. If you find a diamond on our extensive diamond search engine you can phone or e-mail to discuss your selection. If you are within driving distance you can make arrangements to view one or more of the diamonds in our Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Factory store. If this is not practical we will sell you the diamond with a 15 day money back guarantee and provide free shipping.

            The cost of purchasing a diamond from us will be substantially less than many retail stores. The mountings available for your diamond on this website are   manufactured on the premises and can be customized to size etc. Although we offer you the benefits of internet shopping, you will get the personal service of a fine store. Our motto is Quality and Value.

NEWS LETTER

 

 

6TH JULY 2009

The Kimberly Process controls the flow of uncut(rough) diamonds from the mining countries to the cutting centers by mandating that rough diamonds pass through a govenment office where they receive a Kimberley certificate.Once they arrive at the cutting center the cutting factory demands to see the kimberley certificate.They can then guarantee that the polished diamonds they sell are conflict free.(not blood diamonds) Derek Parsons, Windsor Diamonds

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01.Carlex Ring WB-9211-S
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06.Round Diamond Cut | Lot Number: 28734957

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10mm South Sea Pearl Earrings S67513
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