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Diamonds

The world of diamonds
The diamond is one of the most popular gemstones there is. It is created in nature and consists of hard-pressed carbon, and at the same time is one of the world's hardest materials. Diamonds are assessed according to common international standards and the 4 most important parameters are cut, carat, clarity and colour. In the diamond world, this is known as 'The 4 C's'.

  • Cut
    The raw, uncut diamond is, as mentioned above, a natural creation. The cut is the only contribution to the character of the finished diamond, as the other parameters (carat, clarity and colour) are determined at the time the diamond is formed. The cut, which should be performed by someone with training in this important skill, is therefore decisive for the nature of the finished diamond.

    The most common cut is the brilliant cut, since it is widely agreed that this cut gives the best angles for optimum brilliance. The brilliant cut has 57 facets, and all angles and proportions are precisely calculated.

  • Carat
    Carat is the unit of measurement used to express the weight of a diamond (not to be confused with karat, which is used to express the purity of gold). 1.00 carat is precisely 0.20 g.

    Carat is given to 2 decimal points and even very small differences in carat can mean very large differences in price.

    In cases where the diamonds are in a setting and the diamond weight cannot be distinguished from the other materials in the piece, an estimation is used to describe carat. 
     
  • Clarity
    As diamonds are products of nature, some diamonds will contain small, natural impurities. These are called inclusions, and generally consist of mineral crystals or small fissures.
    A diamond with only few or very small
    inclusions will have a better brilliance than
    a diamond with more or
    larger inclusions, because the
    inclusions impede the light from being reflected optimally.
    To assess and describe the clarity
    of a diamond, the following
    internationally recognised scale is used:
  • FL (Flawless):                         Completely free from inclusions or surface blemishes at a magnification of 10 X
    IF (Internally flawless): No inclusions at a magnification of 10 X
    VVS1 and VVS2
    (Very very small inclusions):
    Very slight inclusions that are difficult to see at a magnification of 10 X
    VS1 and VS2
    (Very small inclusions):
    Very slight inclusions that are quite difficult to see at a magnification of 10 X
    SI1 and SI2
    (Small inclusions):
    Inclusions that are fairly easy to see at a magnification of 10 X, or that can be seen with the naked eye
    P1 (Piqué 1): Inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye
    P2 (Piqué 2): Inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye and that reduce the reflection of light to a degree
    P3 (Piqué 3): Many or larger inclusions which can be seen clearly with the naked eye and which reduce the reflection of light considerably 
  • Colour
    Most diamonds are colourless or almost colourless. Naturally occurring coloured diamonds are rare, e.g. pink, blue and green. These coloured diamonds are called 'fancy coloured diamonds'.

    However, even in the colourless diamonds it is possible with a trained eye and the right instruments to categorise diamonds according to small differences in tone from white to yellow. As the normal colour register is not detailed enough to use in this connection, special scales have been developed to record the various colour tones in a diamond. One scale is from the recognised US institute, the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), and the other is the recognised Scandinavian scale from Scan D.N. (Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature). The two scales are compared below: 

    GIA Scan D.N. Explanation
    D, E River Very rare white
    F, G Top Wesselton Rare white
    H Wesselton White
    I Top Crystal Very slightly tinted white
    J Crystal Slightly tinted white
    K, L Top Cape Tinted white
    M, N Cape Slightly yellow
    O, P, Q, R Light Yellow Yellowish
    S - Z Yellow Yellow

Certificates
If a piece of jewellery is consigned to auction with an accompanying certificate, Lauritz.com does not vouch for this certificate. We alone take responsibility for the description and estimate made by our own specialists. Read more on our valuation principles above.

Clarity enhanced diamonds
Diamonds are a natural creation and therefore they often have small inclusions. It is possible with various methods artificially to improve a diamond's clarity. However, we have decided at Lauritz.com that we do not wish to sell clarity enhanced diamonds and only sell diamonds which have not been processed in this way.

Specialists
All lot specialists at Lauritz.com who perform diamond grading (i.e. description of colour, carat and clarity) have undergone an intensive, internal training which will ensure that our grading is professionally carried out.