Diamonds 101

One of  my guy friends was inquiring about what makes up a good engagement ring as he is out to buy one (sino kaya yun?), so I turned to Christian and he gave me a crash course on basic gemology. Im impressed on the extensive research that he did. I guess he really wanted to get his money’s worth.

Is there a better teacher out there than the diamond master, Tiffany & Co?

Here’s a tour of the famous 4 Cs. Guys, pay attention!


Cut refers to the facet proportions on the surface of a diamond.
More than any other factor, the precision of these facets
determines the beauty of the stone. However, there is a sacrifice.

When a stone is cut to maximize brilliance, dispersion and
scintillation, it usually loses size. More of the stone must be cut
away. Conversely, when cut for size, the diamond usually loses
brilliance, dispersion and scintillation.

Tiffany diamonds are always cut for beauty, not size.


Less is more

A diamond’s color grade is a key quality evaluation, but often
misleading. This is because the ideal engagement diamond is
characterized by a lack of color. That is to say, it is clear to the
point of being colorless or nearly colorless.

The colored tinting found in most diamonds is caused by minute
impurities within the stone. The untrained eye is incapable of
making the color evaluations that can affect the value of a stone
by thousands of dollars.

At the Tiffany Gemological Laboratory, the color of each
diamond is determined by comparing it to authenticated “master
diamonds.” Each stone is then color-graded to a precise scale
from “D” (colorless) to “Z” (saturated).


Clarity measures the flawlessness of a diamond. A diamond’s clarity rating has a direct effect on a diamond’s beauty and price. Virtually all diamonds have imperfections called inclusions and blemishes.

A stone is said to be “flawless” if, under 10-power magnification, no external imperfections or internal flaws are visible. A truly flawless diamond is extremely rare and priced accordingly.

All gem-grade diamonds can receive a clarity rating based on an industry standard scale: FL (flawless) to I3 (heavily included).

Tiffany gemologists reject flaws that many other jewelers accept, including chips and laser drill holes.

Click here to learn how to grade clarity.


The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. One carat equals 0.200
grams. The Tiffany Gemological Laboratory measures diamonds to 1/1000
of a carat.

Carat weight alone does not determine a diamond’s value. Two stones of
equal weight can vary widely in price because of quality differences. In fact,
a smaller diamond may actually be more beautiful than a larger stone with
inferior cut, clarity, color or presence.

When considering diamonds of equal quality, the larger stone will have
considerably more value. Usually, a two-carat diamond will be more than
twice as valuable as a one-carat stone.

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Everyone loves a tiffany! *wink


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