How do I know if a diamond is genuine?

You will not. You need to be an expert and use specialised equipment to make sure a diamond is real. Do not trust ideas like scratching a beer bottle (it may damage the diamond too), thermal conductivity, looking through, comparing weight, etc. If the diamond is accompanied by a certificate, you will know it is real and if it is treated artificially or not.

Which shape gives me the greatest value for my money?

Round brilliant diamond has the most brilliance, and the most popular. Fancy diamonds look more elegant in larger sizes. Also, they tend to look larger than they are by virtue of their shape. The choice of shape is also governed by the shape of the hand and Diamond Colour and Diamond Clarity. Round brilliant diamond hides defects and yellow tints the best.

What is the structure of a diamond?

  • Facet : any of the flat "sides" of the diamond.
  • Table : On a brilliant cut stone...the top octagonal facet
  • Girdle : The typically frosty white ring at the widest part.
  • Culet : The bottom point (actually a facet) on a brilliant cut stone
  • Pavilion : The portion of the stone below the girdle
  • Crown : The portion of the stone above the girdle
  • Diameter : Width of the diamond as measured thru the girdle
  • Fire : The quality of the diamond that breaks reflected light into a colourful array.
  • Depth : Height of Gemstone from Culet to Table
  • Brilliance : The quality of the diamond that reflects light without changing it (also called sparkle).
  • Fluorescence : The characteristic of some diamonds to fluoresce certain colours under some light.
  • Natural : Usually found on the girdle. A small section was on the side of the raw diamond. It appears as a slightly rough flat spot on the girdle.
  • Feather : A "crack" in a diamond, appears as a white feather within the stone.

OK; now that I know the terminology, what are the more important factors?

The first six terms describe the geometry of the diamond. Fire and sparkle are variable characteristics that are determined by the proportions of the diamond. Modifying proportions to increase one may decrease the other! Look for a good balance of fire and sparkle. Fluorescence occurs naturally and synthetically. It is not common, so jewellers will try to command a higher price. In general, it does not change the value of the stone, but severe fluorescence gives stones an oily appearance in sunlight, and decreases its value. Naturals if not severe are not bad. Small feathers are common. Any crack that extends more than 1/3 of the way through the stone may cause structural problems.

How many facets does a diamond have?

On a brilliant full-cut stone, there are 58 facets; 32 facets plus the table above the girdle and 24 facets plus the culet below the girdle. Some stones with only 18 facets are refered to as "single cuts".

What are the "four C's" relating to diamond quality?

The four C's are Carat (weight), Colour, Clarity and Cut of the stone.

1. Carat: The weight of the stone, referred to in points in case of small stones.

  • 1 carat is 1/5 of a gram or 200 milligrams.
  • There are 100 points to a carat.
  • A 75 point stone is .75 carat.

"Carats" represent the weight and not the physical size of the stone.Example, 1 carat diamond is physically larger than a 1 carat ruby since ruby is denser than diamond.

2. Colour: Colour is usually undesirable in diamonds. Typically ratings will be alphabetical with the earlier letters of the alphabet having less colour.

AGS has a similar 0-10 scale.

  • D, E and F - "Colourless"
  • G, H, I & J - "near colourless"
  • K, L and M - faint yellow or "top silver"
  • N to Z - very light or “light yellow”
  • Z+ - grades are considered "fancy yellow"

Most stones you will find will be in the E-F to the J-K range.

3. Clarity: You will typically find ratings such as this:

FL 0 Flawless
IF 1 Internally Flawless
VVS1 1 Very, Very slightly included
VVS2 2 VVS1 to a less perfect degree
VS1 3 Very slightly included
VS2 4 VS1 to a less perfect degree
SI1 5 Slightly included
SI2 6 SI1 to a less perfect degree
I1 7-8 Included
I2 8-9 I1 to a less perfect degree
I3 9-10 Severely Included

Inclusions are imperfections within the stone. Inclusions range from bits of carbon (black spots) to slight cracks (called "feathers") within the stone. VVS1 to SI2 represent inclusions that are not visible to the naked eye.

4. Cut: All diamonds are cut. The resultant dimensions of the cut stones vary. All dimensions are given as a percentage of the width at the girdle. There are a few accepted ideal cuts, which have all of the proportions within a few percentage points of an optimum mathematical model. This optimum model returns maximum light through the top of the stone, resulting in maximum brilliance.

What is the most important c in the choice of diamond? Colour or Clarity?

The most desirable colour of the diamond is white. The Colour scale ranges from D to Z, where D is the whitest of the white and hence most expensive. However, colours between E to H are regarded as very white, and you cannot make out the difference in colour once a diamond is set. However, diamond colour becomes more obvious as in larger size diamonds, or in shapes other than the round brilliant. For instance, the Asscher and the emerald cuts are more see-through with large facets, and require a higher colour and clarity than other shapes. Colour is something that can be discerned with the naked eye with practice (such as looking at the engagement ring everyday. Hence, it is advisable to buy as white a diamond as you can afford in your carat range, in an eye clean or better clarity. If a diamond has slight blue fluorescence, it could render your H or J colour whiter. Also, if the stone is very well cut, it makes both the clarity and colour look better. Clarity is not a factor you can judge only by looking at the diamond under magnification. Step cut diamond shapes like emerald and Asscher cuts require a higher quality of colour and clarity as they have large see-through facets which make it easy to see any imperfection

What is most important of the 4’Cs in India?

In India, Colour takes precedence over Cut. The order or priority for most Indian customers if Colour -> Cut -> Clarity.
In Southern India, where most customers are particular about dosham (defects), clarity is the most important consideration in selecting a diamond. Here, the order of priority is Clarity -> Colour -> Cut.
However, if a customer asks for a recommendation, Somira Jewels always advices them to prioritize Cut and Colour over Clarity. This is because diamonds up to S1 grade are "eye clean". The inclusions are visible only under the loupe to a trained eye, and does not make any difference to the way the diamond looks

Is the shape same as the cut?

No. They are different. The real "cut" as it is referred to deals with the quality of the final product in terms of its maximising the return of light. Four shapes of diamonds are the most popular: Round (or brilliant), Emerald, Marquis and Pear.

What is Ideal Cut?

The "Ideal Cut" is a cut based on a specific set of proportions for a round brilliant diamond, proposed by gem cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. While Tolkowsky's original theories presented only one particular combination of proportions for creating the best balance of brilliance and dispersion, today the American Gemological Society recognizes any diamond falling within a narrow range of proportions and finish quality as being an "Ideal Cut" (also called an "AGS 0" or "AGS triple zero").

Essentially, the larger the table, the greater the brilliance at the expense of fire. A generally termed ideal cut will have a table percentage between 53% and 57% and a depth or height of 58% to 60%. Expect to pay 15%-20% more for an ideal cut stone. Avoid stones with table percentages above 70% or depths over 64% or under 57%.

Most Diamonds have inclusion is it OK and what is NOT OK?

Avoid the following flaws: 1.Large milky or cloudy areas 2. Big cracks...they threaten the durability. These include big feathers (big meaning 1/3 the diameter of the stone or more) 3.Big chips...they'll get bigger 4.Big white, black or coloured lines. They reduce brilliance and threaten durability

Anyway to define poor cut?

Yes. Well, you can tell if a stone is poorly cut by looking for the following: 1. A white circle resembling a donut in the face-up view of a diamond. It occurs when the pavilion is too shallow and the girdle is reflected out. 2. Obvious dark spots/centres when viewed face-up. These indicate that the pavilion was cut too deep. 3.Extremely thick girdles reduce the brilliance and make the stone look small for its weight. 4. A girdle of uneven thickness (for reasons other than geometry) around the stone. One good way to see how well a stone is cut is to view it straight down on the table. The table and the four corners form a "square shape". On well-cut stones, the sides of the square will bow in "slightly". Sides that bow out are not ideal. A slight inward bowing may be tough to detect, so consider a seemingly perfect square to be a decent cut. Severely bowed in squares are also undesirable.

How can I be sure that I receive the same diamond after sent for the inspection or remounting?

Know where the inclusions are on your stone. Inclusions are the signature of diamond, which are the identifying marks. You can have it certified by the GIA or IGI for a fee. They will document the exact location of all identifying inclusions along with colour and carat. This is the exact and easiest way to identify your own diamond. You can re certify your diamond to compare it with the old certificate you have. Certification is not very expensive.

What should I look for in the workmanship of the stone?

n a brilliant cut, 1.Make sure it is round. 2.Make sure the culet is not chipped or broken. 3.The girdle should not be too thick or too thin. 4.The girdle should be straight, not wavy from the sides. 5.The facets of the crown align with the facets of the pavilion; any misalignment will show itself in the girdle. 6.With a loupe or a scope, look closely at the girdle. Stones that are cut in a hurry will have small cracks that extend into the stone, making it look fuzzy or "bearded". Don't confuse this with the natural frosty colour of the girdle. 7.If the symmetry of the stone is off, or if it is damaged, extra facets may be added. 8.Be sure the table is parallel to the girdle and the culet (as seen through the table) is on-centre and undamaged.

Which are the most popular fancy colours in diamond?

Fancy colored diamonds are called Z+ diamonds. These Z+ diamonds are the rarest hence the most expensive Z+ is more expensive than D s. Yellow and pink diamonds are the most commonly sought after fancy colours, and most likely will continue to be for years to come. Of late, there has been an increased demand for orange, blue, and green coloured diamonds. As they are rare in nature, supplies are limited, and demand can shift price.

How are colour diamond prices determined?

Retail pricing is generally set by observing the prices of the competition, but prices depend on several factors: 1.Hue (the rarer the colour, the greater the cost) 2.Richness or saturation of the colour (ranging from very light to light to intense to vivid) 3.Purity of the colour (whether the colour is bright and clear, or clouded) Availability.

Whats are "synthetic" diamond?

Real diamonds have been created naturally through intense levels of heat and pressure deep within the ground. All natural diamonds are thought to be between 70 million and 3 billion years old. They are mined, cut and polished by highly skilled craftsmen, and are not otherwise tampered with. Synthetic or 'cultured' diamonds are created in the laboratory. All synthetic or 'cultured' diamonds must legally be declared as such. Somira Jewels offers only are real and natural diamonds.

Does all Somira Jewels diamond jewellery come accompanied with a certificate?

All diamonds used in our 'Create Your Diamond Ring' items are accompanied by their original and unique diamond certificate. Certification for items in our 'Diamond Jewellery Collection' depends on the size and quantity of the diamonds contained in the item.We do, of course, assure that all our diamonds are real, natural and "conflict-free".

I am looking for diamonds without black inclusion. How do I identify those?

Since diamonds are a natural substance, most come with some small internal flaws or inclusions that are like their defining characteristics, similar to birth marks. Completely flawless diamonds are extremely rare, and usually found only with collectors. For a good idea of the inclusions in a diamond, examine its certificate for a description of these. You need to have an idea of how the clarity of a diamond is measured, to understand the relative impact of black inclusions. For instance, diamond inclusions can be characterized as Slight, Very very slight etc. Visit the section on diamond clarity, for a better understanding of this.

Is it important that I buy diamond that is accompanied with the certificate?

Yes. Buying with a certificate from a recognized authority such as the EGL, GIA, or IGI means that your diamond has the credentials to be recognized worldwide as a valuable item. Resale values of diamonds drop drastically when unaccompanied by a certificate. Also, a certificate makes you sure about the authenticity and purity of your diamond.