The 4 C's
The internationally accepted criteria for assessing the quality of a diamond consist of four characteristics: Carat Weight, Clarity, Color, and Cut.
Diamond carat weight signifies how much the diamond weighs. A "carat" equals 200 milligrams (or 0.2 grams). Jewelers sometimes refer to diamonds less than one carat in terms of "points." Each carat can be subdivided into 100 points; therefore, 1 point is 1/100 (0.01) of a carat. A 0.30 carat diamond, for instance, can be referred to as a "thirty pointer." All other characteristics equal (cut, clarity, color), a diamond of a greater carat weight is more expensive than one of a smaller carat weight.
Larger diamonds are more rare in nature, and in a laboratory, more difficult and time-intensive to produce. The growth rate of diamonds is not linear; it is exponential. Accordingly, the price of a 2 carat diamond (all else being equal) will often be substantially more than twice the price of a 1 carat.
Diamond clarity refers to the absence of internal and external inclusions and blemishes. The scale of diamond clarity ranges from flawless (FL) to obvious inclusions (I3). Organic Diamonds primarily offers diamonds that are VS, VVS, or IF. We never offer I (Included) diamonds, which do not meet our quality standards. The following is the definition of each clarity grade, defined by GIA:
Flawless (FL) - No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification
Internally Flawless (IF) - No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) - Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification
Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) - Inclusions are minor and range from difficult to somewhat easy for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) - Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader under 10x magnification
Included (I1, I2, and I3) - Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance
A diamond's value increases as it approaches colorless: the less color, the higher the value. Greater than 98% of mined diamonds have impurities or structural defects that cause an unattractive yellow or brown tinge. A perfectly pure diamond is entirely transparent and colorless. A diamond graded "D" is the most valuable diamond on the colorless scale, signifying a nearly perfect absence of color, and a diamond graded "Z" is the furthest from colorless, displaying an obvious undesirable yellow tinge. Organic Diamonds are nearly always D, E, or F, the very highest tier of colorless.
Fancy colored diamonds - unlike the yellow tinged diamonds on the inferior spectrum of the color grading scale - are very rare in nature and extremely valuable. Fewer than 0.1% of mined diamonds are classified as fancy colored diamonds, which come in a wide range of colors, including Blue, Pink, Gray, Black, Purple, Red, and Green. By intentionally including trace elements into the diamond growth process, we can produce gorgeous fancy colored diamonds.
The sparkle and luminosity of a diamond is enhanced by its cut. An optimal cut enhances the beauty of a diamond, by maximizing the interplay of light, and a poor cut can undermine the diamond's natural beauty. The qualities that jewelers associate with a diamond's beauty are classified as brilliance, fire, scintillation, and contrast pattern.
A BRILLIANT diamond returns maximum light back to the eye, appearing bright and luminous, rather than dull, flat, or dark. A diamond with FIRE disperses white light that appears in rainbow flashes, much like a prism. A SCINTILLATING diamond is one with optimal sparkle, or flashes of light. Finally, CONTRAST PATTERN refer to the contrast or light and dark areas observed in the diamond. (In a Round Brilliant diamond, the ideal contrast pattern is referred to as Hearts and Arrows). These qualities bring the diamond to life.
Measures of craftsmanship - such as weight ratio, durability, polish, and symmetry - are also considered when grading a diamond's cut.
The grading scale for Cut typically includes five grades: Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, and Excellent. Organic Diamonds only offer diamonds of Very Good cut or better.