Know That Why is Diamond Inspection Absolutely Essential?
Diamonds are an object of affection, they are the epitome of commitment and signify eternal love. The reason why diamonds are a preferred gift and the choice of stone for all matrimonial or relationship-related occasions is that diamonds are that one rock that survived hardships and circumstances and emerged out of them more beautiful than ever.
What is diamond inspection: The perfect guide
Buying a diamond is an elaborate process and if you do not do your homework the right way, chances are you are going to end up with not the best diamonds according to your requirement. Diamonds are handcrafted and manufactured through an elaborate process and there are a lot of things to keep in mind when buying this precious gem.
Diamond inspection is essentially a process of making sure that all the properties, statistics, and aspects of the diamond are up to the mark and meet your requirement. We have curated the perfect guide for you to refer to before venturing out to buy a diamond. The guide includes everything you will want to get checked and keep in mind when buying the diamond. After all, we aim to be as helpful as we can to bring you closer to your dream diamond.
What is different about lab-grown diamonds?
Are you under the impression that all real diamonds are naturally produced? Well if your answer to that question is yes, then you are wrong. The industry has seen a paradigm change in the last 2 decades, because of multifold technological advancements and the development of modern techniques, scientists have been able to make real diamonds in labs under controlled conditions.
To understand how diamond inspection for lab-grown diamonds is different we will have to dive into how lab-grown diamonds are made. There are two ways primarily used to make lab-grown diamonds. The High Pressure and High-Temperature Method known as the HTHP method and the Chemical Vapour Deposition Method known as CVD Method.
The HTHP method uses a diamond seed to actually grow a diamond. This method requires environmental conditions to be mimicked for the diamond to grow around the original seed. The original seed is subjected to high temperatures and high pressure, which is similar to the condition present below the surface of the earth.
The CVD method on the other hand is drastically different. The main component of this method is the hydrocarbon gas paired with a diamond seed as well. The gas is released onto the seed and then the diamond-like structure is formed around the side, finally giving us a full-fledged diamond.
The main aspect to notice here is the fact that lab-grown diamonds are in fact very real. They are grown and not synthesized, but because the process of their making is different their inspection is also slightly different than how you would inspect natural diamond. Not to worry we have curated a five-step guide that will make it super simple for you to inspect lab-grown diamonds without scouring the entire webspace.
Now, let us jump right to the inspection process of a diamond which is much needed before you buy one.
Step 1) How to judge a diamond: The 4c’s
The value of a diamond depends on mainly four aspects. You absolutely need to know about all four “C’S” of them to judge a diamond accurately and so that you do not end up buying something not worth your emotion or money. They are Clarity, Color, Carat Weight, and Cut.
Clarity: The clarity scale
The diamond clarity scale has six categories on the scale given by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and five levels on the scale given by the American Gem Society (AGS). The clarity scale is made to inform you about how many flaws or inclusions does the diamond has and what is the severity of these inclusions. We have mentioned the grading followed by GIA because it’s one of the highest regarded, respected, and followed authorities in the diamond world/market. For your reference. Here are the levels of the clarity scale by GIA.
- Flawless or FL grease means that the diamond is free of blemishes and inclusions and they are not even visible under magnification.
- Internally Flawless or an IF grade means that there is no inclusion but slight blemishes may be visible under magnification.
- Very, Very Slightly Included or a VVS1, VVS2 grade means the diamond has inclusions but they are not easily visible, not even to an expert.
- Very Slightly Included or a VS1, VS2 grade means that there are certain minor inclusions only visible to the naked eye.
- Slightly Included Or SI1, SI2 grade means that there are inclusions that are visible to the naked eye but only when carefully inspecting the diamond.
- Included or I1, I2, I3 grade means that the diamond has visible inclusions.
Colour: The color-grading scale by GIA
- Colorless or D, E, F grade means that the diamond is absolutely colorless.
- Near Colorless or G, H, I, J grade means that there is some color but not visible to the eyes.
- Faint Color or K, L, M grade means that the color may be visible to the naked eyes.
- Very Light Color or N, O, P, Q, R grade means that the color is easily seen.
- Light Color or S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z grade means that the diamond has a significant amount of color which is clearly visible.
Cut: The GIA grading scale for Cut
- Excellent: Means maximum shine and reflection
- Very Good: Has good reflection and gives back most of the light
- Good: Brilliance is good but not the same as higher cuts.
- Fair: They do have brilliance, but only reflect a limited amount of light.
- Poor: Diamonds may appear dull
Carat weight is exactly what it sounds like, how much the diamond weighs has a direct impact on the value of the diamond. The more the weight, the chances are higher will be the value, however carat weight is not the only determinant of the value of the diamond, clarity, cut and color along with carat weight determine the value of the diamond.
Step 2) Check certification
All diamonds are certified and approved by certain authorities & grading institutions. These certifications prove that the diamond is real and the value it has is accurately estimated. Checking the certification is absolutely important to make sure you are buying a real lab-grown diamond. The most regarded authorities that provide certification for lab-grown diamonds are:
GIA: Gemological Institute of America
AGS American Gem Society
IGI: International Gemological Institute.
EGL: European Gemological Laboratory
Step 3) Inspect the shape and design:
Lab-grown diamonds are great to work with and very versatile, they can be cut into plenty of shapes, and all of them equally beautiful. Knowing different shapes is imperative when selecting lab-grown diamonds because it affects the brilliance and beauty of the diamond. Here are the most common and popular shapes that you should know:
Round and Brilliant Cut: Round cut diamonds are the most traditional diamonds out there. This cut works perfectly with classical and vintage designs. They are most suitable for a platinum metal band or a rose gold band because it rightly compliments the cut.
Cushion-Cut: Cushion cuts have earned a great name in the market for their fancy cornets and uncanny resemblance to cushions, hence the name. Cushion cuts are known for their expansive and flat facets and corners.
Princess-Cut: Princess cut diamonds are known for the different colors they reflect. The diamond is cut in such a way that the edges and corners display a prism of colors. They are found in both rectangular and square shapes.
Emerald-Cut: Emerald cut diamonds appear to be a labyrinth. The diamond has many rectangular-shaped facets, cut in a way that the diamond appears to be going inward, because of this unique design emerald diamonds appear to be larger than they actually are.
Marquise-Cut: Marquise cut diamonds are popular for the optical illusion they provide to the hands of the bearer. The hands appear to be thinner and longer when wearing a marquise ring. Marquise cut diamonds often are done in bands.
Radiant Cut: Radiant cut diamonds combine different emerald-cut diamonds. The reason behind the name is that other shapes of diamonds are also added to one diamond, which maximizes the brilliance of radiant cut diamonds.
Pear-Cut: Pear-shaped diamonds give a delicate and fine appearance, they are a combination of marquise and round cut diamonds. They make great wedding rings and have a sense of exquisiteness to them. They are also known as teardrop cut diamonds.
Oval-Cut: Oval cut diamonds also have a unique cut which makes the diamond appear larger than they actually are. They are often paired with other diamonds in engagement rings. Their brilliance is similar to round-cut diamonds.
Step 4) Check Insurance
Yes, diamonds are the hardest substance on the planet, but that does not mean they are immune to wear and tear. Diamonds like any other substance can be damaged and it is vital to have them insured or even better buy them from a seller which has pre-insured diamonds. Insurance makes sure that if you buy a flawed diamond you can be compensated accordingly or if your diamond starts chipping off you can claim insurance.
Step 5) Research your seller and manufacturer.
This is one of the most important steps in inspecting the diamond. Remember to search who made your lab-grown diamond and who is your seller. Go through their website, reviews, and the feedback of customers. Check what method they use and who certified them. Check for any discrepancies like if they have.
Also Read: Why CVD Diamond Pass Tester and HPHT Can’t?
Diamond inspection is very important because it ensures you are buying the right diamond which is worthy and deserving of all your investment. The guide given above is handcrafted so that when you go diamond shopping, this checklist comes in handy. We hope all our research and references help in buying the right diamond and make the process more efficient and easier for you.