Fine diamonds seem to spruiked by just about every jewellery seller. It doesn’t matter if your diamond search takes you online or around the corner. They’re everywhere … Glitz Fine Diamonds, Bedazzle Fine Diamonds, Whitehall Fine Diamonds. You name it. But what are we really talking about?
Gem Grade Diamonds
The fact is, most diamonds don’t get a jewellery gig. Actually, around 250 tons of earth will be mined to produce a single one-carat gem-grade diamond. That’s roughly 20% of what diamond mines produce.
So what happens to the other 80% of diamonds? Those go to industrial uses. That includes cutting tools (when they say diamond edge, they mean it), lasers, communications & computing … even water treatment.
But don’t run away with the idea that gem-grade diamonds are all glittering masterpieces. To make gem-grade, a stone mainly needs a good level of clarity. And if you’ve studied the 4Cs, you know there’s more to fine diamonds than that.
Out of the Rough
The art of the cutter is what transforms a rough diamond. Depending on the natural diamond’s form they plan how each stone will be faceted. Particular cuts (such as Princess and Round Brilliant) can raise a gem’s value. Simply because they’re good at disguising tiny flaws and colour variations.
A lot of the rough diamond weight is lost during cutting. It’s not unusual for 50% or more of the original stone to be discarded. To minimise flaws and maximise value, cutters need to work with the natural crystal formation. That may mean a 2.2 carat rough diamond is better cut as one .80 carat and one .30 carat than two half carat gems.
High Grade Fine Diamonds
Once the cutter has woven their magic, what’s left is a jewellery standard gem. But, for our money, that’s not necessarily a fine diamond. Why? Because there’s Cut, Colour, Carat and Clarity to consider. Not to mention whether the stone is good value for money.
For what it’s worth, we wouldn’t classify any gem as a fine diamond unless it:
- Has a carat weight of at least .50
- Is graded no lower than J in whiteness
- Displays clarity of not less than SI
- Is cut Ideal, Excellent, Very Good or Good
Most of what you’ll find labelled fine diamonds out there won’t meet these guidelines. Any reputable jeweller will be happy to discuss diamond quality with you. So don’t be shy to ask. But don’t be surprised at the price either. Because once you start shopping for fine diamonds in earnest, you need to think about that investment seriously.
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