An introduction to Diamonds

An introduction to Diamonds
An introduction to Diamonds

Sree Iyer

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, was a song sung by Carol Channing, playing the role of Lorelei Lee in the much acclaimed Broadway play Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Subsequently, Marilyn Monroe sang this song in the movie version of this play.

The tag line “Diamonds are Forever” was coined by a copywriter for DeBeers to help them promote diamonds as a symbol of love and commitment, especially in the United States. Thanks to the aggressive marketing (and some say worldwide control of diamonds) by DeBeers, this phrase took hold and today Diamond jewelry is considered the most precious and valuable. To some extent, their success was aided by the US Govt., which wanted to wean its people away from Gold. Be as it may be, Diamond based jewelry is here to stay and in this blog I hope to de-mystify some of the secrets about Diamonds. Fasten your seat belts and get set for a ride!

Known in ancient Hindu puranas as vaira or vajra, diamonds were known to the earliest Indic civilizations and find mention in the Vedas and Upanishads. Visit any palace in India (or Europe for that matter) and you will find paintings of royalty adorned with precious stones with a diamond being typically at the crest.

You may have read this before but it is worth repeating here – Diamonds are all about 4 Cs – Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat. To simplify our discussion, we shall limit the Color to White (or Colorless) diamonds. Cut signifies the artistry displayed by the jeweler in bringing the fine balance between the reflection of light and dispersion of colors. The following table describes Clarity as defined by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA):

Code Short Description Comments
FL
Flawless: No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification. Extremely rare, less than 1 in 5000 jewelry quality diamonds are rated FL.
IF
Internally Flawless: No inclusions, only blemishes are visible to a skilled gemologist using 10x magnification. FL and IF diamonds appear identical unless viewed under 10x magnification by a skilled grader. Less than 3% of jewelry quality diamonds are rated IF.
VVS1
VVS2
Very, Very Slightly Included: Inclusions (of flaw) are difficult to see even for a skilled grader under 10x magnification. VVS1 inclusions are typically only visible from the pavilion, while VVS2 inclusions are visible from the crown. In each, the inclusions are invisible to the eye, appearing identical to the higher grades unless viewed under 10x magnification by a skilled grader.
VS1
VS2
Very Slightly Included: Inclusions are clearly visible under 10x magnification but can be characterized as minor. Inclusions are not visible to the naked eye. Perhaps 1 in 100 untrained observers can detect VS2 inclusions with the naked eye, on close inspection under ideal conditions.
SI1
SI2
Slightly Included: Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10x magnification. SI1 is the lowest grade with flaws often invisible to the naked eye. SI2 inclusions are usually visible to the naked eye, although they will require close inspection.
I1
I2
I3
Included: Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance. I1 diamonds have inclusions that are almost always visible to the naked eye.
I2-I3 diamonds have pronounced inclusions, and in the case of I3 may even affect the diamond’s durability.

Thus the clarity of majority of diamonds that form part of a necklace or a ring etc. would vary between VVS1 and I1. When you are looking at a jewelry, ask for the clarity of the diamonds used; use a lupe to verify the flaws (or you can request the jeweler to point them out to you).

Carat refers to the weight of the diamond itself. 1 carat equals 200mg – a 10 carat diamond would therefore weigh 2 grams.

The final decision of which diamond is good for you is a subjective one but at least this blog should take out some of the mysteries associated with diamonds. Please feel free to ask questions / leave comments.

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An inventor and out-of-the-box thinker, Sree Iyer has 37 patents in the areas of Hardware, Software, Encryption and Systems.

His first book NDTV Frauds has been published and is an Amazon Bestseller.It ranked second among all eBooks that were self-published in 2017.

His second book, The Gist of GSTN which too is available on Amazon as an e-Book and as a paperback.

His third book, The Rise and Fall of AAP is also available in print version or as an e-Book on Amazon.

His fourth book, C-Company just released to rave reviews and can be bought as a print version or as an e-Book on Amazon.
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