Know your Diamond
At Licha Diamonds, we believe making an informed decision is key to buying a beautiful diamond. In the links below, we will share a few insider tips to help you make the right decision with your diamond purchase!
Historically, diamonds and other precious gems were sold without a certificate. Buyers relied on the expertise and their personal relationship with the family jeweler. Increase in wealth has made it possible for people of all economic groups to be able to buy diamonds. The increase in the size of the market changed the traditional relationship between the buyers of diamonds and jewelers. It became apparent that a document describing the quality of a diamond will facilitate the buying of a diamond and provide a guarantee to the buyer. A diamond certificate therefore, became important to the entire industry for the buying and selling of diamonds and diamond jewelry.
Buyers want to understand the quality of the diamond they are buying as well as they expect that a diamond certificate accurately describes the quality of a diamond they want to purchase. In the market, there are many providers of diamond certificates. Most providers of a diamond certificate use various tools and procedures to grade a diamond on its 4Cs, namely cut, color, clarity and carat weight.
Cut grade is based on the proportions of a diamond. There are several machines in use today which measure proportions with various degrees of accuracy. Once proportions have been measured, a cut grade maybe assigned to a diamond using the proportions and criteria. There is a lack of standardization across the market in regards to what set of proportions qualify a diamond to be of a particular cut grade. As a buyer, it is also important to note that diamonds with the same cut grade can have significantly different appearance and light behavior.
Licha Enterprises uses a consistent and reliable system for selecting and buying beautiful diamonds. It uses Direct Measurement of Light Behavior by ImaGem Inc. as the sole criterion for determining the quality of cut and a diamond's beauty. The assessment of light behavior consists of brilliance, sparkle and intensity. A numerical measurement is obtained for each of these aspects of light behavior and reported on the certificate. See below.
The above data for light behavior is based on scientifically calibrated machine and is an objective assessment of the diamond that is certified.
Diamonds are graded on a color grade scale from D-Z. The top color grades also called "Colorless" are D, E and F. They demand a high premium on price, other things being equal. Color grades G, H and I, have very light yellow hue. Down the scale, the yellow hue becomes stronger and more easily discernible.
HOW IS COLOR GRADED?
Traditionally color in diamonds is graded based on visual comparison between a diamond to be graded and a set of master stones. In other words, it is the opinion formed by a gemologist that is used to assign a color grade. There is significant scientific evidence that human perception of color is anything but accurate and repeatable. What this means is that the color grade of a diamond obtained by visual examination can vary. To be sure about your diamond's color grade, it is important that assessment of color is made based on objective measurements.
WE TAKE COLOR GRADING SERIOUSLY!
At Licha, we believe basing color grades entirely on opinions is not sufficient. Not when a color grade can affect a diamond’s value by several hundred or even thousands of dollars.
For this reason, Licha Diamonds has adopted ImaGem Inc.’s patented technology for diamond color grading. ImaGem offers a reliable color grading system based on scientific measurement.
All diamonds over 0.25 carats are graded using objective numerical measurements for color. Combining over 20 years of scientific research and universally accepted diamond grading schemes, ImaGem has developed objective standards for grading color.
Clarity grade is based on number of inclusions, position of inclusions, color of inclusions and the visibility of inclusions from the table side. The standard practice is to use a 10x loupe (a magnifying glass) to view the inclusions in a diamond. Based on the inclusions identified by a gemologist, a diamond grade is assigned to one of the following categories: FL (Flawless), IF (Internally Flawless), VVS1 and VVS2 (Very Very Slightly Included), VS1 and VS2 (Very Slightly Included), SI1 and SI2 (Slightly Included) and I1, I2 and I3 (Included).
In practice, clarity of a diamond is graded manually by gemologists following a set of rules related to location of an inclusion, its size and so on. There can be Clarity grade differences on the same stone. Reason being, it is very difficult to consistently see pin points, clear inclusions as well as know their size and location. Yet even one Clarity grade difference can affect the value of a diamond.
LICHA'S APPROACH TO CLARITY GRADING
At Licha Diamonds, we use ImaGem's objective technology for grading clarity in diamonds. ImaGem's clarity grading machine measures and maps inclusions based on their actual location in a diamond. A trained gemologist then reviews the grading to confirm the grade.
Consumers need to be aware that very small inclusions in diamonds, as is the case with Flawless to VS2 diamonds, are difficult to see with the naked eye. So if you are buying a diamond for its beauty and value, or for investment, you may want to consider a diamond with better light behavior. For example, the Clarity grades of the diamonds below are significantly different, but because the light behavior is Excellent+, they all look beautiful.
The fluorescence grade is based on actual measurement of fluorescence in a gem under a highly controlled lighting environment. This means you get a fluorescence grade which is accurate and reliable unlike a fluorescence grade from other gem grading laboratories based on a visual comparison to fluorescence in master stones under a non-standard lighting environment. Fluorescence grade is guaranteed for repeatability within 1 grade with 2 Sigma probability.
Licha Enterprises uses ImaGem technology for unsurpassed accuracy to measure proportions of a diamond. The optics and image analysis are accurate to plus or minus 5 microns for all size stones with 2 Sigma probability - highest in the industry.
The system that we use can also look at the table of diamond directly. This allows us to get very accurate measurements from the sides of a table which is also useful for future identification.
Polish and Symmetry
Polish grade is based on a careful examination of a gem by a gemologist. Symmetry is based on direct measurements of "Axial symmetry", "Table symmetry"' and "Girdle symmetry". Patents secured by ImaGem are used for these measures of symmetry and are available only on the ImaGem Grading Certificate.
Carat WeightCarat represents the weight of a diamond. One carat equals 200 milligrams.
Carat weight of a diamond influences the price greatly. As the carat weight increases, the price goes up exponentially. A one carat diamond costs nearly four times more than four 0.25 carat diamonds.
Do not confuse carat weight of a single diamond with total carat weight of multiple diamonds in a piece of jewelry. Carat weight of multiple diamonds is often referred to "carat total weight" or "total carat weight".
Diamond Images & Diagrams
UNITED STATES PATENTS ISSUED TO IMAGEM INC. # 6,020,954, # 6,239,867 AND # 6,980,283.
Patents have been issued to ImaGem Inc. in Canada, Mexico, South Africa, China, India, Europe, Russia and several other countries.