Friday, December 4, 2009

How to Grade Diamonds


There are few tasks more challenging than grading gemstones, diamonds in particular. The diamond industry is a close-knit society of dealers and appraisers. Between the two groups, a diamond's worth is almost always determined by a scale of quality and rarity. Following the steps below will give a diamond hunter a good start on the road to grading a diamond.

Step 1Understand what a carat is. A carat is a simple scale given to diamonds that assesses its weight. Typically, a 1.00-carat diamond weighs in at 0.2 grams. The more carats a diamond possesses, the higher in value it becomes.

Step 2Inspect the cut of the diamond. A diamond's cut is the way a diamond cutter has actually turned a rough stone into a brilliant diamond. A brilliantly cut diamond will sparkle brightly and transfer colors from one angled cut to the next to create a fire-like appearance.

Step 3Identify the color of a diamond. A diamond's color is crucial to its value. Colorless stones are very rare and are graded in the "D" category. Other categories include diamonds in varying colors such as green, blue and yellow. These are called fancies and are extremely rare and expensive, with red being the most prized.

Step 4Search for inclusions in the diamond. Inclusions are often referred to as nature's fingerprints. These are deposits in the stone that affect its ability to transfer color from one facet to another. The more inclusions a diamond has, the lower it is graded.

Tips & Warnings
Take a magnifying glass to inspect each stone more closely. The jeweler may be able to provide one in store.Pass a light through the diamond while grading to better identify inclusions.Grade diamonds according

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