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Diamond Characteristics


Diamond polish is a way to see how well the diamond has been finished and cleaned. It is also a sign of how well the diamond was cut. You will see that a well polished stone will have less lines and blemishes compared to a stone that has not been polished. The sheen and brilliance of a diamond is enhanced if it has been polished properly. There are a number of marks on the diamond like chips and scratches that can well be removed with the help of polishing the diamond properly.

In addition, the polish determines how much light will be able to pass through the diamond so that the shine is more. When you set out to purchase diamonds, make sure you look for diamonds that are certified and polished excellently. If the polish on the diamonds is poor, you will see that it will not shine brilliantly. The fine lines blur the overall appearance of the diamonds thus making them look dull. The grading certificates have polish grades for the diamonds that are as follows. Make sure you check out these ratings before you make a purchase.

          E = Excellent

          VG = Very good

          G = Good

          F = Fair

          P = Poor

Poorly polished surface or facets are one of the biggest reasons for poor appearing diamonds. The lines on the surface of the diamond are due to many reasons and the most experienced cutters can end up roughening the surface of the diamonds. Some of the lines can even be seen by naked eye while most of them go unnoticed. If you wish to buy a flawless diamond, you can consider ideal or excellent polish diamonds.

Diamond Characteristics

Diamond Symmetry

When a person buys a diamond, he looks for many things. The overall finish of the diamond can attract or distract the buyer and thus symmetry of the diamond become one of the most important factors. The precise shape and arrangement of facets is what is referred to as ‘symmetry’. The natural, extra, tables, culets, and misshapen facets are included in this. The person who does not know about the symmetry will never be able to make out the difference between a symmetrical and an asymmetrical diamond. If you are buying lower grade diamonds, the symmetry will not be a big concern.

When buying higher-grade diamonds, symmetry plays an important role. Just like the polish grades, the grades for symmetry are Excellent, Very Good, Good and Poor. When you buy a diamond, always ask for the certificate, and see the rating of the symmetry on it. People most often purchase the diamonds that have Good symmetry grade or above. This is due to the beautiful appearance of these diamonds. You should avoid buying the diamonds that have symmetry from fair to poor.

When the diamonds are sent to the labs for grading, they are checked with the help of microscopes to view a diamond before it is graded on symmetry.

Fluorescence is found in the diamonds while they are exposed to ultraviolet light with long wave. Under most of the lighting conditions, this effect cannot be seen by eyes. Some people prefer diamonds without this effect while others look for it. It is all about the aesthetics.
  • Off-Center Table
Diamond CharacteristicsThe placement of the table (the largest facet on a diamond) should be centered at the top of the stone and needs to be parallel to the girdle. If the table is off-center or not parallel with the girdle this can cause uneven crown angles from one side to the other. In this example we see the unbalanced appearance that occurs from an off-center table.

  • Off-Center Culet
Diamond CharacteristicsTo check if the culet is centered, look at the diamond in the face-up position. You'll see the lower girdle facets through the table. If the lines formed by them look like a perfect square, the culet is centered. If the cross bends one way or the other, the culet is not centered. In this example we see what an off-centered culet might look like.

  • Table & Girdle Not Parallel
Diamond CharacteristicsHere we see another example of what occurs when the table is not parallel with the girdle. As you see, the crown angle is much more steep on one side versus the other. From the top view you may have noticed an off-center table.


If you know what grading is, you must also know that it is done in the gemological laboratories. These laboratories are specially designed to certify the diamonds and give them grades according to the symmetry, color, carat and other characteristics. Before you buy diamonds, know the different labs that provide certifications to the diamonds and make them acceptable globally. The reputation of the labs can even change over the years and some popular gem labs that are listed here.

   • GIA - (gemological institute of America) this is one of the most sought after labs and many people in the diamond industry consider their certification to be the best and the topmost. Throughout the diamond world, certificates from GIA have been given a lot of importance and preference.

American Gem Society Laboratories is also based in US and was founded in the year 1978.

   • IGI - (International Gemological Institute) this institute has its headquarters in New York and provides grading to the diamonds and other gemstones from their headquarters only.

   • European Gemological Laboratory has a number of independent grading labs named after it and affiliated to it.

Grading from the laboratories is important, as certificates have to be given along with the diamonds that the people purchase. The certificate lists a number of options and descriptions. These laboratories are independent and work to evaluate the diamonds in question. A number of instruments are used by the Gemological Institutes to check the diamonds and give them grades. When the certificate of the diamond is viewed, the name of the lab is given a lot of importance. It is important to get these certifications from the labs as the minutest of the details make a difference to the price of the diamonds and their quality. Without proper certification and assessment, no diamond can be rightly priced.

Depth Percentage

Diamond CharacteristicsThis is also one of the most important characteristics while looking to buy a diamond. If you do not know what depth percentage is, here is some important information: The depth percentage of a diamond is the ratio of the diameter of the diamond as compared to the depth. There are different ranges for every shape that are considered ideal.

Here is the range:
   • 58.0 - 60.0% = Ideal
   • 60.1 - 62.0% = Excellent
   • 62.0 - 64.0% = Good
   • 64.0 - 66.0% = Fair
   • 66.0% -57.0% and under = Poor

With the depth percentage, the table percentage also is considered important. The ratio of the total width with the width of the table is the table percentage. When you are finding the table percentage for the round diamonds, you should take into consideration the biggest diameter. Recently, people have been looking for smaller table percentages. If you look for bigger table percentage, the size of the diamond will increase and the brilliance as well. Today, people look forward to buying diamonds that have been cut ideally.

The table of range for diamonds is as follows.

   • 53.0 - 58.0% = Ideal
   • 58.1 - 60.0% = Excellent
   • 60.1 - 64.0% = Good
   • 64.0 - 70.0% = Fair
   • over 70% = Poor

Length-To-Width Ratio

Diamond CharacteristicsLength and width of the diamonds is important to consider, as it will also help in deciding the size of the diamond. Every shape in which the diamond is cut has a particular width and length. People will occasionally buy the diamond according to its size. Once they know about the outline of the diamond, it will be easier for them to make a choice and select the best diamond.

When you divide the length of the diamond with its width, you get the length to width ratio. Every shape will have a particular ratio and this will decide how perfect the shape of the diamond is.

All these characteristics play an important role in deciding the price and the quality of the diamond you are going to buy. Buying diamonds is easy but finding the perfect pieces is a difficult task. The diamonds that you buy need to pass through tests and get certifications so that you can make a wise decision and get the best value for your money. If you do not like the diamonds, you can ask the store about their return policy. Look at the certificate and see the grades of different characteristics. You can also view the certificate before you make a decision and purchase.

Review the 4c’s while selecting your diamond. These four characteristics are important as they have a direct effect on the pricing of the diamond. If you wish to make the best purchase, all these factors need to be considered.
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