The Four C's

Every diamond is unique. To calculate its value, experts refer to what they call the 4 C's: Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat. All of these factors will influence the eventual value of the diamond.

Carat - Weight

The carat is a measurement of weight, not size. Diamonds are actually valued in terms of their weight, not in terms of their size. The actual size of a diamond can be described in millimetres.


This tells us whether a diamond is flawless i.e. without any imperfections or whether there are what the experts call inclusions, small imperfections which are often not visible to the naked eye. In effect, clarity is a measure of the diamond's purity.


A diamond can divide light in to a spectrum of colours (like a prism). Colour in a diamond acts like a filter and diminishes the spectrum of colours emitted. The less colour in the diamond, the better the colour grade.


When a diamond is well-cut, light enters through the table of the diamond, travels to the pavilion and reflects from one side to the other before reflecting back out of the diamond through the table. This light creates a flashing effect that we know as brilliance/sparkle. Cut is described with the following grades: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor.

History of Diamond

The early history of diamond dates back to 3000 years ago in the present country of India. At the time, diamond was immensely valued for its great ability to refract light. In addition, it was used for two main purposes which were:

  • As a talisman to provide protection during battles or simply to ward off evil spirits
  • For decorative purposes

During the dark ages, diamond was effectively used or looked upon as a healing aid. The dark ages anecdotes documented by one St Hildegard outline how making a sign of the cross while holding a diamond in one hand had magical abilities to cure illnesses as well as heal wounds. At this period in time, diamonds were revered more for their ability to cure illnesses than their worth. In fact, pope clement is said to have used diamonds as a way of aiding his recovery without much success.

The ushering in of the Middle Ages saw a paradigm shift in the way people looked at diamonds. People slowly shifted from looking at diamonds as being surrounded by mystical powers and started paying special attention to the worth of these precious metals. This revelation of the fact that diamonds are worth a lot saw mine owners coming up with some devious and shrewd means designed to prevent mineworkers from smuggling diamonds. They perpetuated the myth that diamonds were poisonous. This was ostensibly designed to discourage the mine workers from swallowing diamonds and inadvertently smuggling them.

That notwithstanding, the popularity of diamonds surged immensely during the middle ages especially with the discovery of famous and large stones in India. It's perhaps for this reason why India is the foremost diamond polishing industry globally. The subsequent dwindling of diamond supply in India is the reason why finds in Brazil, Borneo and subsequently South Africa sparked what is to this date the world's biggest diamond rush. It reinforced the fact that diamonds are held in high esteem globally. The fact that they are rare, durable and a symbol of wealth is the reason why they are held in deep fascination globally!

Hearts and Arrows

The hearts are arrows diamonds are carved out in different varieties of the traditional 57 faceted round brilliant cut. They are cut to an almost perfect precision with regular and well orchestrated face impressions. The final result is an appealing candidly cut and harmonized pattern that leans towards a repetitive pattern of eight symmetrical arrows when viewed from the face up position while it forms 8 regular hearts when viewed in the table down position.

Brilliant Cut Phenomenon

The visual aspect of this diamond is highlighted in the phenomenal cut that is commonly displayed in the finest round brilliant cut diamonds. This characteristic that is synonymous with the world's ideal round brilliant cut diamonds is known as the brilliant cut phenomenon. The extravagance displayed by the richly cut hearts and arrow diamonds can only be described as a magnificently polished diamond that man ever created - its only a percent of all the polished diamonds.

Basic Heart Creation

The green pavilion main facet showed at 7 o'clock forms two hearts (green) out of a reflection on the opposite side of the stone. In the same case a yellow pavilion main facet is shown at 5 o'clock and with two hearts out of the reflection. The final combinations are composed of the two pavilion main facets and are shown at 12 o'clock in its full stature.

It is important that the two main facets are cut into similar shapes and length in order to achieve the desired result. The reflected pavilion main facets discussed above undergo further shaping to create a more proper shape through the table and the star facets combination which brings out a more realistic heart shape.

The final drill should be done to precision in order to have all the 16 pavilions main facet refection creating the desired 8 hearts in perfect view.

Basic Arrow Creation

The arrows are not created with much complexity as the heart even though the process is still rigorous. It is when creating the arrows, that each pavilion main facet while viewed inverted clearly display the shaft composition of one arrow directly below and also produce the second arrow heads from a reflection of 180°.

What Makes a Diamond Sparkle?

Diamonds are one of the most valuable things that can ever be possessed by mankind. The main reason for this is because of the quality, the sparkle and the uniqueness that it has over any other mineral.

Brilliance is however the perception that people tend to have in relation to diamonds. And in this case it involves the complexities that contrast returning back the light. Without light, diamonds could never glow nor had its beauty. Depending on how light is passed through the diamond one will find that the more light passes through, the better the glow and the brilliance in that diamond. Diamonds will behave amazingly different depending on the light exposure it gets. One may find that a diamond will glow dimmer in point light and while in a brighter area, the same diamond sparkles more. This explains why brilliance in the diamond all depends on the light. The more the light that passes, the better the glow.

Another most commonly used term when describing the diamond is the fire flash. Fire is used to define the different coloration from a spectral view or white light which causes a rainbow view. There is however difference when it comes to comparing the difference sparkle and fire of a diamond. In many instances when comparing diamond sparkles, one will find that the diamond that glows brighter in open light is less firery than when it is exposed to less light. In many instances, diamonds tend to be more firery in dim light.

The resulting fire which comes as a rainbow glow is a consideration that is usually kept in mind when handling diamonds. It represents the symmetry and proportions in a certain diamond. The amount of fire that a diamond will produce will however differ according to various factors and properties. Among the factors that contribute to the differing in the fire are the facet lengths, pavilion angle, the angle at which the light enters the diamond as well as the angle of light when leaving the diamond.

The symmetry and the angling of the diamond vary and this is the main cause of the difference in the light that enters and leaves the diamond. The more ideal the symmetry of a diamond, the better the glow of the diamond since the light bounces back in many angles. At this point, one will find that the fire in the diamond is not very visible as it needs some shadows in the white light.

Apart from the symmetry, another factor that determines the brilliance and the fire in a diamond is the polish. Polish is graded the same way as the symmetry of a diamond and also has high impact on the sparkle of the diamond. It is however hard or even impossible for one to determine or see with the naked eye and therefore needs the use of a microscope or a powerful lens. A diamond that has a poor polished facet means that the light intensity is low and therefore there is limited flow of white light into and out of the diamond. This means that the diamond will not have the best brilliance. For the best brilliance out of a diamond, there needs to be a perfect polish.