When a diamond is cut to good proportions light reflects from one facet to another and disperses through the top of the stone, this results in a display of sparkle. The shape of a diamond is a matter of personal taste, with the round brilliant cut the most popular of the shapes. Other shapes include emerald cut, pear shape, marquise, oval and heart shape.
While most diamonds appear white, many of the display hints of colour barely discernable to the naked eye. The closer a diamond approaches colourless, the rarer the more valuable the stone. Diamonds with a strong pure colour are extremely rare. Among them can be found pink, blue, yellow green and orange. Colour is graded on a scale from D being colourless through to Z being tinted.
Diamonds clarity is determined by the degree to which it is free from naturally occurring inclusions. The number, type, colour, size and position of the internal marks can affect a diamond’s value. Many marks are invisible to the naked eye and require a 10x magnification before they can become apparent. The less inclusions the rarer the stone. Clarity is graded from flawless to I3 meaning inclusion visible to the naked eye.
Carat refers to weight and therefore the size of a diamond. One carat is divided into one hundred points hence a diamond weighing half a carat is a fifty point, or 0.50 carat, stone. As a matter of fact, size can be the most immediate factor in the value of a diamond. Moreover, two diamonds of equal size can have very different values depending on their cut, colour and clarity.