Stitch 'n Bitch Groups
180, New York, 180, 180, 180
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Two-minute briefing: How to value diamonds
By Philip Whiterow
December 31 2013, 9:00am
tiffany Diamonds have been a bright spot in a tough year for the mining business generally.
tiffany & co Prices of rough diamonds have ticked up recently, while the special stones that a company will pull out from time to time are still making big money.
tiffany rings Earlier this month, for instance, Petra Diamonds ( LON:PDL ) sold what it described as two “exceptional white stones” pulled from its Cullinan mine in South Africa for US$8.5mln and US$3.8mln, respectively.
tiffany jewelry outlet But what makes a diamond worth US$8.5mln rather than say US$8.50?
tiffany outlet According to a guide from US broker Goldman Sachs, it is the Four Cs that determine the value of a diamond: Colour, Clarity, Carat and Cut.
cheap tiffany & co Colour : The key determinant of a diamond’s value.
For white or colourless diamonds, the top colours are D (the best blue white), E (exceptional white), F (very very white), G (rare white), H (white) and I (slightly off-white), and all are considered "white" when set in a ring.
Only 8% of all the diamonds sold have colours D to G, making them extremely rare and more desirable by consumers, said Goldman.
A completely colourless diamond allows light to pass through it effortlessly, dispersing it as rainbows of colour.
Coloured diamonds or “fancies” can sell for similar prices to the colourless diamonds, but the colourless diamonds often sell at a premium.
The diamond colour scale starts from D (the best blue white) to Z (for dark coloured diamonds).
Clarity : The clarity of a diamond is determined by the number and location of flaws in the diamond when viewed under 10 times magnification.
Clarity grades in diamonds range from Flawless to Imperfect 3.
Most diamonds contain very tiny "inclusions" that interfere with the light passing through the diamond and the fewer the inclusions the higher the price.
Most diamonds will have at least one inclusion and cannot be considered internally flawless.
Carat : The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. One carat is equal to 0.2 grams.
Diamond prices go up exponentially with carat weight owing to the increasing rarity of larger diamonds, said Goldman.
“For example, doubling the carat weight from 1 to 2 carats more than doubles the price (given clarity, cut and colour are consistent).”
The two exceptional stones Petra sold recently were 126.4 carats and 91.5 carats.
During cutting, up to 50% of the rough diamond can be lost, making the master cutter’s job evermore important the larger the carat value.
Cut : The cut refers to the proportions and symmetry of a polished stone, which need a master cutter to get from rough to a final gemstone.
The better the cut, the better the diamond handles the incoming light and provides for a more vivid sparkle.
Diamond brilliance is made up of three facets: white light return, or the light coming out of a diamond; dispersion or fire, which is the break-up of white light into the rainbow of spectral colours; and scintillation or sparkling aspect of a diamond when moved.
“These three factors are all interrelated and need to be balanced by the cutter, as if one is enhanced it will come at the detriment of the others,” said the broker.
Different types of cuts include emerald, heart, marquise, oval, pear, princess, radiant, and round.
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