Diamond Structure

Diamond structure is the simplest of all gemstones, when you look at it from the chemical perspective. It is the same substance as the soot left inside a glass candle holder after the candle has burnt up. Chemically, it is just plain, crystallized carbon, the same substance used in "lead" pencils.

However, the diamond is different than these two substitutes when it is in its crystal form. This form gives it its mostought-after properties, such as fire, brilliance and resistance, which accounts for its unsurpassed wearability. One should understand though that while diamond has the most severe natural substance known, it can be easily broken or chipped, if stuck hard from certain angles, or, if the girdle of the diamond (the outer rim of the diamond that forms the perimeter) was cut too thin.

In terms of diamond structure, the transparent colorless diamond, also often incorrectly referred to as white diamond, is the most fashionable variety. However, diamonds also come in different colors. When the color is noticeable enough it is called a "fancy" diamond. It is often found is such popular shades as yellow and brown. The colors that occur very rarely are lavender, light green, light blue, and pink. The normal colors seen in diamonds are what we refer to as pastel colors. The dark deep colors in hues of blue, green and red are extremely rare. Traditionally, most colored diamonds were sold for more than their colorless counterparts, except maybe, for light brown or yellow varieties. Many specials say that the brown and yellow diamonds in very pale shades should not be considered fancy diamonds, but rather off-color stones that are found commonly and sell for much less than totally colorless diamonds or those that have a true fancy color.

Here are the four major factors (4 Cs) that determine diamond structure and, consequentially, its value:

1. Carat weight, or the size of the diamond

2. Cutting, or the diamond's proportions (also known as the make)

3. Clarity, or the degree of flawlessness

4. Color, or absence of color

You should keep in mind though that the main factor to being happy with your diamond is how these four factors affect the stone as a whole. With just a little experience you would know which Cs are the most important to you, and you`ll know what to look for to satisfy your financial and emotional needs.