4Cs Fun Facts
Lighting and diamond size. You can’t judge a diamond’s size by carat weight (we know this), nor even by its physical spread in millimeters. Why? When removed from bright lighting, some diamonds will go dark at the edges, making them look smaller than well-cut diamonds of the same size that remain bright from edge to edge.
Flawless doesn’t really exist. Why? Because clarity is graded at 10x mag. Zooming in beyond 10x can reveal extremely minute characteristics, even in flawless diamonds. Remember, Mother Nature—or humans, for lab-grown—made every diamond different.
True color. When you look at a mounted diamond, you are not seeing the color grade it earned at the lab. Why? Gemologists perform D–Z color grading with the diamond upside down, looking through the side of the gem because that angle permits a neutral view. Diamonds with poor cut quality can exaggerate color when seen from the top, while diamonds with great cut quality can show less color when seen from the top.
Fancy color. Unlike diamonds in the D–Z range, fancy colored diamonds are graded while gemologists view them from the top. This means diamond cutters use a different strategy for FCDs, employing shapes and geometries that keep light reflecting around inside the stone as long as possible to exaggerate the body color.
Natural Fun Facts
One world, one origin. Diamonds formed around 1 billion years ago, during the eras leading up to the formation of Pangaea, the supercontinent, which only began to break apart 175 million years ago. Tectonic shifts ultimately separated Pangaea into our current seven continents, on which we now identify diamond mines and sources. But when we refer to the “origin” of any natural diamond, none of today’s geography, maps, or borders actually apply.
Old lady diamond. The oldest diamonds date back 3 billion years, and the youngest diamonds are around 1 billion years old. Humans have existed for only 200,000 years. Putting that in context, if the youngest diamonds were celebrating their 100th birthday today, the first humans would be less than a week old. And if the oldest diamonds were 100 years old today, humans would have only existed for 48 hours.
Lab-Grown Fun Facts
HPHT magnetic diamonds. In HPHT-grown diamonds, a metallic catalyst is used to dissolve carbon, which migrates to the diamond seed. If enough metal fragments remain within the finished diamond, it may attract a magnet.
CVD defies nature. CVD diamonds are grown at negative pressure, defying the rules of nature. Under ordinary circumstances, the result of the process would be graphite, but scientists use hydrogen to etch the graphite away while using hydrocarbon to grow the diamond atom by atom.
Original article by the International Gemological Institute