Know your diamonds

Diamonds— the tiny sparkling pieces of heaven have been hailed as a girl’s best friend and continue to be the most favoured precious stone. While most of us have diamond jewellery in one form or other, not many know how to recognise an original from a duplicate and evaluate them. Kirtilals is organising a diamond evaluation week in which Jan Lawers, Senior Laborant, HRD Antwerp Institute of Gemmology will analyse and evaluate each and every diamond brought in by the customers.
Jan Lawers, who has 28 -years of experience in diamond evaluation spoke to CT on diamonds, evaluation and its maintenance….
Why is it important to evaluate diamonds?
Jan Lawers (JL): To check the purity and worth of diamonds, evaluation is required. Diamonds are evaluated based on the 4C’s—carat, colour, clarity and cut.
What are the common colours of a
JL: The colour of a diamond is determined by comparing it to an internationally approved series of master stones. The intensity can vary from nearly colourless to yellowish. The best colour is called ‘exceptional white+’ while the lowest colour on the scale is called ‘tinted colour’.
How is the clarity of a diamond checked?
JL: The clarity or purity of a diamond is determined by the number, size, brightness and the location of internal and external characteristics, important structure phenomena and transparency. The impurities inside the stone are important for the clarity grade. The stone is examined with a loupe and a microscope, during which all characteristics having a bearing on the clarity are noted down. The best clarity grade is called ‘loupe clean’.
What are the common diamond shapes and why is the shape important?
JL: Some of the common shapes are brilliant, oval, marquise, pear, heart, princess and emerald. Round brilliant diamonds are commonly cut with 58 facets. The better proportioned these facets are, the more light it will reflect. Diamond cuts are measured by the table percentage. A good table percentage is between 55 and 60 per cent.
How does one tell an original from a fake diamond?
JL: Original diamonds have better sheen and an experienced eye can identify it. Buying from genuine retailers is the best option for the uninitiated.
What is the ideal metal to set a diamond in?
JL: Diamonds can be set in yellow/white gold or platinum. In India, many prefer to set diamonds in gold. But when set in white gold or platinum, the brilliance of the stone is magnified. Similarly, open setting has an advantage, as it allows light to pass through, giving it more sparkle.
How must one store diamonds?
JL: Keep the diamonds in respective boxes. Do not jumble many ornaments in one box as abrasion may damage the stones.
How to clean diamond jewellery?
JL: After using it, wipe it with a soft piece of cloth. If it is a regular wear, wash it with soap water once in 45 days.
If there is lot of oil and dirt, hand it in for professional cleaning. The cleaning is achieved through the combined usage of jewellery cleaning compounds and ultrasonic waves.