It’s no secret that colored diamonds have seen a huge increase in popularity over the past few years. Yellow, black, purple, and pink diamonds have all experienced tremendous growth in sales throughout the jewelry industry. But what about white diamonds? Although they’re not as well known as their colored counterparts, white diamonds are just as stunning (and as equally aesthetic). They’re also becoming more widely used in engagement rings, as a unique alternative to colorless diamonds. If you’re in the market for an engagement ring, you can choose a loose white diamond online at Leibish and then have your jeweler create a beautiful custom ring for you.
What Are White Diamonds?
Contrary to popular belief, white diamonds are not the same as colorless diamonds. This is a distinction that some people in the jewelry industry even fail to make! White diamonds are graded differently than colorless ones, and because white is technically a color, they are considered to be a colored diamond. The main difference between the two is that colorless diamonds are graded on their absence of color, whereas the value of colored diamonds is based on how much color they contain.
Unlike nearly all other colored diamonds, white gemstones achieve their unique color through very tiny (microscopic!) inclusions. These microscopic “blemishes” are what give gemstones their unique and desirable attributes (such as coloring). Most other colored diamonds achieve their respective colors through the presence of certain chemical compounds during their formation. The gemological conditions required for the creation of natural colored diamonds are incredibly rare, which is why colored gemstones are so highly prized.
Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight: Diamond Quality and the 4 Cs
Up until the mid 1900’s, there was no standard method of grading diamonds. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) was among the first organizations to create a grading standard, and now their grading scale is universally accepted among all diamond and gemstone professionals. The reasoning behind the creation of the 4Cs was to provide a standard way of assessing the quality of a diamond.
You should know by now that colorless diamonds are graded according to their absence of color. The “perfect” diamond is one that has no color. The most commonly used grading system ranges from D to Z (with D being absolutely colorless, and Z indicating a stone that has color). Color is very hard to ascertain with the naked eye, which is why jewelers typically use a third-party tester to grade their diamonds for them.
The clarity of a diamond refers to both the inward and outward inclusions of the stone. Because natural diamonds are created under tremendous pressure, the formation of inclusions and blemishes occurs. In order to determine the clarity level of a diamond, a gemologist must accurately look at the general characteristics of the inclusions and blemishes on and within the stone.
Although most people think of the cut of a diamond as its shape, there’s a little more to it than that. The actual grading of a diamond’s cut takes into account how well the diamond interacts with light. Gemstones are cut according to specific proportions, angles, and symmetry. The better the diamond’s cut, the more beautiful (and valuable) it will be. Cut quality is one of the most complex characteristics of a diamond to accurately appraise.
Relatively straight forward, carat weight represents the actual weight of the diamond. 200 milligrams is equivalent to one carat. Here’s where it gets technical. One carat can then be further divided into an additional 100 points. This allows the jeweler or gemologist to grade the diamond down to the 100th decimal point., The higher the carat weight, the more expensive the diamond will be. Remember though, that all of the 4Cs are taken into consideration when determining the of a diamond. If a diamond has a high carat weight, but isn’t cut well, or has bad clarity gradings, it won’t be worth as much as a slightly smaller diamond with perfect clarity and color.
White diamonds are getting more popular every year (slowly catching up to yellow and colorless gems). Although some people mistake them for their colorless cousins, they are a very unique (and stunning) alternative to the classic clear diamond. If you’re looking for something beyond a traditional colorless diamond, go to Leibish’s white diamonds page to see one of the best selections of white gems available on the web.