Types of Diamonds

Diamond is the king of precious stones, and though many individuals enjoy looking at or owning diamonds, not many know the types of diamonds that are available in the market. Gemologists, those who deal with natural and artificial gemstone materials, classify diamonds differently than customers.

Gemologists group diamonds into four categories: Ia, IIa, Ib, and IIb.

  • Ia: This is the most common type of diamond. It emits a yellow tone because it contains large clusters of nitrogen throughout its crystal lattice. Known for its characteristic fluorescence, type Ia diamonds also absorb infrared and ultraviolet light.
  • IIa: This type of diamond contains almost no nitrogen and represents just 1% of all diamonds in the world. This is what most individuals picture when they hear the word “diamond.” Many of the world’s famous and fancy colored diamonds are of this type, and IIa diamonds can be pink, grey, yellow, brown, light blue, or light green.
  • Ib: This type of diamond has nitrogen atoms which are scattered throughout the crystal lattice as single atoms. Ib represents fewer than 0.1% of natural diamonds.
  • IIb: This type of diamond is highly valuable and also represents only 0.1% of natural diamonds. They contain no nitrogen, but they do contain boron, making them look blue or bluish-grey.

While the average buyer might not know about Ia, IIa, Ib, or IIb classifications, they likely know about the three C’s that are important when shopping for diamonds: cut, clarity, and carat. For many buyers, color is important as well.

  • Cut: Factors like proportions, finish, symmetry, and polish referred to as a diamond’s cut, which determines the intensity and brilliance of a diamond. A well-cut diamond that is of supreme quality is proportioned, symmetrical, and polished. On the contrary, poorly cut diamonds are sold at discounted prices.
  • Clarity: The clarity of a diamond is evaluated using the differentiators like FL (completely flawless), IF, VVSI-VVS2, VS1-VS2, S11-S12, or I1-I3. With clarity, the types of diamonds are judged depending on the quantity and visibility of flaws.
  • Carat: 1 carat = 200 milligrams, and since most diamonds are traded in the market weigh less than 1 carat, the carat is usually split into “points.” Size becomes one of the most visible factors that determine the value of all diamond types. The price of the diamond rises exponentially depending on its size.

However you decide to classify diamonds, whether the gemologist way or through the three C’s, it’s wise to consult a professional and only buy from a trustworthy seller, as diamonds are an expensive investment. The experts at TYS Jewelers can help you pick the perfect diamond!