Types of Diamond

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The four Cs of diamonds (color, clarity, carat and cut) lead to classifications based on the grading attributes of diamonds rather than any scientific factors.

That’s fine from a standard buyer’s perspective. However, those in the diamond business don’t talk about “types of diamonds” in these terms.

When they classify diamonds, they do so on the basis of their physical and chemical attributes. This helps them assess how a diamond was formed, its authenticity, and whether it has been treated. So, the technical “types of diamonds” classification system is basically as follows:

  • Type Ia Diamonds
  • Because nitrogen gathers in clusters in these stones, they have a yellowish tinge. This category has sub-sections based on the nature of the nitrogen aggregations. This is the most common type of diamond.
  • Type Ila Diamonds
  • These diamonds have no nitrogen impurities and differing fluorescent properties. They often have strange shapes because of the high pressures they were formed under. They are the rarest and most valuable diamonds because of their amazing sparkle.
  • Type Ib Diamonds
  • These are also quite rare and their main feature is that individual nitrogen atoms are scattered throughout the stone (rather than in clusters). This produces an intense yellow, orange or brown color, in general.
  • Type Ilb Diamonds
  • Another rare type of diamond with no nitrogen atoms. They do, however, contain boron in addition to its main carbon content. This means they conduct electricity and have a bluish or blue-gray tinge.

These four types of diamonds are the main technical classifications. However, it’s more complicated than this. A single diamond can have more than one classification under the technical system.

You don’t need to know too much about this. Just be aware that when you’re talking about diamond types and when a diamond expert is talking about diamond types, you’re not necessarily on the same page!

Types of diamond names for casual shoppers

Okay, now you know what you need to know about the technical stuff, onto how most shoppers will classify different types of diamonds.

Most people in the market for diamonds will classify them according to the following basic names (or variations of them):

  • Natural Diamonds
  • The standard type of diamond we referred to in the introduction: largely colorless and brightly sparkling in the light.
  • Treated Diamonds
  • Natural diamonds that have been enhanced artificially by inclusion filling or color enhancement (usually much cheaper than natural diamonds as it’s the only way that these diamonds can be sold).
  • Natural Coloured Diamonds
  • Pink, yellow, blue, purple, violet, red, green, gray, white, black diamonds and more: demand for these has boomed in recent years.
  • Man-made Diamonds
  • These are created in the lab, a skill that has become easier and cheaper in recent times with the advance of technology (usually identified by their cheaper price).

Ready to choose your perfect diamond?

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  • H K Gems, 2/2661, Shop No.112-113, Beadonpura, Karol Baug, New Delhi – 110005.

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  • CC-5030, Bharat Diamond Bourse, BKC, Bandra-East, Mumbai – 400051.

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