The 4C’s – Carat Weight

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The 4C’s – Diamond Carat Weight

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Diamond weight is expressed in carats (one carat is equal to 200 milligrams). Carats are divided into 100 points so a 0.78 ct diamond is called a 78 pointer. Another term used by diamond professionals is grain. One grain equals 25 points so a one-carat diamond can be called 1ct, or 100 points, or 4 grains.

Cut influences Carat Weight

Diamonds that weigh the same may not have the same vertical spread, depending on how they were cut. Those cut too shallow or too deep will look small for their weight and/or have poor light performance.

1ct rounds

The goal of most cutters is to maximize carat weight from pieces of rough. This means many diamonds are cut too shallow or deep. A diamond’s grading report lists its measurements in millimeters. The first two numbers are min and max spread; be sure the diamond has appropriate spread for carat weight. Even then one is not assured of the critical angles necessary for high performance.

High Performance Diamonds = Larger Carat Weight Appearance

Diamonds cut for the highest level of performance have critical angles and precision-cutting which make the diamond explode with edge-to-edge brightness. Such high performance diamonds appear larger than diamonds of normal cut quality.

diamonds with better light performance seem bigger

– Photo courtesy of Garry Holloway

Only a fraction of the world’s diamonds have such cut quality; they are rare enough that most people have never even seen one. Bright jewelry store lighting makes all diamonds look good. Diamonds with the most elite level of performance and precision are seen in the American Gem Society ASET® scope (examples below). Such high performance diamonds are not available to most sellers.

What should accompany a High Performance Diamond?

It takes more time, advanced skills & modern equipment to create these “superideal” high performers. Anyone boasting such a diamond should show valid, scientific verification of that performance. Legitimate proof includes an American Gem Society DQD with an Ideal Light Performance grade along with an authentic AGS ASET® Scope image for that specific diamond. The AGS system is the world’s only 3D diamond evaluation that has been vetted and approved by the science community (The International Society for Optical Engineering). Legitimate proof of cut precision includes actual Hearts & Arrows images showing crisp symmetry for superior contrast and scintillation qualities.

High Performance Diamonds have superior brightness, dispersion, contrast and scintillation, even when removed from jewelry store lighting and observed through the infinite panoramas of real-world lighting that we live in. They will be dazzling in bright light and have bold flashes of rainbow color in soft lighting, where other diamonds go dark.

High Performance Diamonds have superior brightness


Our Recommendation: “Crafted By Infinity” Diamonds

Our favorite manufacturer of high performance “superideal” round and princess cuts is Infinity Diamonds, a boutique operation in Antwerp, Belgium. Infinity crafts only 1000 diamonds per year, with a complete focus on cut quality for unsurpassed performance and precision. We are proud to be a Select Infinity Dealer and consider them our private diamond cutter.

In addition to the American Gem Society grading report with Ideal light performance and actual AGS ASET® images, Infinity diamonds all include Hearts & Arrows cut precision photos. Infinity also boasts the world’s first “superideal” princess cut.

Founder Paul Slegers’ high performance design for Infinity pre-dates GIA’s Excellent cut grade, the AGS Ideal performance grade and HRD’s high clarity Hearts & Arrows grade. Every diamond exceeds the standards of those systems and goes farther, answering to a higher authority in the person of Mr. Slegers. He takes every diamond from birth to final polish with excruciating attention to detail. His “Crafted By Infinity” inscription will only be branded on 1000 perfectly cut diamonds this year.

Infinity clients include renowned diamond collectors, appraisers and researchers in the world’s strictest grading laboratories. Paul Slegers’ uncompromising standards and modest pricing combine to make Infinity the perfect choice for architects, engineers and diamond enthusiasts seeking technical perfection, as well as “regular people” seeking the world’s highest level of cut quality.

With over 50 combined years of dealing with fine diamonds the staff of High Performance Diamonds has sampled and sold every “superideal” brand in the world. We judge Paul Slegers’ boutique Antwerp operation to be the finest: Every Infinity is absolutely, truly a superideal… but not every superideal is an Infinity.

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