Beyond The Certificate

While the 4c’s of a GIA Diamond Grading Report are essential in understanding how a diamond’s value is determined, many other factors not referenced on a diamond’s certificate can have an even greater effect on a diamond’s beauty and value. The following examples show some of these characteristics that the Aucoin family will evaluate when making their diamond selection.


A diamond’s brilliance and beauty are directly related to its transparency. A diamond’s transparency can be affected by fluorescence, inclusions, irregular and distorted crystal growth, or, most commonly, clouds (a cloud is a group of minute inclusions invisible to 10x magnification). Two diamonds with identical grading reports can have dramatically different levels of transparency and will therefore be valued quite differently. A diamond with poor transparency will look extremely milky or hazy and lack the crisp sharpness that is the Aucoin Hart diamond standard.


When most people think of a diamond’s color, they think of the color grade as assigned by GIA. However, there is a different type of color that must be considered when buying a diamond. This is a diamond’s hue. Some common hues that negatively affect a diamond’s beauty are brown, grey, green, and off-white. These diamonds will appear dull and less lively. Since GIA does not make any special distinction between hues in color grades higher than K, their effect on a diamond’s beauty can only be confirmed by visually inspecting a diamond.


Even in higher VS clarities, black inclusions can contrast against a colorless diamond and distract the eye. Therefore, diamonds with black inclusions are rejected from any Aucoin Hart selection if they are centrally located or visibly noticeable to the unaided eye. As a GIA Grading Report will not note the color of a diamond’s inclusion, a diamond buyer should visually inspect each diamond in person before purchasing.

Aucoin Hart’s careful inclusion selections routinely make our diamonds with lower clarity grades more beautiful than other diamonds of a higher grade. Here’s an example: If a VS2 diamond has a black center inclusion and our SI2 diamond is a scattered white inclusion off to the side, our diamond will be visually more appealing and, best of all, cost a fraction of the price.


Just as a diamond’s facets reflect light to create brilliance and fire, they can also reflect a diamond’s inclusion to create multiple “mirrored” or “false inclusions” throughout a diamond. Since GIA does not plot the locations of these reflections, a diamond will look noticeably different from what a report indicates when it’s inclusions reflect. If a diamond’s reflection adversely affects it’s beauty, it will be rejected from any Aucoin Hart selection.


Certain types of inclusions can pose durability risks to a diamond even after it has been set. Examples are inclusions that are open to the surface or an inclusion located near a diamond’s point. Only an experienced jeweler will be able to judge durability risks that can exist even in higher clarity grades. Aucoin Hart guarantees the durability of every Aucoin Hart diamond through normal wear for life.


A fancy shape diamond is any diamond that is not a round brilliant cut. Fancy shapes include cushion, princess, pear, oval, marquise and emerald cuts (see diamond shapes). There are many variations of each fancy shape that can cause two diamonds with nearly identical grading reports to look dramatically different in person (A GIA Grading report only approximates the shape of each diamond). The biggest differences will be seen in the unique shape or outline of each diamond, as well as differences in uniform brilliance. To truly evaluate the beauty of a fancy shaped diamond, a buyer should visually inspect and compare fancy shapes in person. Fancy shapes that are routinely rejected from an Aucoin Hart selection include diamonds that do not possess a discernibly crisp facet pattern (sometimes called “cracked ice”) or diamonds with pronounced light leakage (when light entering a diamond does not reflect back to the viewer’s eyes it can create unattractive dark spots within the diamond that are sometimes called “bowties” or “windows”). Very few fancy shape diamonds available on the market will make the grade as an Aucoin Hart diamond.

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