How To Read a Diamond Grading Scale

When a loved one passes on there are certain options and services to consider. This is by no means an easy process. The difficulty of learning how to live without a loved one on its own represents a significant amount of challenge. However, despite the emotional challenge of death, for many families, the weeks following the passing of a loved one are also marked by decisions regarding funeral arrangements, end-of-life service, and memorial and commemoration choices. 

The most common end-of-life services include burial and this represents a significant amount of work and preparation. Funeral services and wake services along with receptions become something that the family must walk through together as part of the grieving and closure process. 

 Another popular option for end-of-life services is cremation. This process is varied and can be as ornate and commemorative as a burial service or as stripped down and minimal as the family desires. Whatever method of cremation a family chooses, there is one unique option that cremation does bring to the table when it comes to commemorating a loved one that has passed on. This is the process of developing a commemorative memorial diamond from the human ashes of a loved one who chose cremation. 

This way of memorializing your loved one is truly a marvel of modern science and creates something truly unique and one of a kind. The process is one that takes a good amount of time but produces a 100% real diamond from the remains of your loved ones that even comes with its own grade. 

How the Diamonds Are Made

When a person chooses for their remains to be cremated, the body is placed inside of a specialized furnace designed to reduce it down to base elements. When the human body is exposed to extreme heat, most of the tissue actually evaporates or sublimates into gas. This leaves an average of four to six pounds of ashes. 

These ashes are typically composed of a material such as bones that would not dissolve into gas. Once cremated, the human ashes are then carefully gathered and refined. This process is very important because the remaining elemental carbon must be extracted from the ashes in order to be used in developing the memorial diamond. 

Every person has unique carbon elements, and so this carbon source for growing the diamond becomes not only a 100% real diamond but 100% unique to your loved one. This is a very personal and beautiful way of eternally commemorating their incredible life. 

Once the carbon has been refined and gathered, it is placed in a specialized container that applies intense amounts of heat and pressure to the carbon. These containers use what are known as seed diamonds to act as blueprints so that the carbon can rearrange into the specific structure necessary to grow a diamond. 

Because every person is unique, this process is curtailed specifically to the carbon refined from the ashes of your loved one. This means that every time a diamond is grown, it’s a slightly unique process and will never look identical in the length of time, amount of pressure, or degree of heat. These containers mimic natural conditions where diamonds are formed in the earth’s crust.  

Once the diamond is formed there is a special inspection that takes place to make sure that it is up to the specific standard and grade desired. It’s very important to not only create a 100% real diamond but one that is as perfect as possible. These diamonds are more than just stones, they are a commemoration of a loved one and so need to be created with as much care and procession as possible.  

After this, the diamond is subjected to a master diamond cutter. When you cut and polish a diamond you dictate the amount of shine and sparkle that the stone will give off. This is an important part of the process of making something breathtakingly beautiful that is worthy of your loved one’s memory. 

The customization of this unique diamond also extends to its shape and color. Using technology that enables color manipulation you can choose what pigmentation to add to your memorial diamond along with what general shape you’d like. 

Lastly, the diamond is subjected to an IGI grading system. This is a third-party grade that is impartial and stands as one of the best in the industry. It’s important that you are not just getting a stone that has sentimental value, but that you are getting a quality diamond that has been graded to the highest quality possible. 

What Is the Diamond Grading System and How Can I Read It?

A diamond is graded on a universally accepted system that revolves around four C’s used by jewelers and hobbyists alike. These four Cs stand for color grade, clarity grade, diamond cut, and carat weight. These four Cs create an easy-to-understand universal grading system for diamond quality that can apply to any diamond you are looking to purchase. 

The good news is that learning the different scores for each of these Cs is not hard! 

Color

The first C stands for color. This is a grading scale that runs from D all the way through to Z, measuring the absence of color in a diamond. The idea behind this scale is to help understand the purity of a diamond based on its natural color and tint. For instance, if you were to request a purposefully colored diamond, then that added color would not conflict with this color scale because it is measuring the natural amount of color found in the formed diamond. 

The more flawless a diamond the less color it will have. On the grading scale for color, the letter ‘D’ represents the purest, colorless grade a diamond can gather. Alphabetically from D all the way through Z the gems will be graded as they present with more flaws and lean closer to a yellow or brownish color. 

Clairty

The second C stands for diamond clarity. This grade is different from the color in that it deals with the opacity and imperfection of the diamond. This grade is looking for the number of inclusions or blemishes a diamond will have that make it seem opaque. 

This scale has eleven grades that range from flawless all the way to I3. At flawless, there are no inclusions (imperfections that manipulate light) or imperfections seen by the grader up to 10x magnification. As the grade scale progresses through I1, I2, and I3, the number of inclusions and blemishes will become apparent. At I3, the last grade in this scale, blemishes in the diamond are noticeable with the naked eye. 

You may also see diamond graders using VVS, VS, and SI. VVS1 and VVS2 show very very slight inclusions, VS1 and VS2 are used for very slight inclusions, and SI1 and SI2 indicate a slightly included diamond.

Cut

The third C is for cut. The cut has five grades from excellent to poor. These diamond cut grades are dealing with the particular way the diamond was cut and polished. The cut and polish of a diamond dictate the amount of shine and sparkle that a diamond will have. 

This scale grades the proficiency that the cut and polish had in relation to this specific diamond. Do the cut and polish bring out the most shine and sparkle that this particular stone can give? 

Carat

The fourth and final C relates to carat. A carat is a unit of measurement developed by the GIA (Gemological Institution of America) to describe a diamond’s weight. One carat relates to 200 milligrams or one-fifth of a gram. 

When a diamond is graded, the last criterion assessed is its true weight in carats. This measurement is noted out to the fifth decimal place and is very precise. 

It’s Important To Ensure Quality

The reason that so much care and effort goes into making sure that your memorial diamond is of the highest possible quality is that this diamond is like no other. The carbon atoms that this diamond will be composed of are uniquely that of your loved one. This means that it not only is a beautiful stone but an eternal commemoration of a person whose value has no price. 

This makes the process of creating a commemorative memorial diamond one of passion. No amount of work to ensure quality for such a special object is too much. Taking the necessary steps to form a beautiful and highly graded quality diamond is of the utmost importance when choosing to remember your loved ones in such a special way. 

Once the diamond has been completed, there are a plethora of different options for how to utilize or set the diamond. The diamond can be set in a necklace, bracelet, ring, or any kind of jewelry you decide. Once set, this now becomes a beautiful family heirloom that can be passed down through the generations. 

Choosing to remember a loved one in this unique way is a powerful option to help keep the memory of those who have passed on close for years to come. By creating a memorial diamond from the ashes of a loved one, you are creating an eternal commemoration to the people you love in a one-of-a-kind way. 

Sources:

AGS Diamond Charts | Find Diamond Rating, Scales, & Grading Charts | American Gem Society 

IGI Diamond Report | Diamond Grading Report | IGI

What To Do After Someone Dies | NIA

BROWSE BLOG & RESOURCES BY CATEGORY

Featured Articles

Stay Up To Date

Sign up to receive our latest blog posts, grief wellness resources, and featured articles.

Ready to Start the Process?

The $100 Eterneva Welcome Kit contains everything you need to start the journey to memorialize a remarkable life.

Join the grief wellness movement by email or text.