The Argyle Color Diamond Grading Chart Explained
When a company has a fantastic product that is not only high quality but is also in extreme demand, it may seem as if there is no need to further its success. While this is not only false, but would be detrimental to any organization, it is rare to find those who are as dedicated to continuing its success as they are to implementing something innovative and game changing. Yet these corporations do indeed exist. It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that the Argyle mine, which has managed to become the leading name in pink diamonds as a result of their brilliant branding as well as their incredible products, is responsible for creating a very well respected diamond grading system of their own.
A remarkable pair of princess cut Argyle pink diamonds
The Argyle name could have left its individuality with its highly sought after Argyle branded pink diamond, especially since they produce close to 90% of the pink diamonds available in the market, and simply left the grading to someone else. Instead, the ambitious establishment embarked on a journey of crafting the perfect grading method for its unique diamond products.
In order to fully benefit from this grading scale and appreciate all it has to offer, here is a breakdown of diamond grading systems and how they are intended to be used.
The GIA Color Scale
Before one can begin to understand the Argyle diamond certificate, it is imperative to be familiar with GIA's, the most universally used and respected diamond-grading system. Both colorless and naturally fancy colored diamonds are graded based on the 4Cs: color, clarity, cut, and carat.
A colorless diamond receives a letter grade that can be anywhere from D to Z. The letter D represents the highest color grade for a white diamond, and Z refers to diamonds with the highest levels of color in a white stone. This is where common ground between colorless and color diamonds can be found, as there is something of a crossover between the two, but that can be explained in more detail elsewhere. Just as colorless diamonds are graded based on the lack of color present in the diamond, color diamonds are assessed based on the exact opposite. The more the color can be seen within the stone - the better. Therefore, the color grade chart for color diamonds begins where the colorless chart ends.
Colored diamonds are different, since no one specific color is better than the others. As a result of their rarity and demand, the value might be far greater, but that again does not infer that it is a better stone. Therefore, colored diamonds are referred to on color-grading charts by word grades as opposed to a letter scale. In addition to the color description, the intensity of the color is provided, where the lowest grade is Very Faint and the highest color intensity grade possible is either Fancy Vivid or Fancy Deep. It must be noted that not every color grade is possible for every color, as there are those, such as black diamonds, that only appear in one color intensity level – fancy black.
Both color and colorless stones are assessed in the same manner by their clarity (which ranges from FL to I3), cut (which includes the polish, symmetry, and proportions of the stone), and carat weight (which is broken down to the 100th of a carat).
The Argyle Grading Method
Now that we have briefly described the more traditional diamond grading system, we can move on to the particular grading method that the Argyle company has created for its pink diamonds.
GIA grades a color diamond based on its color and intensity. For example, the color grade of a yellow diamond can be a “Fancy Intense Yellow” or even a “Fancy Vivid Yellow”. If it were a combination of colors it would read “Fancy Intense Brownish Yellow Diamond.” The Argyle method simultaneously grades both aspects of the color. By dividing pink diamonds into four color categories: 'purplish pink,' 'pink,' 'pink rose,' and 'pink champagne,' it pre-divides the diamonds before they even receive the color intensity grade. Each category is then given a number between 1 and 9 (besides pink champagne diamonds which go until 3) based upon its color intensity. The highest color intensity level is one whereas the lowest is nine. So, the highest quality Argyle purplish pink diamond would be a 1PP, the highest pink would be a 1P, the highest pink rose would be a 1PR, and the pink champagne diamond with the highest color intensity level would be a 1PC3.
When one purchases an Argyle pink diamond, he or she is often provided with both a GIA certificate and an Argyle certificate as well.
As the supplier of 90% of the world's pink diamonds, the Argyle mine has stepped up as an empire that has more to share with the world than just its astounding wares. The exclusive grading system, the branded diamonds, and the prestigious title that an Argyle stone carries is all the ingenious doing of the Argyle Company. The natural build of an Argyle pink diamond versus another pink diamond can include a unique bubble gum pink hue, an unusual hardness, and even a unique fluorescent blue coloring when held under an ultra violet light. This fact alone, though, is not reason enough for the Argyle success story, and this creative grading technique is just one part of what is the enormous Argyle puzzle.