What Are The Different Kinds Of Diamonds?


Diamonds are often discussed in terms of the four C’s: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat. Unbeknownst to many, diamonds can be considered further in the term “classification.” Classification is the fifth “C” or diamond type. It is less important than the Big Four; however it can be beneficial to understand it. The mention of diamond type can emerge during the shopping process and prove somewhat confusing or result in a priority reconsideration during the decision process.


To begin to understand “Diamond type,” or the classification of diamonds, it is crucial to understand its meaning. To jewelers or gemologist, “cut” can mean the diamond’s actual cut, or its number of features, such as the brilliant-cut. Customers often understand “cut” to mean the diamond’s shape, such as round, emerald or pear. Amazingly, diamond-type can be confusing, and a diamond can be more than one diamond type.


Think of a diamond type on the elemental level. Carbon is the foundational element, and other element atoms slowly become added to the base. The majority of these of the other elements are nitrogen atoms. These atoms cluster together, affecting the color and appearance of the completed diamond.

For jewelers, diamonds are evaluated by an expert, and their type noted on their GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certificate. TYPE IA DIAMONDS - The most common diamond type. These diamonds emit a yellow tone due to the large clusters of nitrogen throughout the crystal lattice. Nitrogen atoms absorb light in the blue range of the light spectrum resulting in a yellow/orange color. Additionally, Type Ia diamonds have a characteristic fluorescence and absorb infrared and ultraviolet light.

TYPE IIA DIAMONDS – Only one percent of all diamonds are in of this type. Type IIa diamonds contain minimal traces of nitrogen, thus no visible light absorption and no yellowish or brown tint. When you imagine a diamond, this is the type in your mind. Formed under extremely high pressure and have differing levels of fluorescence. Colored diamonds of this type can be pink, gray, yellow, brown, light blue or light green. TYPE IB DIAMONDS – These diamonds are an even smaller portion of natural diamonds representing fewer than 0.1 percent. No nitrogen atom clustering. Nitrogen atoms are scattered throughout the crystal lattice as single atoms. Absorption of a large amount of blue range color spectrum light takes place, which results in a solid yellow color.

TYPE IIB DIAMONDS – No nitrogen is present; however, boron can be found in its place. Boron is an absorber of red light; thus, the majority of these diamonds appear blue or bluish-grey. These diamonds are precious and represent a modest 0.1 percent of natural diamonds. Diamond types, as viewed by jewelers, is very intricate and prefaced upon the elemental makeup of the diamond.


Less technical and more of a generalization is the method by which diamond types are determined for customers. For these classifications of diamonds, there is no discussion of elements and their corresponding atoms.

NATURAL DIAMONDS - Grow within the earth and are mined.

TREATED OR ENHANCED DIAMONDS – Diamonds where clarity is corrected with advanced technology like lasers.

LAB-CREATED DIAMONDS – Also known as man-made or cultivated diamonds. Lab-created diamonds are not fake diamonds, like cubic zirconia.

Lab-created diamonds are grown in laboratories under the same conditions as diamonds developed within the earth. Lab-created diamonds are chemically the same as those found in the ground.

NATURAL ELEGANT COLOR DIAMONDS – Rare diamonds. These diamonds emerge from the earth in colors like blue, green, pink, or red. Teva Diamonds understands you may have questions about the type of diamond your considering purchasing. Let us know. Our expert jewelers are available to answer them. Keep in mind that we sell GIA certified natural diamonds, and IGI certified lab diamonds. (212)302-7800

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