The Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Diamonds

February 08, 2020 - Jewelry & Luxury Items

Diamonds are some of the most beautiful and sought after gems for their beauty.

Some diamonds are rarer than others, and as result, are worth more. But how can you tell the difference between diamond types?

Check out our ultimate guide to the different types of diamonds.

Type 1 Diamonds

Identifying the different diamond types requires a bit of research and a lot of practice. The most common type of diamond is Type 1.

The definition and brilliance of theses diamonds depends on the nitrogen within the stone. How the nitrogen arranged within the diamond affects its overall appearance and value.

Type 1A

These type of diamonds are well known for their fluorescence. Type 1A diamonds typically have a yellow-ish tint to them due to how the nitrogen is arranged in their structure.

How this nitrogen is clustered affects this shade. These nitrogen aggregates occur in groups of three within type 1A diamonds. As a result, the aggregates absorb the visible light on the blue end of the spectrum, leaving the stone with its yellow tint.

In addition to this, these diamond types can also be broken down into subcategories: type 1aA and type 1aB. The main differences between them involves their atomic structure.

  • Type 1aA have pairs of nitrogen atoms
  • Type 1aB have clusters of four nitrogen atoms

While these atomic structures don’t affect the visible light or color emitted from the stone, they are different types of diamonds.

Type 1B

Type 1B diamonds are composed of single nitrogen atoms as opposed to the clusters that make up type 1A.

While this difference may seem slight, type 1B diamonds end up being much rarer than 1A. This is because of how the nitrogen atoms absorb visible light and affect the diamond’s appearance.

These diamond types absorb both blue and green light. As a result, the color and tone of the diamond comes with more intensity. Many of the stones on the stones on the market with impressive color are type 1B diamonds.

Type 2 Diamonds

The main difference between type 2 diamonds and type 1 diamonds are their size and hardness. This is due to their atomic structure.

While type 1 diamonds all have nitrogen impurities that affected their color and intensity, type 2 diamonds do not. As a result, type 2 diamonds are much rarer and more expensive.

Much like type 1 diamonds, there are two different categories of type 2 diamonds. The differences between type 2A and type 2B are their clarity and beauty.

Type 2A

Type 2A diamonds are the most sought after. They contain very little to no nitrogen at all. As a result, light is able to pass through them with ease.

Whether it’s a colored diamond or pure white, they tend to have a more intense shine to them. Because there are hardly any imperfections in them, they are much more expensive than other diamonds.

Type 2B

While type 2B diamonds don’t contain any nitrogen, their atomic structure does differ slightly. This major difference is boron.

Boron gives these diamond types their own unique color. They absorb the reds on the visual wavelength, leaving behind beautiful shades of blue and gray.

These diamonds are particularly exclusive, making up less than 0.1% of the diamonds on the market.

Identifying the Different Types of Diamonds

There many types of diamonds out there. Identifying the different types requires research and practice.

While the differences between the diamonds themselves is so slight, it can really impact its value.

Check out our blog for more tips to pawning the right way.

David Stiebel
David Stiebel

David Stiebel is one of the cofounders of PawnGuru. David was educated at MIT, where he studied Math. He subsequently worked at Bain as a data scientist before starting PawnGuru in 2015. He started PawnGuru to build a better tool for pawn shops and consumers to connect.

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