26 Jul

Diamonds are such a highly traded commodity that multiple organizations have been created for grading and certifying diamonds based on the four Cs which are – carat, cut, color, and clarity. Here is what to look for whether you are looking to buy an engagement ring, a diamond solitaire pendant or earrings:

 

COLOR

  • Color grading represents a fundamental element of the diamond.
  • The more colorless a stone is, the greater its rarity and value.
  • Even though many diamonds appear colorless to an inexpert eye, the majority of stones have a color leaning slightly towards yellow or brown. Colors are graded from D to Z, with D being “colorless” and every grade down reflecting varying degrees of coloration. D colorless diamonds are extremely rare and therefore very valuable.
  • The value of a diamond can vary considerably with the slightest increase in the shade of color. Pantera’s diamonds are classified following the standards of the Gemological Institute of America.

CLARITY

  • The number, position, kind, color and prominence of inclusions contained in the diamond determine the grade of clarity.
  • A diamond is ‘clear’ if examination under a microscope with a 10x magnifying lens does not reveal inclusions or flaws on the surface.
  • Truly clear diamonds are extremely rare.
  • The majority of diamonds have natural inclusions, invisible to the naked eye, that do not affect their beauty.
  • The clarity of a diamond is classified according to the Gemological Institute of America international standards.

CUT

  • The cut enhances the Diamond’s power to pick up and reflect light. The stone is revealed and the diamond shows itself in all its splendor and brilliance.
  • In order to reach perfection, the diamond cutter determines every facet and angle of the stone following a strict set of geometric guidelines, thus obtaining maximum importance and greatest brilliance for each gem.
  • In a brilliant-cut diamond there must be 57 or 58 facets lined up with precision.
  • Although many consumers picture diamonds as round brilliants, most of the world’s famous diamonds are fancy shapes. Pantera Jewelry uses fancy shape diamonds as Emerald, Pear, Oval and Heart, and has also introduced a new proprietary cut which is a modified version of the much desired Asscher Cut.

CARAT WEIGHT

  • The carat represents the unit of weight of a diamond.
  • The size of a diamond increases its value and rarity, but has a lesser importance if it is not matched with a good grade of color and clarity and a properly proportioned cut.
  • Two stones of the same carat weight will have, in fact, very different values depending on their other characteristics.
  • Nevertheless, size does indeed contribute to increase the value of a diamond, as large stones are rarer than small ones.

What are the diamond rankings on a MFI Profile and Report?

MIX is committed to microfinance transparency and uses a “diamonds” system to indicate an MFI’s level of transparency and supporting documentation for all data on MIX Market.

A higher number of diamonds means a more transparent MFI and more reliable data.

Currently, each profile on the site receives an overall profile diamond score and an annual score for each full year of data that is published on the site. You can see the profile diamonds next to the MFI name in the upper left-hand side of each page, as in the screenshot below. The profile diamonds reflect the number of diamonds for the last year. In other words, the profile diamonds reflect the most recent information that we have on this MFI.

If you want to see how data from an MFI has evolved over time, the annual diamonds can be found within the Report section for any MFI as in the screenshot below. Annual diamonds are available for download and reporting for individual MFIs.

The rules for the diamonds are in the table below. The “profile” diamonds reflect the most recent year of data for the MFI, with a nine-month window for reporting after fiscal year-end.

Level Annual Diamond
1 Profile is visible.
2 Level 1 and some data on products and clients for the year
3 Levels 1 and 2 and some financial data for the year
4 Levels 1 – 3 and audited financial statements are published for the year
5 Levels 1 – 4 and rating or due diligence report is published for the year

 

Why does an MFI have a particular diamonds level?

To see why an MFI receives a certain diamond score, we can inspect the data used by the rules above to generate the score. This report contains key data points for all MFIs. To look at one example, we can use the profile for Al Amana in Morocco.

First, we can see in this report that data on products and clients (outreach) is complete for each year, which qualifies them for 2-diamond status. Another report shows that we also have financial data since 1997, qualifying them for 3-diamonds for those years. Al Amana further qualifies for four and five diamonds based on audits and ratings that are available in the Files section of their profile. However, since their most recent rating report is from 2008, these reports qualify Al Amana for four diamonds overall.

To check the same data for any other MFI you can either modify the same report links as above or check the profile directly.

How can I change my diamonds level?

To receive higher levels of diamonds, an MFI needs to provide data or reports to meet the requirements in the rules listed above. To post updated data refer to the guidelines in our FAQ or contact your regional analyst directly.

Diamond scores are generated automatically based on the information published on the site. However, if you think the score for a particular institution is incorrect or out-of-date, contact us and we will look into it and provide you with an update.

What are future plans for the diamonds?

As of today, the diamonds only incorporate reporting on basic outreach, standard financial statements and financial audits and rating reports. But the microfinance industry is changing quickly and we are bringing more and more data to the world – such as data on social performance or on debt financing used by MFIs – along with more types of supporting documentation, such as social audits and social ratings.

Looking ahead, we will be completely revamping how we reflect the transparency of MFIs that report data to MIX to incorporate these new types of information and to give a better view on transparency as we know it today. To help inform our efforts, please send your comments and insights using our online contact form..