THE FOUR Cs AND YOUR DIAMOND QUALITY
What comes to your mind when you hear “diamond”?
Classy? Expensive? Rare? Extremely beautiful?
Oh, well, you’re absolutely correct. Only, maybe, you didn’t add that these diamonds are excellent inclusions amongst your other jewelry.
However, to purchase diamonds of great quality, you don’t just go with what looks like and promises to be a good diamond. Instead, a highly valuable piece of excellent quality is bought at an expensive rate due to important factors that should be considered before you go on your search for these precious stones. The American Gem Society (AGS) and GIA, amongst other reputable gem societies, see these factors as important when choosing diamonds. They are the “ four Cs,” which stand for Color, Cut, Clarity, and Carat Weight of the stone.
Understanding these criteria for grading diamonds helps you avoid getting the wrong stone for the price you pay.
Does the stone in the clarity grade you’re going for seem rather opaque?
Wait a minute to find out. Your intuition might just be wrong this time.
Diamond clarity has to do with the number of inclusions and flaws it contains, depicting how clear it would turn out to be. Flawless stones have no inclusions and blemishes. These flawless stones are quite expensive when compared to the flawed stones. This is because flaws interfere with the transparency of the rock and how clean it appears. Based on GIA’s scale, the clarity of a diamond is graded using this chart:
- I1, I2, I3 – Included. This means they are flawed.sss
- SI1, SI2, SI3 – Slightly Included. These are slightly flawed.
- VS1, VS2 – They are very slightly flawed.
- VVS1, VVS2 – They are very, very slightly flawed.
- IF – These might be a bit flawed on the outside and flawless inside.
- F – Flawless stones, which are rare and extremely expensive.
This clarity test is done using ×10 magnification of the microscope.
This is simply the diamond’s weight in carat (ct), and 1 carat equals 0.2grams. The different sizes and shapes of diamonds influence the weight of each diamond.
Of course, larger diamonds are more valuable if they fit into the standard of the other “Cs.” So while weighing your choice of a larger stone, you should know if you would want to purchase a larger gem with lesser value or a smaller stone with a greater value.
The cut of a diamond is the biggest determinant of the stone’s beauty because it directly affects its radiance.
Have you ever seen a glittering diamond that sparkles brightly?
If you answered yes, Those stones you saw had excellent cuts. Diamonds with the most accurate cuts sparkle brilliantly and have exceptional quality showing off their gorgeous looks. Diamond cutting is done with extreme precision and accurate proportion, to shape it into its beauty and radiance.
The GIA grades for diamond cut range from Excellent, which is the highest quality, to Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor, which is the least quality.
The perfect diamond cut captures the stone’s brightness, fire, and scintillation, making your diamond dazzle. The more precise the cut, the more dazzling it appears!
This refers to how colorless a diamond should be. A colorless stone fetches the highest price because the lesser the color it contains, the less dull it appears. The more colorless a stone is, the higher its quality. Diamonds with lesser qualities are slightly tinted in yellow or brown.
The color quality of a diamond is ascertained using the 23 color standard of GIA. The grading scale is as:
- Colorless – D, E, F
- Almost colorless – G, H, I, J
- Faintly colored – K, L, M
- Very lightly colored – N, O, P, Q, R
- Lightly colored – S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
While color “D” has the highest value, “Z” has the least because it’s the most colored.
You must also know that the light of the surrounding greatly affects the appearance of diamonds.
In sourcing the best value of diamonds that would fit into your budget, these factors above are of great importance, and all four “Cs” must be considered so your choice of diamond would be topnotch. If you now understand the basics well, we’re excited to say you can now go diamond hunting!