THE FOUR Cs OF DIAMONDS


"The 4Cs" determine the quality and value of a diamond and explain why some are rarer and so much more valuable than others. The 4Cs relate to a diamonds Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight. The better and diamond scores on each of these four characteristics, the more valuable it will be. Let's look at each "C" in turn.

Cut:

There are many shapes and sizes of diamonds. But whatever the shape or size, the cut is a technical quality which can vary, and which is unique to each stone. The better the quality of the cut, the better the stones will create BRILLIANCE and FIRE, which are important in determining the value of the each stone.

An ideal cut produces facets whose placement and angles are mathematically accurate to maximize the diamonds brilliance. The cut unlocks the hidden beauty of the diamond. The cut may be the most important factor in choosing a diamond. Two diamonds that are the same color, clarity, and weight can vary greatly in value because of the cut.

Color:

With the exception of fancy colored diamonds, the most valuable are those with the least color. The color scale for diamonds goes from D-F (colorless), G-J (near colorless) K-M (faint yellow), to Z (light yellow). Completely colorless diamonds are rare. When diamonds are formed with traces of other minerals, rare and beautiful colors can result. These fancy colors range from blue and brilliant yellow to red, brown, pale green, pink, and violet.

Clarity:

Nature being what it is, diamonds may show peculiarities of crystallization, which can be minute traces of other minerals trapped during the crystallization process. These may show up as tiny black or white marks. These natural characteristics are called "inclusions" - natures finger prints. Clarity levels begin with Flawless (FL & IF) followed by Very Very Slight (VVS1 & VVS2) Very Slight (VS1 & VS2) Slightly Included (SI1 & SI2), and Included (I1, I2, I3).

Carat:

The size of a diamond is measured not by its dimensions, but by its weight. One carat, the traditional unit of measurement for a diamond, is equal to approximately 0.2 grams. You may also hear the weight of a diamond referred to in points. A point is equal to 1/100ths of a carat. Therefore, a 75 point diamond is equal to a 0.75 carat diamond. Diamonds of equal weight may appear slightly different in size, depending on their depth and proportions, which is all relative to the cut.