Diamonds can be confusing business. Understanding the language of diamonds can be just as complicated as finding the love of your life. Yes, Google is abound with resources for gaining perspective about diamonds, but it can all get very jumbled and mixed up after a while. One notion that has remained a constant in the world of diamonds is the concept of the Four C’s. These Four C’s stand for Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat, and they factor greatly into the appreciation of your diamond. With our simple guide of the Four C’s, you’ll be a diamond expert in no time.
When it comes to the Four C’s, cut is often unappreciated by the consumer. Even if a diamond grades well in both clarity and color, the cut of the diamond can make it appear dull. The cut is what gives the diamond its breathtaking appearance and eye-catching sparkle. While most people think the diamond’s cut refers to the shape of it (round, marquise, pearl, etc.), the cut actually refers to its brilliance and ability to transmit sparkle. Girdle thickness, table size, star length, and pavilion angle are all factors that contribute to grading the cut of the diamond.
The Color is considered to be the second most important characteristic, especially in conjunction with the cut. The color of the diamond actually refers to the diamond’s absence of color. To grade the color, there is a 4-tiered, D-Z scale that is used, with D being the colorless end of the spectrum.
- Colorless: D, E, F
- Near Colorless: G, H, I. J
- Faint Yellow Tint: K, L, M
- Very Light Yellow Tint: N, O, P, Q, R
- Tinted Light Yellow: S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
Colorless diamonds are the most preferred and sought after style. To the untrained eye, many of the color distinctions are invisible; however, the color plays a vital role in the quality and price of the diamond. “Fancy Diamonds” such as those that are champagne, yellow, and even the rare blues and reds are noticeable characteristics that are more sought after by collectors.
The clarity of the diamond refers to the tiny imperfections that are present in even some of the rarest diamonds. These imperfections are called blemishes or inclusions. When evaluating the diamond for these inclusions, size, relief, nature, and position of these characteristics are all factored into the price of the diamond. The clarity scale for diamonds has 6 categories:
- Flawless (FL): No inclusions and blemishes visible under 10x magnification
- Internally Flawless (IF): No inclusions visible under 10x magnification
- Very, Very, Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): Inclusions slight enough that spotting them are difficult for a skilled grader viewing it under 10x magnification
- Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): Inclusions are viewed with effort under a 10x magnification and characterized as minor
- Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification
- Included (I1, I2, and I3): Inclusions that affect clarity are obviously visible under 10x magnification
Diamonds that have the smallest or least amount of inclusions garner the highest grade in clarity.
The carat on your engagement ring is much more than how big the ring looks or how many heads turn when they look it. Yes, it’s the conversation piece and many people commonly misunderstand it as the size of the diamond, but in reality, the carat is all about the weight of the diamond. You may hear diamonds referred to in “points”. Carats are divided into 100 points that allow for precise measurement of the diamond to the hundredth decimal.
Understanding diamonds is important in making sure you pick the proper one. Diamonds are as unique as the person you are buying them for. If you are looking to buy or where to sell engagement rings, with this guide, you can make sure you get the best bang for your buck.