Color, clarity, cut and Carat weight — these are the 4 Cs of diamonds, the combination of which act as the globally accepted standards for assessing the quality of a diamond. Let’s face it, diamond shopping for the first time can be an overwhelming experience, but with a bit of information about the 4 Cs you will be able to make a much more educated purchase decision.
Each of the 4 Cs work together to play a role in a diamond’s beauty, so it is imperative that you find the right balance of diamond characteristics and value using the 4Cs. The Cut represents the angles, proportions, facets, and finishing details. The Color will determine how colorless the diamond is. Clarity tells you how clean the diamond is of inclusions and blemishes and Carat indicates the weight of the diamond itself.
The four Cs are graded by professionals on a consistent scale, giving you a universal tool to evaluate diamonds. Long story short, by reviewing the 4Cs of a diamond you can better determine if the diamond is high-quality and thus, it’s value.
It's important to become familiar with the 4 Cs when you are diamond shopping because if you don’t know what to look out for, you will end up overpaying for certain qualities of a diamond while not spending enough on others. Here are some key facts about the 4 Cs to help you out when you are shopping for a diamond.
The cut is perhaps the most important aspect of a diamond quality as it directly impacts it’s beauty. The cut refers to the quality of a diamond’s angles, proportions, symmetrical facets, brilliance, fire, scintillation and finishing details which directly impact a diamond’s ability to sparkle. Let’s face it, sparkle is one of the most important parts of a diamond, so cut is key!
The Color is graded in terms of how white or colorless a diamond is. The GIA categorizes diamonds from D to Z (D being the most colorless, and Z containing a brown or yellow tint). The diamond color chart shows how each grade looks next to each other.
While the diamond color chart provides an example of how each grade appears, it’s important to look at each diamond individually. Depending on the diamond’s cut, Carat weight and shape, the color might appear different among diamonds.
The clarity of a diamond evaluates how clean a diamond is from blemishes. This is graded by the diamond clarity chart, which includes the following categories:
- FL (Flawless)
- IF (Internally Flawless)
- VVS1 (Very, Very Slightly Included 1)
- VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included 2)
- VS1 (Very Slightly Included 1)
- VS2 (Very Slightly Included 2)
- SI1 (Slightly Included 1)
- SI2 (Slightly Included 2)
- I1 (Inclusions 1)
- I2 (Inclusions 2)
As you work your way down the diamond clarity chart, you’ll notice that more inclusions and blemishes are visible. Not all imperfections are visible to the naked eye, which is why it’s important to look at each individual diamond and reference the diamond clarity chart.
Sometimes, consumers believe that Carat weight refers to the size of the diamond, but in reality it refers to the weight of the diamond. While Carat weight is an important factor to consider when buying a diamond, the appearance and brilliance should be more of a priority. For example, a 1.5 Carat diamond will not shine as bright as a 1.0 Carat diamond, even if it weighs more. Rather than focusing on the weight, it’s best to choose a diamond with a great cut or the shape you desire.
Each of the 4 Cs contribute to the overall beauty and quality of a diamond and make each stone unique. By taking all four factors into consideration, you will be able to make the most informed and educated decision when purchasing a diamond for someone you love.
If you’re unsure about a diamond’s cut, color, clarity, or Carat weight, feel free to reach out to us at NOGAMA Fine Jewelry: firstname.lastname@example.org, with all diamond related questions.