THE 4 C’s OF DIAMONDS

Various characteristics of diamonds are graded and categorized by the diamond industry. the 4Cs of Diamond Quality is the universal method for assessing the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world:
• Cut
• Clarity
• Colour
• Carat weight

  • The diamond colour evaluation of most gem-quality diamonds is based on the absence of colour. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue and therefor consequently, a higher value.
  • Diamonds are available in every colour of the rainbow. However most people are concerned with diamonds in the white range. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) rates the body colour in white diamonds from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). Fancy coloured diamonds (such as yellows, pinks, and blues) are graded on a separate colour scale.
  • Many of these colour distinctions are hardly noticeable to the untrained eye; however, these distinctions make a very big difference in diamond quality and price.

Colourless:

  • While there are differences in colour between D, E, and F diamonds, they can be detected only by a gemmologist in side by side comparisons, and rarely by the untrained eye.
  • D-F diamonds should only be set in white gold / platinum. Yellow gold reflects colour, negating the diamond’s colourless effect.

Near Colourless/slightly tinted:

  • While containing traces of colour, G-J diamonds are suitable for a platinum or white gold setting, which would normally betray any hint of colour in a diamond.
  • Because I-J diamonds are more common than the higher grades, they tend to be a great value. An I-J diamond may retail for half the price of a D diamond.

Faint Yellow:

  • Beginning with K diamonds, colour (usually a yellow tint) is more easily detected by the naked eye.
  • Set in yellow gold, these warm coloured diamonds appeal to some, and are an exceptional value. Others will feel they have too much colour. Due to its perceptible colour tint, a K diamond is often half the price of a G diamond.

Very Light Yellow:

  • Diamonds in the N-R colour range have an easily seen yellow or brown tint, but are much less expensive than higher grades.

Light Yellow:

  • For almost all customers, S-Z diamonds have too much colour for a white diamond.
  • Natural diamonds are the result of carbon exposed to tremendous heat and pressure deep in the earth. This process can result in a variety of internal characteristics called “inclusions” and external characteristics called “blemishes”.
  • Evaluating diamond clarity involves determining the number, size, relief, nature, and position of these characteristics, as well as how these affect the overall appearance of the stone. While no diamond is perfectly pure, the closer it comes, the higher its value.
  • The clarity of a diamond is determined by the amount and location of flaws, or blemishes, in the diamond when viewed under 10 power (10x) magnification.
  • Because they are formed deep within the earth, under extreme heat and pressure; virtually all diamonds contain “birthmarks”; small imperfections inside the diamond (called inclusions), or on its surface (called blemishes). Clarity refers to the degree to which these imperfections are present.
  • Diamonds which contain numerous or significant inclusions or blemishes have less “brilliance” because the flaws interfere with the path of light through the diamond.
  • Of all the 4Cs, cut has the greatest effect on a diamond’s beauty.
  • Cut does not refers to a diamond’s shape (e.g. round, oval, pear, etc.) but to a diamond’s proportions, symmetry and polish.
  • Diamonds are renowned for their ability to transmit light and sparkle so intensely. a diamond’s cut grade is really about how well a diamond’s facets interact with light.
  • Every diamond regardless of its shape gets it brilliancy and scintillation by cutting and polishing the diamond facets to allow the maximum amount of light that enters through its top to be reflected and dispersed back through its top.
  • A carat is the unit of weight by which a diamond is measured. Because large diamonds are found less commonly than small diamonds, the price of a diamond rises exponentially to its size. Diamond carat weight is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs. A metric “carat” is defined as 200 milligrams, exactly 0.2 grams.
  • Each carat can be subdivided into 100 ‘points.’ This allows very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place. A jeweller may describe the weight of a diamond below one carat by its ‘points’ alone. For instance, the jeweller may refer to a diamond that weighs 0.25 carats as a ‘twenty-five pointer.’ Diamond weights greater than one carat are expressed in carats and decimals. A 1.08 carat stone would be described as ‘one point oh eight carat”. As the carat weight of a diamond increases so does its rarity and therefore its price.
Diamond Colour
  • The diamond colour evaluation of most gem-quality diamonds is based on the absence of colour. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue and therefor consequently, a higher value.
  • Diamonds are available in every colour of the rainbow. However most people are concerned with diamonds in the white range. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) rates the body colour in white diamonds from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). Fancy coloured diamonds (such as yellows, pinks, and blues) are graded on a separate colour scale.
  • Many of these colour distinctions are hardly noticeable to the untrained eye; however, these distinctions make a very big difference in diamond quality and price.

Colourless:

  • While there are differences in colour between D, E, and F diamonds, they can be detected only by a gemmologist in side by side comparisons, and rarely by the untrained eye.
  • D-F diamonds should only be set in white gold / platinum. Yellow gold reflects colour, negating the diamond’s colourless effect.

Near Colourless/slightly tinted:

  • While containing traces of colour, G-J diamonds are suitable for a platinum or white gold setting, which would normally betray any hint of colour in a diamond.
  • Because I-J diamonds are more common than the higher grades, they tend to be a great value. An I-J diamond may retail for half the price of a D diamond.

Faint Yellow:

  • Beginning with K diamonds, colour (usually a yellow tint) is more easily detected by the naked eye.
  • Set in yellow gold, these warm coloured diamonds appeal to some, and are an exceptional value. Others will feel they have too much colour. Due to its perceptible colour tint, a K diamond is often half the price of a G diamond.

Very Light Yellow:

  • Diamonds in the N-R colour range have an easily seen yellow or brown tint, but are much less expensive than higher grades.

Light Yellow:

  • For almost all customers, S-Z diamonds have too much colour for a white diamond.
Diamond Clarity
  • Natural diamonds are the result of carbon exposed to tremendous heat and pressure deep in the earth. This process can result in a variety of internal characteristics called “inclusions” and external characteristics called “blemishes”.
  • Evaluating diamond clarity involves determining the number, size, relief, nature, and position of these characteristics, as well as how these affect the overall appearance of the stone. While no diamond is perfectly pure, the closer it comes, the higher its value.
  • The clarity of a diamond is determined by the amount and location of flaws, or blemishes, in the diamond when viewed under 10 power (10x) magnification.
  • Because they are formed deep within the earth, under extreme heat and pressure; virtually all diamonds contain “birthmarks”; small imperfections inside the diamond (called inclusions), or on its surface (called blemishes). Clarity refers to the degree to which these imperfections are present.
  • Diamonds which contain numerous or significant inclusions or blemishes have less “brilliance” because the flaws interfere with the path of light through the diamond.
Diamond Cut
  • Of all the 4Cs, cut has the greatest effect on a diamond’s beauty.
  • Cut does not refers to a diamond’s shape (e.g. round, oval, pear, etc.) but to a diamond’s proportions, symmetry and polish.
  • Diamonds are renowned for their ability to transmit light and sparkle so intensely. a diamond’s cut grade is really about how well a diamond’s facets interact with light.
  • Every diamond regardless of its shape gets it brilliancy and scintillation by cutting and polishing the diamond facets to allow the maximum amount of light that enters through its top to be reflected and dispersed back through its top.
Diamond Carat Weight
  • A carat is the unit of weight by which a diamond is measured. Because large diamonds are found less commonly than small diamonds, the price of a diamond rises exponentially to its size. Diamond carat weight is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs. A metric “carat” is defined as 200 milligrams, exactly 0.2 grams.
  • Each carat can be subdivided into 100 ‘points.’ This allows very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place. A jeweller may describe the weight of a diamond below one carat by its ‘points’ alone. For instance, the jeweller may refer to a diamond that weighs 0.25 carats as a ‘twenty-five pointer.’ Diamond weights greater than one carat are expressed in carats and decimals. A 1.08 carat stone would be described as ‘one point oh eight carat”. As the carat weight of a diamond increases so does its rarity and therefore its price.