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The 4C's of a Diamond

September 21, 2018

Knowledge about diamonds is helpful when making the big decision on what to invest in.  The 4cs of the diamond is a known method in the jewelry trade to assess the quality of any diamond; Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat.  Below is a brief description of the 4C's to help get a better understand about diamonds! 

 

 

 

 

Color:

Color of a diamond is broken down into 5 different grading scales.  It starts at colorless, near colorless, faint, very light and light.  The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) created this scale certain this grading system had no affiliation with any other grading system.  The GIA wanted to guarantee that when grading a diamond's color their system could not be confused with anything else, hence why it starts at D.  Colorless diamonds like D-F, are extremely rare which is why it increases the value of the stone.  G-J colors fall into the near colorless which is the most desired grades.  When grading diamond color one grade to another can be very subtle which requires years of experience and a well trained eye to find the difference.  Faint - Light color grades you start to see a hue or color, most of the time yellow.  After color grade Z, you enter into fancy color diamonds, which are even more rare than colorless diamonds. 

 

Image source: www.gia.edu

 

 

 

Clarity:

Just like color, GIA has created a clarity scale.  Clarity of a diamond is characteristics within the diamond that help determine the final grade.  As natural diamonds are all formed deep in this earth it requires a monumental amount of heat and pressure for it to form.  A result of this process, it creates 'inclusions' within the diamond.  An inclusion is a specific characteristic either inside or on the surface of the diamond.  When grading a diamond's clarity many factors go into play.  The diamond grader takes into account the size, color, location, nature and amount of inclusions to come to a final verdict of the clarity.  In almost all of the clarity grades the inclusions require magnification to be found.  Certain grades like I1, I2 and sometimes SI2 diamonds the inclusions are eye visible (detectable without magnification).  When searching for diamonds for a custom order we never disregard any SI1 or SI2 grades.  The reason is no diamond is the same, which means there are great SI2's while there are some poor SI2's.  When dipping into the slight included clarity ranges, seeing the stone in person is truly the only way to judge the stone's appearance. 

 

Image source: www.gia.edu

 

 

Cut:

Cut grade of a diamond defers to the  facet symmetry, proportions of angles and final polish.  The scale GIA has created for the cut grade of a diamond is consisting of those different factors.  The importance of the cut determines how the diamond takes in and reflects light.  When a stone has an excellent cut grade the more sparkle it will have.  The cut of a diamond is the only one of the 4c's that is in the hands of a diamond cutter.  The diamond cutter has been trained to learn the correct proportions and angles that the diamond grader looks for.  One thing to keep in mind, the cut grade of a diamond does not refer to the shape the diamond was cut into.

 

Image source: www.gia.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carat:

The 4th C of a diamond is carat.  All diamonds are weighed in metric carats.  When weighing diamonds, one must clean the stone thoroughly to ensure an accurate weight.  In order to get the correct and accurate weight, everyone in the trade uses an electronic scale.  Weighing a lose diamond is the only true way to acquire the weight.  When a stone is mounting in a piece of jewelry there are techniques and formula's we use to find an approximate weight.  Although the carat weight of a diamond plays a huge factor in the price, all 4c's qualities truly determine the final value. 

 

To truly understand the 4C's of a diamond it takes years of experience and practice to be certain while grading a diamond.  I hope these brief descriptions helped you have an easier time when deciding on what quality of a stone to by. 

 

 

 

Make sure you follow our blog posts to see what comes next! 

 

If there something you want to learn about or get more information about contact us directly at sarahmichikodesigns@gmail.com

 

"A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure."  Henry Kissenger

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