When it comes to diamonds, there are four elements you should know – known as the 4C’s: The 4C’s of a Diamonds stand for Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight.
Understanding these factors will assist in your search for the perfect diamond. They provide an objective way of assessing its quality and value.
Color of a diamond is extremely influential when it comes to its price. Diamonds are graded on a letter scale from D to Z and the better its hue, the greater its worth.
Diamonds come in an array of colors – from steel gray to red, blue, pink, green, purple, yellow orange and black. Some colors result from foreign particulates trapped during crystallization while others occur naturally from within our environment.
Some color-causing defects in diamonds may be the result of being exposed to radiation from atomic particles that can dislodge carbon atoms from their lattice position and alter their hue – see illustration below for how this happens.
Color differences may seem subtle to the naked eye; but they make a major impactful statement about price and quality. Therefore, working with an expert gemologist will enable you to find the best color for both budget and style preferences. You can check out the diamond 4cs chart.
Natural diamonds are formed from carbon-rich minerals exposed to intense heat and pressure deep within the earth for years, over many millennia. Each natural diamond exhibits unique internal features known as inclusions which range in size, type, color and visibility.
These inclusions are caused by small crystals becoming trapped inside a diamond as it forms, sometimes even developing irregularities in their atomic structure during growth, making them visible to the naked eye.
GIA has created a diamond clarity grading scale based on rarity and price difference between FL (flawless) and I3 (included 3). Since only 2% of gem-grade diamonds qualify as FLs, their prices tend to command high premiums – especially large carat sizes.
A diamond’s cut is one of the key components to its sparkle and brilliance, directly impacting how light is reflected back onto itself and dispersed by reflection and dispersion.
Cut quality of a diamond involves a complex interaction among proportions, facet angles and finishing factors that result in its own distinct diamond cut that optimizes brilliance, fire and sparkle.
An expertly cut diamond can reflect light with a bright and sparkly shimmer, producing its signature rainbow of colors of reflection that makes diamonds so beautiful.
Un inadequately cut diamond won’t reflect as much light back to your eyes, leaving it lifeless and lifeless.
GIA developed its Cut Grading System using observations by jewelers and consumers like you, with five grades from Excellent to Poor used for its assessment system.
Carat (C), one of the four Cs of a diamond, measures its weight. One carat equals 200 milligrams or 0.2 grams.
The carat system dates back to early gem traders who measured gemstone weights using carob seeds – which were uniform in size and used as counterweights on balance scales – as comparison points.
Over time, weight scales became standard tools in gem trade and the carat measurement system became uniform across regions.
However, two diamonds of equal carat weight may have vastly differing prices and values depending on their sizes, cuts or other attributes. This is due to larger diamonds being more rare than smaller ones and thus commanding higher premiums.