Buying 4 cs of diamonds can be a daunting experience. The number of retailers and thousands of diamonds to choose from makes it difficult for even experienced buyers to know where to start.
However, if you learn about the four Cs of a diamond and how they relate to price, you can save 20-45% off your purchase. That’s the power of knowledge!
The color of a diamond can vary from clear to light yellow or brown. While a true colorless diamond is extremely rare and expensive, most natural diamonds have a slight tint to them.
A 4C’s of a Diamonds color grade chops this smooth curve of increasing color into discrete steps, starting with D, then E and F and extending to Z (light yellow). Professionals compare test stones against two master stones to determine the color grade for each.
The 27 color hues used by gemologists represent the rainbow spectrum, along with shades of white, gray and black. In addition to this, some diamonds can be treated to add or remove specific colors from the natural range.
This quality is a major consideration for many buyers. If you’re concerned about inclusions, a lab-grown diamond might be the better option, but it’s very rare to find one with a high clarity grade at an affordable price.
The clarity of a diamond is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing an engagement ring. It determines how the diamond will look to others and how much it will sparkle.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) follows a series of strict criteria for grading a diamond’s clarity. The higher the clarity grade, the more desirable a diamond will be.
However, this is not an exact science. Two diamonds that are classified as the same clarity grade can still be quite different in appearance.
Clarity is determined by the nature and size of any visible inclusions within a diamond. It is also affected by their position, scope and relief.
Carat weight is one of the four diamond quality factors that jewelers use to determine value. It’s a relatively simple quality factor, but it also carries a lot of importance.
Carat weights are measured on an electronic microbalance that’s incredibly sensitive to even the smallest of weights. This means that you can measure a very small diamond and get an accurate carat weight!
In fact, it’s so accurate that GIA, the grading authority for diamonds around the world, rounds off diamond weights only to the two decimal places or 100 points.
However, a one-carat diamond is usually much more expensive than a diamond that is half a carat or less. That’s because it’s more popular and therefore in demand, which drives up the price.
A diamond’s cut is a major factor in how it sparkles. It’s graded by an optical device that measures a diamond’s angularity, length, width and depth. This greatly affects how light travels through the stone and therefore the diamond’s brilliance.
A good diamond’s cut can also help to enhance a diamond’s durability. Thin girdles and large culets can make the stone less durable than a well-proportioned diamond of the same carat weight.
Another factor to consider when choosing a diamond’s cut is pavilion depth. A shallow pavilion means the bottom of the stone is deeper than the top, whereas a deep pavilion means the bottom is higher than the top.
Most online retailers will describe the cut of diamonds in detail, so it’s easy to find one that fits your needs and budget. Some will even offer a GIA or AGS report with the diamond’s cut grade.