This section will help you understand the importance of the 4Cs – Carat, Clarity, Colour and Cut. This will help you buy the perfect diamond to your taste and budget.
Carat refers to the weight of a diamond. The word “carat” comes from ancient times when gems were measured using the weight of a carob seed.
The larger the carat, the more rare and valuable the diamond is. Diamonds of the same weight may have unequal values this all depends on their clarity, colour and cut.
Most people confuse the cut of the diamond with the shape of the diamond. There are many different diamond shapes that are very popular, which are:
The cut of a diamond indicate the physical shape of the diamond and refers to the angles, proportions and reflective qualities created in the stone. It is also the most important of the 4Cs, and is vital to understand how the qualities affect the values of the diamond.
Most importantly with all these shapes is that light passing through them is properly refracted in order to give them the maximum brilliance or sparkle to the diamond.
A well-cut diamond will reflect light from a facet to another and disperse and show through the diamond. The precision of the cut determines the fire and sparkle of the diamond and is more valuable than a poorly cut stone.
If the cut of the diamond is cut too deep or too shallow, the light escapes through the side or the bottom, resulting in it being less dazzling.
Most diamonds contain inclusions, which identify are blemishes on the stone. These may look like tiny crystals, clouds or feathers. These inclusions are visible to the naked eye. The fewer the inclusions, the greater the clarity and the more valuable the diamond is.
- Visible inclusions are graded between I1 – I3
- Small Inclusions are graded from SI1 – SI2
- Very Small Inclusions are graded from VS1 – VS2
- Very Tiny Inclusions are graded from – VVS1 – VVS2
- The rare diamonds with no inclusions are called flawless (FL) or internally Flawless (IF)
- There are two types of flaws: inclusions and blemishes
- Inclusions are known as internal flaws and blemishes refer to surface flaws
- Inclusions include flaws such as air bubbles, cracks, and non-diamond minerals found in the diamond
- Blemishes include scratches, pits, and chips. Some blemishes occur during the cutting processes
Many diamonds appear to be colourless, but most contain very light tones of brown or yellow. All diamond colours are graded from D to Z.
Diamond colour guide
Diamonds graded D through F are naturally the most valuable and desirable because of their rarity.
A very faint hint of yellow will be apparent in diamonds graded J through M, this colour can often be minimised by carefully selecting the right jewellery. Keep in mind that, while most people strive to buy the most colourless diamond they can afford, there are many people who actually prefer the warmer glow of lower-colour diamonds.
Intensely coloured diamonds are very rare, and offer a more individual range. These “Fancy” coloured diamonds exist in yellows, greens, browns and orange, and more. Other coloured diamonds such as pinks and blues are extremely rare and are very valuable even with faint or pale colouring.
Diamond certificates are known as a Diamond Grading Reports. This gives a complete evaluation of your diamond, which is important information to the trained gemologist, jeweller or consumer.
The diamond certificate includes the characteristic of the 4Cs the shape, weight, grade, measurements, proportions and finish grade. It also confirms that the stone is genuine.