The study of diamonds and gemmology is quite extensive.4 C’s is a summary of all diamond characteristics that directly determines their monetary value. It is what consumers need to know in a nutshell.
We strongly encourage our customers to educate themselves before their diamond purchase. By doing so, they can understand the evaluation process and they can make an informed decision.
Here’s what you should consider before buying a diamond:
- Clarity refers to diamond cleanliness in terms of the number, size, location and type of impurities. It has the least impact on diamond beauty and attractiveness.
- The majority of natural diamonds contain these impurities. They are mostly microscopic and require magnifying tools to be detected. The larger impurities can be seen with the naked eye. However, it is not easily detectable to an untrained eye.
- The impurities are usually referred to as inclusions or blemishes.
- Diamonds with smaller and sporadic inclusions receive the higher clarity grade.
The following are the terms used in the grading system from high to low and their meanings:
Flawless, Internally Flawless (Fl – IF) :Very rare and highly valued Complete absence of impurities in a diamond.
Very, Very Small Inclusions( VVS1- VVS2 ): Excellent quality grade It is very difficult to see these inclusions with 10x magnifier. A microscope can better confirm this clarity grade.
Very Small Inclusions (VS1-VS2): Very high-quality grade small inclusions can be seen with 10x magnifier with some effort. They are located mostly around the diamond table.
Small Inclusions (SI1- SI2): High quality grade : Inclusions are easily detectable with 10x magnifier. The number and location of the inclusions determine the SI level.
Included (I1– I3): , Good to lower quality grade Inclusion(s) can be seen with naked eye. The number and size of the inclusions determine the I level
- The cut is the most important characteristic that can affect diamond beauty and lustre.
- The cut grade rates the quality of cut based on perfect proportions that could allow maximum light travel to the top of diamond (table) resulting in greatest sparkle.
- A shallow cut results in light leaking out of the bottom while a too deep cut results in light leaking out of the side. In both cases dark spots appear in diamond causing reduced lustre
Ideal cut: Reflects all light entered the diamond. Highest lustre.
Excellent Cut: Reflects nearly all light entered the diamond. High lustre.
Very Good cut: Reflects nearly all light entered the diamond. High lustre.
Note: it’s very difficult to distinguish between the ideal, excellent and very good cut since they all produce high luster in the diamond. However, the price is different for each cut grade. To meet a certain budget, a very good cut can be a safe alternative.
Good Cut: Reflects the majority of light entered the diamond. Good luster. Cost effective choice
Fair cut: Reflect enough light to the top of the diamond to produce sparkles and bring the diamond to life.
Poor cut: As a result of too deep or too shallow cut, dark spots noticeable in diamond. Diamond with poor cut look dull.
C3 : Colour
Natural diamonds come in a variety of colors such as Red, blue, Pink that are rare and therefore evaluated excessively high, if the colour is not enhanced. However, the colour grade does not relate to various colors of diamond and is, in fact, a measure of diamond degree of whiteness.
- The majority of natural diamonds are colorless and they range from whitest white to varying degree of yellowish tint.
- The color scale is organized in alphabetical order starting from D that is assigned to the highest degree of whiteness and therefore highest value, while S-Z range is indicative of brownish yellow tone.
- The middle range of G-I is descriptive of diamonds that are nearly colourless. While the beauty of white is still apparent, the price is reasonably reduced.
Colour is the second most important characteristic of diamond after cut.
D- E- F: COLOURLESS
G- H- I: NEARLY COLORLESS
J- L : FAINT YELLOW
M- O : LIGHT YELLOW
P- R : YELLOW
S- Z : BROWN
Carat is the unit measurement of diamond weight. The weight of diamond has direct impact on its value. Nonetheless the valuation system is not of a linear one.
The larger the diamond, the higher the value per carat weight
- For Example : A 0.99ct diamond (SI1/G Very Good Cut) may cost $5500/per carat while the same quality diamond that is 1.0ct (0.01ct additional weight) could be worth $7100/ per carat.
- Customers should also be cognisant of the fact that not all diamonds with the same carat weight have the same size and measurements.
- The quality of cut plays an important role in the size of the diamond.
- The larger table size is preferable. It is the distance across the top portion of the diamond in mm.
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