Back

4Cs

Whether buying or selling, your diamond will be assessed and rated for overall quality and value according to industry standards for Cut, Clarity grade, Color rating and Carat weight (known as the 4 C’s).

1

Diamond Cut

The Diamond Cut refers to the facets, symmetry, polish and reflective qualities of a diamond. The cut of a diamond is directly related to its overall sparkle, beauty, fire and brilliance. The better a diamond has been cut, the greater its ability to reflect and refract light, maximizing the effects of light moving through the stone. A well-cut diamond is proportional so that the most light entering the gem exits back through the top of the stone, perfectly balancing the white light (brilliance) with the intense flashes of colorful fire (dispersion). The cut is the foremost determining factor for the overall beauty of a diamond.

2

Diamond Color

Diamond Color refers to the natural color or lack of color visible within a diamond, based on the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grade scale that ranges from D-Z, with D being the highest classification of color. The closer a diamond is to “colorless,” the higher it is in value. The value of a diamond decreases as the color approaches Z. However, if a diamond is more yellow than Z, it will be graded on the “fancy scale.” Because natural diamonds come from the earth, many contain trace elements and impurities giving a yellow, brown, or gray hue. The diamond color scale rates diamonds on factors such as hue, tone, and saturation.

The GIA is a nonprofit organization that focuses on research and education with stringent processes for grading diamonds and gemstones.

diamond color chart2

Diamond hue includes the stone’s actual color, such as white, yellow, pink, brown or blue). A gem’s tone is the degree of color, from light to dark. Saturation is the color’s depth and intensity. Colorless diamonds do not have saturation, rather they have fire and brilliance.

Diamonds are also measured for their fluorescence, which is the visible light that a diamond emits when exposed to ultraviolet light. Fluorescence is present in most diamonds and is measured on a scale from “none” to “very strong.” This rating can significantly affect the value of the diamond.

3

Diamond Clarity

Diamond Clarity is a very important variable when determining the value of a diamond. Clarity refers to how “clean” a diamond is both internally and externally. It is determined by the visibility of natural microscopic inclusions and imperfections within a diamond. The lower the number of flaws in a diamond’s aesthetic appearance, the higher the clarity grade. While clarity has a significant effect on the diamond’s value, most defects are invisible to the naked eye.

A Graduate Gemologist will determine the clarity of a diamond by inspecting the stone with a magnification device, called a loupe, which enlarges the image of the stone tenfold. He or she will then rate the diamond accordingly: FL/IF (Flawless/Internally Flawless to l1/l2, meaning included 1/included 2.

If your diamond has gemological certification, the “inside inclusions” are drawn in red, and the “external inclusions” are drawn in green. Two diamonds of the same carat weight, color, cut and clarity can be priced differently based on the nature and location of the inclusions.

4

Diamond Carat

Diamond Carat is the unit of measurement used to describe the weight of a diamond, and often, the most visually apparent factor when comparing diamonds.
Carat (ct.) refers to the unique unit of weight measurement used specifically to weigh diamonds and gemstones. Oftentimes people associate the visualized size of the stone with carat weight; however, carat weight cannot be seen with the naked eye, as it is a unit of measurement. Density of a diamond refers to the “compactness” of its contents and attributes to the weight of the stone.

While Carat is a unit of measurement for diamonds and colored gemstones, Karat, on the other hand, is used as a unit of measurement for determining the purity of gold.

Skip to content