Diamonds have awed humankind with their sparkle for ages, however every diamond holds multiple facets to its story.
Early investors seek assistance from experts to examine and establish if a diamond is worthy, or by how much.
In 1953 the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) developed a system which is still the internationally recognised standard namely the 4 C`s. It evaluates the typical features for a diamond to define its class, and consequently its value.
Attaining the nearest flawless equivalence between these 4 C`s, will make sure you`re balancing both its splendour and investment when purchasing a diamond.
Breaking Down the 4 C`s of Diamonds
Professionals will estimate diamonds by the 4 C`s scale, reaching a conclusion about its overall quality.
The 4 C`s work with each other within the diamond, and command how the diamond looks, its excellence, superiority or otherwise.
A simple example of this is the diamond`s capability to reflect light back in your eyes, which comes primarily from its Cut, but Colour and Clarity also play a crucial part.
Diamond sellers often set their prices based on grading reports.
Without the 4 C`s, there will be a higher risk of deceitful vendors trying to charge more than the actual diamond`s worth.
The 4 C`s:
- Cut – Quality of the angles, proportions, facets and finishing details
- Colour – How colourless the diamond is
- Clarity – How clean the diamond is of inclusions and blemishes
- Carat – The weight of the diamond
Having a basic knowledge of the 4 C`s will enable an interested buyer to approach the glittering world of diamonds with more confidence, but what remains most significant is how the diamond appears to the naked eye and its holistic allure.
It is considered as the most essential characteristic of a diamond quality as it impacts its splendour. The latter emanates from the light hitting the numerous facets of a diamond, by the way it was Cut, its angles and finishing details, giving it its aesthetic charm.
The GIA diamond Cut chart grades on the scale of:
- Very Good
As expected the Ideal and Excellent grading denote diamonds which hold proportions and angles cut for maximum brilliance and fire.
Nevertheless, even if two diamonds are given the same grade on the diamond Cut chart, cuts vary considerably among diamonds and diamond cutters.
A cutter could aim for the Carat weight, leaving the diamond too deep or too shallow for peak light replication.
Other times, a diamond could be cut to minimise the number of insertions, enhancing its Clarity, but forgoing maximum sparkle.
Cut however remains the biggest indicator of beauty, and should be prioritised over the other C`s, as even an immaculate 2 Carat diamond with no imperfections can be dismal if not cut well.
Excellent grading doesn`t necessarily mean exceptional diamond cut, as almost 55% of all diamonds sold online are marked as Excellent cuts, but some are beautiful while others are unexceptional.
It is therefore imperative to review a diamond`s Cut carefully or seek the eye of an expert, since it determines the diamond`s essential magnificence.
A diamond Colour is classified by how white or colourless it is. The GIA grades diamonds from D to Z, with D being the most colourless, while Z shows noticeable brown or yellow stains.
The diamond chart will give a specimen of how the different grades appear, however one has to scrutinise the diamond well as the Colour could vary depending on Cut, Carat weight and shape.
As aforementioned, the brilliance and sparkle of a diamond is determined by the Cut. A client would want to examine a diamond closely to check if there are any faults or stains which could affect not only its sparkle but also its price.
Again, an eye of an expert is highly recommended as it isn`t that straight forward or easy to determine a diamond`s colour or the lack of.
By evaluating how clean a diamond is from any taints, it is classified as per GIA`s Clarity grading scale:
- FL (Flawless)
- IF (Internally Flawless)
- VVS1 (Very, Very Slightly Included 1)
- VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included 2)
- VS1 (Very Slightly Included 1)
- VS2 (Very Slightly Included 2)
- SI1 (Slightly Included 1)
- SI2 (Slightly Included 2)
- I1 (Inclusions 1)
- I2 (Inclusions 2)
We reiterate that one mustn`t stick to the Clarity Chart only, but reviews each diamond to check for imperfections. Even professionals will want to use their loyal loupe to establish a correct examination of the diamond`s Clarity.
Depending on the size, location and darkness of the discolorations and other minute flaws, these imperfections will interfere with light as it passes through the diamond, thus reducing its brilliance and beauty.
The easiest recommendation is to check if the diamond is eye clean, that is you can see its sparkle and therefore there shouldn`t be much flaws, however seek confirmation from an expert.
Most people think that Carat refers to the size of a diamond, but in reality it indicates its weight. A 1 Carat diamond equals to 200mg/0.2g, and as much as a quarter of a raisin in weight.
Depending on the diamond shape and how it is Cut, two 1 Carat diamonds can still be different in size.
The overall appearance and brilliance of a diamond should remain a priority when acquiring, though Carat weight is an element to consider.
An Excellent Cut though will provide that sought after shine no matter how much the diamond weighs.
The 4 C`s then interact within the diamond and form it as a precious whole. It all depends on what the investor is after, brilliance, heft, flawlessness or altogether which will inevitably raise the price tag.
Bottom line, the Cut is the most important of the 4 C`s as it impacts the diamond`s beauty, however all 4 C`s affect a diamond in its entirety, and ultimately serve as a guide for both the expert merchants and patrons to invest wisely.
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