4 Cs of Diamonds

Increase your understanding of diamonds with the 4Cs associated with these precious stones, namely:
  • Carat
  • Cut
  • Clarity
  • Color

Carat

Out of the 4Cs, this is the easiest one to understand. It is the measurement of the weight of diamonds. Each Carat contains 100 subdivisions each, the points. One point is equivalent to 1/100 Carat or .01 Carat. While, the tendency is to express these points in decimals only, sometimes, fractional representations are also popular as these are quite easy to understand. Weight fractions related to diamond are approximate only referring to the weight ranges. As the carat weight increases so do the prices of the diamonds, as large stones are quite rare in nature and thus more desirable. Still, even if the carat weight remains the same the values of two diamonds may vary greatly based on the Cut, Clarity and Color.

Cut

Cut may refer to 2 different features of a diamond, namely its shape and its quality. The quality of the diamond depends upon polish, symmetry, and proportions. Round Brilliant Cut is one of the most popular diamond cuts. Others being Marquise, Princess, Pear, Asscher, Emerald, Radiant, Oval, Heart, and Cushion, these being fancy shapes. As far as the beauty of the diamond goes, its cut has an important role to play. It determines its brilliance, the amount of light reflected, scintillated, or dispersed. No single grade determines the cut as it happens with clarity or color.

Clarity

Clarity refers to the measurement of tiny imperfections present in all diamonds available in nature. Flawless diamonds being the rarest of all are the most expensive. Also known as inclusions, these are simply reminders of the crystallization period of these precious stones when still present within the bowels of the earth. However, the stones may also sustain these through stresses of processing and mining. These can be as white tiny spots or in the form of dark dots, scratches, or cracks. Evaluation of clarity occurs under 10-power magnification.

GIA Grading Scale divides Clarity in 5 main categories:

  • Flawless (FL): No faults or internal characters are present upon observation through 10X loupe. Only 2% diamonds are of FL Grade.
  • Internally Flawless (IF): Contains minor faults due to finishing and removable through gentle polishing with insignificant weight loss.
  • Very, Very Slightly Inclusions (VVS): Hard to find internal inclusions are generally finish faults.
  • Very Slightly Inclusions (VS): It may contain several extremely small or somewhat large inclusions.
  • Slightly Inclusions (SI): Here the internal characters are quite visible through qualified observation.

Color

Color is a matter of personal preference. Most people, however, traditionally prefer the colorless varieties, yet today’s trends have changed a little and people have started using colored diamonds too like brown, pink and yellow. Diamonds appear colored due to the presence of crystals within and tiny traces of nitrogen or other elements giving rise to various shades. Distortion of crystal structure through pressure during diamond formation may also give rise to different colors. GIA has a scale containing 12 letters D-Z. The diamonds with a D grade will be colorless and Z signifies deeper tones.