The Four C’s
The four C’s are cut, clarity, color, and carat
weight. These four criteria are used in
classifying diamond quality and the price of a diamond. For years, The Diamond and Jewelry Gallery has
imported diamonds direct from Israel and other major diamond sources to bring
you the most exceptional quality stones at affordable, below market
Carat is the measure of a weight of a diamond. It should not be confused with karat, as in
14 karat gold, which measures the purity of gold. One Carat is equal to 0.2 grams. Just as a dollar is divided into 100 pennies,
a carat is divided into 100 points. A diamond weighing 0.5 carats can be
expressed as either a “half carat” or “fifty points.” Two half carat diamonds of equal cut,
clarity, and color will not hold the same value as a single one carat diamond
of same cut, clarity, and color because larger diamonds are much rarer.
In general, diamond color is graded on a scale from D to
Z with D being the highest grade which represents a colorless diamond.
The value of a diamond increases with the colorlessness
of the diamond. The less color, the more
the value. However, there are exceptions
to the rule. There are fancy colored
stones such as fancy yellow, blue, pink, and orange which are some of the
priciest diamonds in the world.
The cut refers to a diamond's proportions, symmetry, and polish. The cut is what determines a diamond's brilliance and fire. Brilliance is the total light reflected from the diamond. Fire is the dispersion of light into the colors of the spectrum. The better a diamond is cut, the more the brilliance and fire, and the more its value. Cut should not be confused with the shape of a diamond. The shapes of diamonds include pear, heart, round, oval, marquis, and so forth. A diamond that is cut poorly will not reflect light well. A diamond that is cut too shallow will lose light through the bottom and will appear dull. A diamond that is cut too deep will lose light through the diamond's sides and will appear too dark. An Ideal Cut is the best cut and will reflect almost all of the light which enters the diamond.
A diamond cut too deep that loses light through the diamond's sided and will appear dark.
A diamond with a shallow cut will lose light through the bottom and will appear dull.
An ideal cut is the preferred cut which reflects back almost all light.
Clarity refers to a diamond's absence or presence of flaws. Diamonds either have internal imperfections known as inclusions or external imperfections known as blemishes. Clarity grades are based on what can be detected with ten power magnification. Clarity grades range from F which is a flawless diamond to I3 which stands for Included 3.
Flawless diamonds show essentially no inclusions or blemishes of any kind when examined under 10X magnification by a skilled grader. A diamond can have these characteristics and still qualify as Flawless:
Internally Flawless (IF) diamonds show only blemishes, no inclusions, when examined under a 10X magnification. Normally, the blemishes on an IF diamond can be removed by very minor repolishing
- Extra facets on the pavilion, not visible in the face-up view
- Internal graining that's not reflective, white, or colored, and that doesn't significantly affect transparency
- Laser inscriptions confined to the girdle and not visible face-up
Very Very Slightly Included
VVS diamonds contain very small inclusions that are difficult to see under 10X magnification. These inclusions are so small that VVS stones are sometimes unintentionally graded as Flawless or Internally Flawless because the grader didn't see the inclusion.
VVS1 diamonds have inclusions that are extremely difficult to see in the face-up position, or they might be visible only
through the pavilion.
VVS2 diamonds have inclusions that are very difficult
to see in the face-up position, or they might be visible only through
Very Slightly Included
VS1 diamonds contain minor inclusions that are difficult for a trained grader to see under 10X magnification.
VS2 diamonds contain minor inclusions that are somewhat easy for a trained grader to see under 10X magnification.
Inclusions include crystals, feathers, distinct clouds, and groups of pinpoints. The inclusions do not affect the diamond's beauty. In some cases, a VS stone might actually contain an eye-visible inclusion.
SI1 diamonds contain noticeable inclusions that are easy for a trained grader to see under 10X magnification.
SI2 diamonds contain noticeable inclusions that are very easy for a trained grader to see under 10X magnification.
Inclusions include crystals, clouds, and feathers. The inclusions are usually located in the center of the diamond.
Diamonds that fall into the I range contain inclusions that are obvious to a trained grader under 10X magnification.
I1 diamonds have inclusions that are quite visible to the unaided eye.
I2 diamonds have inclusions that are easily visible.
I3 diamonds have inclusions that are extremely easy to see and might affect the stone's durability. These diamonds usually lack transparency.