THE 4 C's OF DIAMOND QUALITY
The 4 C's of diamond quality is the universal method used for assessing the standard of a diamond all over the world.
The creation of the 4 C's meant that not only could diamond quality be communicated in a universal language, but diamond customers could know exactly what they were about to purchase.
The diamond colour evaluation is based on the absence of colour. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no colour to it, like water, and would therefore have a higher value.
There is a D to Z diamond colour grading system which measures the degree of colourlessness by comparing a stone under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions.
The colour scale begins with the letter D, representing colourless, and continues with increasing presence of colour up to the letter Z, which represents yellow. For example, our lab-created diamonds come under a GH colour rating, meaning they are near colourless. Many of the colour distinctions are so subtle that they are invisible to the untrained eye.
The clarity of a diamond refers to the absence of inclusions and blemishes. When a diamond is formed, the conditions create a variety of internal characteristics called inclusions and external characteristics called blemishes.
Evaluating diamond clarity involves determining the number, size, nature and position of these characteristics, as well as how they affect the overall appearance of the diamond. While no diamond is perfectly pure, the closer it comes, the higher the value.
The clarity scale measures the visibility of inclusions using a single lens magnifying glass called a loupe. The scale ranks diamonds from loupe clean through to P (Piqué - French for picked). Loupe clean diamonds are flawless or internally flawless, these are very rare and valuable. Diamonds that have very, very slight inclusions are graded VS1-VS2, even with a loupe these inclusions can be difficult to see. Diamonds that are graded S1-S2 feature only slight inclusions and any diamond that has inclusions that are visible to the naked eye are rated P1-P3, although P1 will have fewer inclusions than P3.
The cut of a diamond is crucial to the stones final beauty and value. Out of all of the 4 C's it is the most complex to analyse. Skilled craftsmen transform a rough diamond (uncut) in to a dazzling cut diamond by polishing tiny facets into the rough stone. These facets are the flat surfaces on a diamond. Well cut and proportioned facets on a diamond will make good use of light, allowing it to be dispersed and reflected from one facet to another. This will release the diamond's brilliance.
A diamond can be cut in various ways. Symmetry, proportion and how polished a diamond is will all determine the quality of the cut. These can vary from diamond to diamond so the shape and quality are taken into consideration.
Diamond carat weight is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs. A metric 'carat' weight is defined as 200 milligrams.
Each carat can be subdivided into 100 points allowing very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place.
Diamond price tends to increase with diamond carat weight because larger diamonds are more desirable and rare, but two diamonds of equal carats can have very different values depending on the other three C's, colour, clarity and cut. It is important to remember that the value of a diamond is determined using all 4 C's.