Whenever you go shopping for diamonds, you’ll always come across the 4Cs. It’s essential to know about the 4Cs of diamonds before you set foot in a jeweler’s shop. Yet, what exactly are these diamond 4Cs, and why are they important? Read on; we’ll discuss everything you need to know.
What Are the Diamond 4Cs?
Like us, every diamond that comes out of the mine or laboratory is unique. Many of them may look the same, but you’ll see how each diamond is different when using a gemology microscope.
Thanks to some specifications, each diamond is distinctive, which are the 4Cs. Diamond 4Cs refer to the four essential aspects, which are incorporated into the diamond grading system. The aspects are the diamond’s cut, colour, clarity, and carat weight.
Who Grades Diamonds?
The Gemological Institute of America, or GIA, is the organization of diamond experts that check a diamond’s quality. It’s also the organization that created the 4Cs system as a universal method to check the quality of any diamond. After the GIA checks a diamond, it records the 4Cs of the diamond on a certificate.
Because they’ve gone through this grading system, GIA-certified diamonds are more valuable than non-certified diamonds. They’re also more desirable and costlier than non-certified diamonds. When they get jewelry with GIA diamonds, buyers know their gemstones are authentic and high-quality.
How Does the Diamond Grading Scale Work?
The GIA uses four grading scales to define the value of a diamond. These scales and charts assess a diamond’s cut, colour, clarity, and carat weight. Below, we’ll discuss these 4Cs and each one’s grading system.
The most important of the 4Cs is the diamond’s cut. The cut doesn’t just refer to the diamond’s exact cut or polish. It is one of the most important indications of a gemstone’s quality. The ideal diamond cut grade allows light to create an extraordinary brilliance in the gem.
Also, the cut doesn’t only refer to the diamond shape. Other factors of the diamond cut include:
- Symmetrical facets
- Finishing details
Also, notice that most diamonds have specific proportions. These proportions are well-calculated and angled to reflect the most light to the viewer for maximum sparkle or brilliance. If a diamond’s cut is too shallow or deep, it can’t reflect light properly.
The GIA cut scale includes the following grades:
- Very good
Diamonds with Ideal and Excellent grades have proportions and angles that emit maximum fire and brilliance. Remember that diamond shape plays a significant role in determining the cut grade of a diamond.
Diamonds’ colour variations span from colourless to light yellows and browns. The grading system for a diamond’s colour ranges from D (the highest) to Z (the lowest). The most desirable and expensive diamonds are colourless or near-colourless. If you’re after colourless diamonds, find ones with a D to F-grade.
A diamond expert checks a stone’s colour by comparing it to already colour-graded diamonds. They also need to place the two gemstones under specific lighting and look at them from precise angles.
D-grade diamonds are colourless gemstones, while Z-grade diamonds have light yellow or brown hues. Typically, you can’t see the differences of diamonds with grades close to each other with only the naked eye.
Some naturally coloured diamonds are rarer, like blue, pink, green, red, black, and grey. Because they are rarer than colourless or yellowish diamonds, they’re more expensive.
These diamonds have naturally occurring fancy colours because other elements were present in their creation. For example, boron is present in naturally blue diamonds. Geologic pressure creates red, pink, and some brown diamonds.
Every stone comes with some level of imperfection, often in the form of blemishes, inclusions, or scratches. Usually, these imperfections are microscopic. You can also find diamonds graded as flawless (no blemishes or inclusions) or internally flawless (visible blemishes but no inclusions).
The diamond clarity chart grades are as follows:
- FL or Flawless
- IF or Internally Flawless
- VVS1 or Very, Very Slightly Included 1
- VVS2 or Very, Very Slightly Included 2
- VS1 or Very Slightly Included 1
- VS2 or Very Slightly Included 2
- SI1 or Slightly Included 1
- SI2 or Slightly Included 2
- I1 or Inclusions 1
- I2 or Inclusions 2
Slight differences in inclusions can make a difference in diamond quality. They can also put a diamond in SI1 or SI2.
The most desirable diamond clarity is “eye-clean.” It is the term used for diamonds that have microscopic imperfections and inclusions. A diamond with inclusions invisible to the naked eye is more affordable than flawless diamonds.
Remember, each diamond is unique; thus, the GIA checks every individual diamond carefully before giving it a clarity grade.
Diamond carat weight refers to the gemstone’s weight. Every gram is equal to five carats. Heavier diamonds cost more because they’re rarer.
The GIA grades a diamond’s carat weight with a point system. Every one carat is equal to 100 points. It means a diamond with 50 points is a half-carat diamond. A diamond with 200 points is a 2-carat diamond. This system allows jewelers to grade diamonds in precise measurements.
Jewelers can also weigh stones together, like a ring with three conflict-free diamonds.
Also, remember this when you’re buying a diamond or diamond jewelry: a larger carat weight doesn’t equate to larger diamond size.
Smaller diamonds can be heavier; meanwhile, larger diamonds can be less dense or lighter.
Know the 4Cs of Diamonds to Find the Best Diamonds
Without knowing the 4C’s of diamond jewelry, you could get scammed by illegitimate vendors. If you’re selling diamond jewelry, you might undercharge for an expensive diamond. That’s why you should know the 4Cs.
Are you ready to get a diamond engagement ring pair for you and your partner? Now that you know the 4Cs of diamonds and GIA, you can make a smart purchase.
Are you looking for a place where you can get the best diamonds? A diamond retailer like Luxury Diamonds is the best place to find what you want and need. Visit our Vancouver store now, or contact us online.