The 4 C’s of buying diamonds
When you decide to buy a diamond engagement ring you ll often hear about the 4 C’s of diamonds but what are these 4 C’s?
The 4 C’s are carat weight, cut, clarity and colour and together they provide a great way to evaluate the quality and worth of any diamond you decide to view.
The weight of a diamond is referred to as it’s carat weight. Carat weight is always measured in metric carats and one carat equals 0.200g or one-fifth of a gram.
The ‘cut’ of a diamond refers to its cutting style/facet pattern and the basic shape of the stone. The round brilliant cut style is by far the most common and describes a diamond where the stone is cut into a round shape with kite shaped facets that radiate out from the centre of the diamond. Diamonds which are not cut into round brilliant are referred to as ‘fancy cuts’.
When grading a diamond cut refers to the quality of the cut itself looking at the diamonds proportions, outline symmetry, facet placement and surface polishing. For diamonds falling in the normal colour range cut is grading on a sliding scale from excellent to poor.
Well cut diamonds reflect the light up through the centre of your stone which will give it a beautiful sparkle.
Clarity in a diamond is the absence of inclusions and blemishes which are referred to as clarity characteristics.
Blemishes refer to any surface flaws on the stone while inclusions are internal imperfections in the stone.
Clarity is graded on a scale from flawless to included. For a stone to qualify for a flawless grade it needs to have no inclusions or blemishes not just under an eye examination but also under 10x magnification exam. Very very few natural stones can achieve a flawless grade as natural processes of geological formation normally leave small blemishes on natural diamonds which are completely unique to that stone like a ‘fingerprint’ identifying a person.
This refers to the body colour or basic colour in a diamond. Body colour varies in hue, tone and also saturation.
Most engagement ring diamonds range in colour from colourless to light yellow and brown.
Colours are graded on a scale from ‘d’ which is colourless to ‘z’ which is light yellow brown or gray. This d to z range is also referred to as the normal colour range.
When a diamond falls outside the normal colour range it is referred to as a coloured diamond. These coloured diamonds come in colours such as pink, green and blue as well as deeper shades of yellow, brown and gray.