Learning about diamonds can seem technical, but if you can remember these 4 Characteristics of diamonds you will have all the knowledge you need to purchase a beautiful diamond. Diamonds are graded using 4 Characteristics commonly referred to as the 4 C’s. They are Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat. If you want to learn more please read the following information or if you have any questions you can visit our store or fill out the contact form on this page. Then a knowledgeable member of our staff will answer any questions that you might have.
A diamond’s cut is arguably the most important diamond characteristic. Even a diamond with perfect color and clarity that has a poor cut will have diminished brilliance. Cut is not only the shape of the diamond, but refers to the diamond’s proportion, polish and symmetry. If a diamond is cut too deep or shallow it can allow light to escape for the sides or bottom of the diamond. If the diamond is not polished properly it can keep light from entering the diamond and a lack of symmetry can diminish the overall brilliance of the diamond.
The anatomy of a diamond:
Diameter– the width of the diamond
Table– the flat top and largest facet of the diamond
Crown– the top part of the diamond above the girdle
Pavilion– the bottom part of the diamond below the girdle
Culet– the facet at the bottom tip of the diamond
Depth– the measurement from the table to the culet
Color refers to the diamond’s body color. The less color in a diamond the more valuable it is. (Except for fancy-color diamonds such as pinks and blues.) A Diamond’s Color is graded on a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) Color Scale from D-Z. The closer you are to D the less color the diamond has. Colorless diamonds (D, E and F) are very rare and are more valuable than the Near-Colorless diamonds (G, H, I and J), likewise, Faint Yellow diamonds (K, L and M) have a more visible tint of color.
Look at this chart and see how the Diamond’s Color is effected as it moves down the scale.
A diamond’s clarity refers to its internal beauty. Clarity is how free a diamond is from natural characteristics or “birthmarks” inside the diamond. A diamond with high clarity would be free from any characteristics that can be seen even at 10 times the ability of our natural eye.
Flawless– free of internal characteristic as well as external blemishes at 10x magnification.
Internally Flawless– free of internal characteristics with small external details tolerated.
VVS1-VVS2– very very slightly included with inclusions and/or external blemishes very difficult to locate under 10x magnification.
VS1-VS2-very slightly included with inclusions and external blemishes difficult to locate under 10x magnification.
SI1-SI2– slightly included with inclusions and external blemishes easy to locate under 10x magnification.
I1-I3– medium or large inclusion which are visible with the unaided eye
A diamond’s Carat refers to it’s weight. Carat doesn’t refer to a diamonds size and should also not be confused with Karat (Purity of Gold.) A Carat equals 0.2 grams. Just like a 100 pennies equal 1 dollar, 100 point equal 1 carat. For example a 75 point diamond weighs 0.75 carats. The more the diamond weighs the more valuable the diamond is. Even though carat effects the price of the diamond less than the other 4 C’s, it is still one of the more sought after traits in diamond buying. The old saying, bigger is better however is not always true.