4 C’s (Cut, Colour, Clarity, Carat weight)
Diamonds, the most exquisite gem in the world. Defined by its blinding beauty, rarity and value diamonds are a unique culmination of time, which defy their nature to become something incredibly exquisite. Whilst all diamonds are beautiful each is unbelievably unique, determining their value dependent upon certain characteristics. Diamonds all share four common characteristics which allow us to judge them for their value, the four C’s; Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat weight. At Levendi, our diamonds are only of the highest quality in the world. We want to help you, choose the perfect diamond and this guide to the four C’s will help you understand what to look for when selecting a diamond.
Diamonds, so exquisite and incredibly unique, each one like a star in the night sky, beautiful without a fault but each bearing certain characteristics setting them apart. Cut, colour, clarity and carat weight, known as the 4Cs, used as the worldwide metric for measuring the quality of diamonds.
At Levendi jewellers, we pride ourselves on maintaining the highest quality of diamonds in Australia, with the ability to acquire any type of diamond you desire, our diamonds meet a standard of perfection consistently, no matter the size.
1. Diamond Cut
Image source: 4cs.gia.edu
Cut is the most important standard in measuring the quality of a diamond. Depending on the cut the light which is refracted through the diamond’s facets can be altered in quality heavily. The cut will determine that sparkling shine which if correctly done can make even lower clarity diamonds look incredible. The scale used for cut is outlined by GIA, ideal, excellent, very good, good, fair and poor. For a diamond to be ideal or excellent it must bear the perfect proportions, maximising its brilliance and fire. The best diamond is one that is optimised to bend and refract light to its maximum ability creating a powerful sparkle and shine.
Not to be confused with the shape of diamond, the cut refers to how a diamond was crafted from its raw state, specifically the depth. An ideal diamond is neither to shallow nor deep maintaining an equilibrium between the two.
The three characteristics of a finely cut diamond
- Brilliance: White light reflected by a diamond
- Fire: How white light is scattered into the colours of a rainbow
- Scintillation: How the sparkle which is produced contrasts with the light and dark areas
2. Diamond Colour
Color is widely regarded as the second most important aspect of a diamond. It heavily effects a diamonds quality and beauty to the naked eye. Colourless is the measured aspect when referring to white diamonds. Fancy diamonds such as pink, green and blue have a different colour scale, this guide will be referring to the traditional white diamonds. The most common grading system used to measure a diamonds quality is the GIA D to Z colour chart. D the most desired and closest to perfect whilst Z bearing a yellow tint or browning. No gem sized perfect diamonds exist in being 100% transparent, however a D grade diamond is considered exceptionally white with its faults being invisible to the naked eye. Nevertheless, inspecting the diamond with the naked eye is the most effective method in determining how the much of the colour is visible. Doing so prevents unnecessary spending for a colour grade that might be invisible to the naked eye.
3. Diamond Clarity
Image source: 4cs.gia.edu
The clarity of a diamond refers to the internal appearance and characteristics which exist within a diamond. The inclusions, blemishes and surface defects can all heavily alter the quality and value of a diamond. Depending on the size, shape and position of these characteristic some diamonds may have flaws undetectable to the naked eye, this is called “eye clean”. Nevertheless, Clarity’s importance compared to other aspects, is dependent on the type of diamond you desire, the larger the carat size or the type of shape such an emerald cut requires a higher grade as imperfections become much more noticeable. The VS or VVS clarity grading is the most commonly selected when purchasing a diamond as the inclusions cannot be seen without a 10 x magnification. IF and FL diamonds are incredibly rare and have almost 0 inclusions. Inclusions are also beneficial in determining if a diamond has been grown synthetically or naturally, a trained professional can inspect an inclusion and dependent on the type could indicate if a diamond has been grown in a lab.
GIA Grading Scale
- FL (Flawless)
- IF (Internally Flawless)
- VVS1 (Very, Very Slightly Included 1)
- VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included 2)
- VS1 (Very Slightly Included 1)
- VS2 (Very Slightly Included 2)
- SI1 (Slightly Included 1)
- SI2 (Slightly Included 2)
- I1 (Inclusions 1)
- I2 (Inclusions 2)
4. Diamond Carat Weight
The carat of a diamond refers to the weight in milligrams and not the size. 200 MG is considered 1 carat and is the most common form of measurement for gemstones and pearls. When determining the carat a few factors should be considered, price, ring size and effect on quality. Whilst a larger carat might carry more status many diamonds begin to garner more imperfections and problems with their cut. A diamonds brilliance and beauty should never be sacrificed for a larger carat as the appearance is the most important factor, with a dull 1 carat diamond looking less stunning than a perfect 0.5 carat diamond. When picking a diamond the choice of carat size should be flexible and malleable in order to choose the perfect diamond for you or your loved one, making sure to never sacrifice a diamonds beauty for size.