Every diamond is unique, and because every diamond has its own personality the jewelry industry created specific diamond parameters from which to grade each and every diamond. This grading is known as the 4 C’s which consists of Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat.
For all those guys out there searching for the perfect diamond for their amazing woman, a little diamond knowledge will go a long way. The 4 C’s of a diamond is the most important information you should know a little about prior to diamond shopping.
Sparkle seems to be on everyone’s minds, which may be why cut is considered one of the more important aspects of a diamond. Cut is so important because without a good cut a diamond doesn’t reach its potential in the sparkle department.
Cut is more than shape, cut has more to do with the proportions of the diamond because the better that a diamond is cut the more return of light there will be. Essentially shape refers to the many shapes that a diamond is cut into, some of which are round, princess, and emerald.
To obtain that optimal sparkle, diamond cutters came up with a mathematical equation to cut a diamond so it reaches its maximum reflective qualities, also known as an ideal cut. A standard ideal cut has 58 facets, and those facets act as mirrors and allow light to reflect from one facet to another then back out the top.
The grade of cut ranges from an ideal cut; being the best, to a fair/poor cut. In a poor cut diamond light enters through the top and leaks out from the sides and bottom, so you don’t get that sparkle coming back to your eye.
There is a diamond that is cut with more than 58 facets, and that is a star 129 diamond, available here at Wheat Jewelers. A Star 129 diamond is cut to ideal proportions for its number of facets, and it gives off the most sparkle.
For the best cut at a reasonable cost start with a good cut grade, which reflects a good portion of the light, so you still get a great deal of sparkle.
Color is basically what color the diamond appears to be. This is graded by letters ranging from D to Z, D being the highest color. The absence of color, or the whiter a diamond is the more light is able to pass through the diamond and reveal more sparkle, thus the whiter a diamond, the greater its value. For the best price with optimal color we recommend sticking in the G-H or the near colorless range of color, because a diamond in this range will face up white and reflect a lot of brilliance.
Clarity refers to how clear a diamond is, and that can affect how effectively light passes through the diamond. Clarity is graded by looking under 10X magnification. The clarity is graded from FL to I1. FL is clear of inclusions and I1 has inclusions visible to the naked eye. The inclusions in a diamond are internal characteristics in the diamond, which most likely became trapped in the diamond when it was being formed. But a diamond doesn’t have to be flawless to be beautiful. Depending on size, in the SI, or slight inclusion grade of clarity, inclusions aren’t visible to the naked eye so you will get a clear looking diamond at a reasonable price. Keep in mind the larger the diamond the more surface, so it may be easier to see the inclusions.
Carat Weight often refers to the size of the diamond, as well as the physical weight of the diamond, and is often the greatest determiner of price. The term Carat comes from carob seeds. Carob seeds have a uniform size and weight so they were used in ancient times to balance a scale when weighing precious gemstones. Essentially the higher number of seeds indicated a heavier and more valuable stone, similar to the Carat size of diamonds, the more carats the more valuable the stone.
Carat Weight is measured similarly to pennies on a dollar; 1 Carat is divided into 100 points so a diamond weighing 88 points is .88 Carats. The price rises with Carat Weight because the larger a diamond is the rarer it is. In the end Carat Weight all comes down to preference and budget.
I hope this incite on the 4 C’s of a diamond will help you in your search for the one. If you want to know a little bit more about diamonds or want to see a diamond up close and personal go to our website www.wheatjewelers.com, and there you will find we have access to numerous diamonds and vast amounts of education on everything engagement.