Why are the 4C's - cut, color, carat, and clarity -
important to you?
The 4C's are used throughout the world to classify the
rarity of diamonds. Diamonds with the combination of the
highest 4C ratings are more rare and consequently, more
Light is the element that ignites a diamond's brilliance
and fire. Its interplay with each of the 4C's will help
explain why one diamond can appear even more beautiful
than another. The good news is that you don't need to
buy the rarest diamond to find one whose beauty speaks
|Refers to the degree to
which a diamond is colorless.
|Diamonds range in color from icy whites to warm
summer whites. Diamonds are graded on a color scale established by
the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which ranges from D
(colorless) to Z.
Color differences are very subtle and it is very difficult
to see the difference between, say, an E and a F. Therefore the
colors are graded under controlled lighting conditions and are
compared to a master set for accuracy. Truly colorless stones,
graded D, treasured for their rarity are highest on the Diamond
Diamonds are graded in the
following manner :
- D E F :
- Colorless Diamonds. The highest color grade and high
quality diamonds, which is extremely rare. An expert gemologist
can only detect minute traces of color.
- G-H-I-J :
- Near colorless. Color noticeable when compared to
diamonds of better grades, but these grades offer excellent
- K-L-M :
- Faint yellow colored diamonds.
- N-O-P-Q-R :
- Very light yellow colored diamonds.
- Light yellow or yellow colored diamonds.
What color grade is best?
- For the purist, look for a colorless diamond with a grade
of D-F and a fluorescence rating of faint, inert, none,
- For an excellent value in a diamond with no noticeable
color to the unaided eye, look for a near-colorless grade of
G-I , and a fluorescence grade of medium or strong blue.
- Or, if you'd rather not compromise on color but would
like to stay on budget, choose a diamond with a good cut,
SI1–SI2 clarity, and consider going with a strong fluorescence.
It will still be beautiful to the unaided eye and you may prefer
the unique effect of a strong fluorescence.
|Refers to the weight of a
|The term carat is derived from the word
carob. Carob seeds are surprisingly similar in weight
to one another; therefore they were used in ancient civilization
as a tool to measure the weight of the diamond. One carob equaled
1-carat weight. Carat is often confused with size even though it
is actually a measure of weight. One carat is equivalent to 200
milligrams. It can also be divided into 100 “points”. A 0.75-carat
weight diamond is the same as a 75-points or ¾ carat diamond.
|A 1-carat diamond will cost much more than
twice as much as the cost of a ½ carat diamond, assuming cut,
clarity and color remain constant. Cut and mounting can make a
diamond appear larger (or smaller) than its actual weight.
|Refers to the presence
of inclusion in a diamond.
|When light enters a diamond it is reflected in
and refracted out. If there is anything disrupting the flow of
light in a diamond such as an inclusion, a proportion of light
will be lost. As a result, brilliance could be diminished. The
number of inclusions can determine the degree of brilliance lost.
Inclusions are sometimes referred to as “nature's
fingerprints”, and are not visible to a naked eye unless
magnified. Inclusions are ranked on a scale of perfection, known
as clarity, which was established by GIA. The clarity scale from F
(Flawless) to included (I), is based on the visibility on
inclusions are a magnification of 10x.
The position of inclusion affects the value of a diamond.
There are very few flawless diamonds found in nature, thus these
diamonds are much more valuable.
What is the difference
between VVSI1 and VVSI2 or SI1 and SI2?
|The number represents levels within each grade.
The 1s will be cleaner (have fewer or smaller inclusions) than the
2s. This allows for more specific grading categories.
The position of diamond may affect the value of the diamond.
One many not notice a significant difference between VS1 and VS2.
However one should consider – number, size, brightness, nature and
position of inclusion.
Sometimes inclusions can be hidden by a mounting, thus
having little effect on the beauty of a diamond. An inclusion in
the middle or top of a diamond could impact the dispersion of
light, sometimes making the diamond less brilliant.
|The greater a diamond's clarity, the more
brilliant, valuable and rare it is – and the higher it is on the
Diamond Grading Pyramid.