In today’s blog, we’ll look at each of the 4Cs of diamonds in detail to help you choose the best fit of diamonds!
Just like a human fingerprint, every diamond is unique. While most diamonds may externally look similar in terms of size and colour, there are a few parameters that differentiate one diamond from the other. The 4Cs of diamonds that are colour, clarity, carat, and cut play a prominent role in defining their beauty and radiance.
Over the years, the four Cs are have become a globally accepted formula to assess the quality and value of a diamond.
Are you willing to buy a diamond jewel but cannot decide which diamond to choose? We’ve got you!
The 4Cs of Diamond (Cut, Colour, Clarity, Carat)
The cut is undeniably one of the most important aspects of a diamond quality that is not affected by nature. It refers to the quality of symmetrical facets, angles, and proportions in a diamond. Further, a diamond’s sparkle, brilliance, fire, and scintillation depend heavily on the diamond’s cut.
Also, a diamond’s cut determines its appearance and beauty.
The colour of a diamond refers to the slight shade present inside a diamond. Haven’t you heard about fancy coloured diamonds such as red, green, pink, blue, or yellow?
Sometimes, some diamonds gain their colour during the process of refinement. For instance: the ‘lab-treated black diamonds’.
Moreover, the more colourless a diamond is, the higher is its demand as so is its market value.
In simple words, clarity refers to how free a diamond is from internal inclusions and blemishes.
As a diamond is formed deep within the earth in response to extreme heat and pressure, it develops inclusions. These inclusions might be in the form of fractures, slight traces of minerals, or even uncrystallized carbon. Also, inclusions affect the way light refract and reflect on a diamond.
Thus, scrutinizing the clarity of a diamond is necessary while purchasing it.
Carat is the weight of a diamond (not the size of the diamond). In general, a one-carat diamond weighs 200 milligrams or 0.2 grams. Also, some diamonds lower in carats might look bigger due to their shape and cut. Thus, while buying a diamond, greater importance needs to be put on shape, colour, cut, and clarity than the carat.
The 4Cs of diamond in a nutshell.
- Colour : It refers to the natural tint present inside a diamond
- Carat : It is simply the weight/mass of a diamond
- Clarity : It indicates how free a diamond is from inclusions and blemishes
- Cut : It shows the quality of angles, facet proportions, and finishing details in a diamond
Diamond Grading Chart
Let’s have a look at the grading system in detail!
- D, E, F:
Diamonds of colourless grade are considered as purest and rarest of all. They have a high demand in the market and command a good value. Further, they can be paired with almost every metal.
- G, H, I, J: This set of nearly colourless diamonds consists of a slight tint that is often imperceptible by a naked eye.
- K, L, M: This set of faint yellow-coloured diamonds consists of a perceptible yellow tint.
- N, O, P, Q, R: The most inexpensive diamonds of all, this set of very light yellow diamonds has a light yellow or a brown tint inside them. Moreover, they have a very low demand.
- S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z: This set of light yellow coloured diamonds consists of a yellow hue and thus does not fit for a “white diamond”.
- D, E, F:
|FL- Flawless||Extremely rare and valuable among all diamonds. Very few diamonds have the diamond clarity of FL.|
|IF- Internally Flawless||Less than 3% of all diamonds have a clarity of IF.|
|VVS1-VVS2- Very Very Slightly Included(1 and 2)||Slightly included diamonds either on the pavilion or on the crown.|
|VS1-VS2- Very Slightly Included (1 and 2)>||Inclusions are invisible to the naked eye. However, on close inspection, one can see the inclusions.|
|SI1-SI2- Slightly Included||The diamonds with this clarity can reveal inclusions on close inspection.|
|I1, I2, I3- Included (1,2 and 3)||This set includes diamonds that are heavily included and often more prone to breakage.|
The carat (or weight) of the diamond affects its price to a great extent. However, carat is not the only determinant of the price of a diamond. It can be affected due to shape, cut, and colour.
In general, as the carat of the diamond increases, its overall market value increases. This can be shown in the following table.
|Diamond Carats||Price per carat*||Total Price|
*The prices given are hypothetical.
|Excellent||A diamond with excellent cut grade offers maximum brilliance and fire.|
|Very Good Cut||Diamonds with this cut grade offer brilliance and fire somewhat less than the excellent cut grade. Moreover, it is comparatively less expensive than excellent cut diamonds.|
|Good Cut||Diamonds with a good cut grade offer average spark and brilliance.|
|Fair Cut||Fair-cut diamonds usually let the light escape from the sides or bottom thus, offering minimum sparkle.|
|Poor Cut||Poor cut diamonds appear dull and lifeless and offer no sparkle at all.|
As the diamond gets refined, it develops a structure with unique characteristics. These characteristics are often referred to as the anatomy of a diamond.
In general, there are ten main characteristics of a diamond.
They are as follows:
- Table: The single, flat and, uppermost surface of a diamond.
- Crown: The entire portion of the diamond above the girdle.
- Star Facets: It’s the facets next to the table.
- Bezel Facets: They’re kite-shaped facets sitting between the table and the girdle.
- Upper Girdle Facets: They’re the lowest facets on the crown, placed just above the girdle.
- Girdle: It’s the outer edge of the diamond wherein the prongs grip.
- Pavilion: It’s the entire portion of the diamond below the girdle.
- Lower Girdle Facets: They’re the highest facets on a pavilion placed below the girdle.
- Pavilion Facets: They’re the lower facets on the pavilion placed next to the culet.
- Culet: It’s a pointed tip at the end of a pavilion.
Simply put, a diamond shape is the outline of a diamond as it looks from top to bottom. There are many diamond shapes present in the market but, let’s look at some of the most popular diamond shapes used in jewellery.
- Round Shaped Diamonds: One of the most popular diamond shapes, round-shaped diamonds account for more than 75% of diamonds sold in the market. It exhibits maximum radiance.
- Princess Shaped Diamonds: As popular as round diamonds, princess-shaped diamonds are comparatively lower in price. The diamond is characterized by a square outline with a shallow crown atop. It offers maximum brilliance and pairs with almost every metal.
- Oval Shaped Diamonds: Oblong and more brilliant than the classical round diamonds, oval-shaped diamonds offer a classical and elegant look.
- Pear Shaped Diamonds: A beautiful combination of round and marquise diamonds, pear-shaped diamonds possess excellent symmetry and brilliant spark.
- Emerald Shaped Diamonds: Emerald diamonds are rectangular and offer maximum sparkle due to their unique symmetry consisting of numerous steps.
- Heart-Shaped Diamonds: It stands as the symbol of love and passion and exhibits maximum brilliance and spark.
Want to learn more about diamond shapes? Check out our ultimate guide on the same!
Before reaching the end-user, a diamond goes through a long process of evaluation. Once designed, diamonds are sent to reputable diamond certification labs that assess the quality of a diamond and offer a laboratory certificate. This certificate claims the legitimacy of the diamond to the buyer. It is also used for insurance purposes of a diamond.
Also, keep in mind that a diamond certificate does not show a diamond’s market value. It merely assesses its quality and characteristics.
This grading system is widely trusted throughout the world.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Diamond grading by using the 4Cs rule helps to determine the quality and market value of a diamond.