gia and 4C's
Diamond Characteristics – The 4C’s
The 4 Cs of diamond-grading are Carat, Colour, Cut, and Clarity. Each of these four factors affects the value of a diamond individually and combined. Before purchasing a diamond, one must understand what these factors are and decide which ones are more important to them. Some buyers would forgo quality for a certain carat weight, and others would rather ( add buy) a smaller diamond of the utmost quality. This is a personal choice to make after understanding the 4 Cs, and CLEARROCKS is here to guide you through your decision.
Of the 4 Cs, carat is the most talked about but hardly the most understood. A carat is a unit of measurement that expresses the weight of a gem and is equal to 0.2 grams. It is often seen abbreviated as “ct.” A common misconception about carat is that it refers to size. A savvy buyer knows that carat does not refer to size and each gem has its own specific mass; a 1.00 ct. diamond does not have the same measurements as a 1.00 ct. sapphire. However, the larger the gem, the more carat weight it has. Cutting a stone too deep or too shallow may make the diamond look smaller or larger, respectively, even if their carat weight is the same
Diamonds can be found in almost any colour. A diamond’s normal colour ranges from D (colourless) to Z (noticeably yellow). At J, a diamond’s body colour (often yellowish, brown or grey) can be noticeably seen with the naked eye. This refers to the body colour of the diamond and is not to be confused with “fire” – the rainbow colours a diamond flashes due to the refraction of light. Colours that do not fit within the normal range are called fancy colour. Fancy coloured diamonds come in a variety of shades and tones such as yellows, blues, or pinks.
Cut refers to the angles and proportions of a diamond. The cut of a diamond is of utmost importance. It determines whether a diamond sparkles with brilliance and fire. Diamonds that are not cut to the right proportions appear glassy and dull. A round diamond can be cut to ideal proportions from which a maximum amount of light is reflected back to the eye. Ideal cut diamonds make up only a very small portion of all diamonds that are cut annually. We guarantee that diamonds from CLEARROCKS will sparkle and glimmer with a superior brilliance.
Clarity refers to the naturally occurring inclusions in diamonds. Most diamonds develop natural inclusions, such as “crystals” or “feathers” during their formation deep within the earth. In fact, these inclusions act as a diamond’s natural fingerprint, as each diamond has its own unique inclusion pattern. Diamond clarity is graded upon the position, colour, number, nature, and size of these inclusions. The fewer inclusions a stone has, the more rare the diamond, and consequently, the greater its value. Flawless and internally flawless diamonds are extremely rare and valuable.
Although not one of the 4 Cs, certification also has a significant impact on the value of a diamond. Certification is the written proof of a diamond’s attributes. Without certification, a buyer has no assurance of the diamond’s quality. Therefore, certification is absolutely essential in a diamond purchase. Certification gives you the information you need to assess a diamond’s fair market value. Buyers can use it to make comparisons between diamonds and consequently make informed decisions regarding their purchase. There are many independent laboratories that certify diamonds; the most prestigious and trusted is the GIA (Gemmological Institute of America). A certificate will state the colour, clarity, cut, and carat weight of a diamond. They will usually have a “map” of the diamond showing exactly where the inclusions are found in the particular stone. Each laboratory establishes its own guidelines for grading, which is why it is vital to purchase a diamond that has been certified by a trusted independent laboratory that has stringent and consistent grading. A diamond that has been certified by a trusted laboratory will have a higher value than a non-certified diamond and/or a diamond that has been certified by lesser institutions.