The 4Cs of diamond include color, cut, clarity, and carat. The diamond grading labs grade or assess diamonds based on 4Cs.
The best way to shop for a diamond is to have a good understanding of the 4Cs and determine which factors are most important to you, as each “C” means something different for each individual. For example, some may care most about the carat weight and diamond size, while others might consider the clarity and cut to be more important.
While the scale to grade diamonds was first created as a rudimentary way of assessing the quality, today it has emerged to be the internationally accepted benchmark for judging the quality of diamonds.
Here’s an easy guide to help you find the best quality in your diamond.
The primary factor that increases the value & visible beauty of a diamond is its color. The color of the diamond, apart from cosmetic reasons, is also indicative of the rarity of the stone. A diamond color is ranked on a scale of D-Z, with D referring to diamonds that are absolutely devoid of color, to Z which would indicate that the diamond is colorful.
If you are in the market for a colorless diamond, picking out a lower color grade diamond will mean the presence of a yellow tint which means a lower priced diamond. As a general rule of thumb, the more colorless the diamond, the more is its value. Learn more about the importance of diamond color.
This technical factor may be regarded as one of the principal factors among the 4Cs of diamond quality. The cut consists of three factors – cutting, symmetry, and polish quality of the diamond. The diamonds at the top of the line are regarded as triple excellent or 3EX signifying excellent cut, polish, and symmetry.
When determining the quality of the cut, typically a diamond grader evaluates the cutter’s skill in ‘cutting’ the diamond. The more precise the diamond is cut, the more captivating the diamond is to the eye.
Although color contributes significantly to a diamond’s value, it is the cut that imparts the shine and brilliance. Not to be confused with the shape (like emerald or round,) but a properly cut diamond will ensure total internal reflection, refracting all the light that enters the diamond into the eyes of the viewer as brilliance and fire.
The clarity of a diamond usually refers to inclusions (blemishes) present in the stone. Diamonds without inclusions or blemishes are rare; however, most characteristics can only be seen with magnification. Not only does the clarity of the diamond affect the overall look of the diamond, but the position/size of the inclusions can affect the passage of light, making it appear less sparkly and ultimately affecting its value.
As per the established benchmarks ranging over 11 clarity grades, diamonds are ranked on their clarity starting at Flawless (FL) to Included (I3).
Carat is the unit of weight of the diamond. One carat equals 0.200 grams or 1/5 gram and is subdivided into 100 points. The value of the diamond based on its carat weight is not always proportional in nature. For instance, the value of a 1-carat diamond is not half the value of a 2-carat diamond. Likewise, two diamonds with the same carat weight can have different physical size measurements depending on how they are cut and thus be priced distinctly too.
The value of the diamond typically tends to increase manifold as the weight increases. This is due to the fact that bigger diamonds are relatively rarer than smaller diamonds. Are you ready to pick a diamond?