Every diamond is unique. Understanding a diamond is a very simple process.
Diamonds come in various Shapes, Sizes and Colors. A systematic approach is adopted in understanding a diamond. The 4 C’s of diamond that is Clarity, Color, Cut and Carat Weight are important in determining the quality of a finished diamond. The value of a finished diamond is based on the combination of 4 C’s.
Color means grading the diamond on the basis of its whiteness. Two diamonds of same cut, clarity and weight can vary in price on account of Color.
Colorless diamonds are rare and hence more valuable. The GIA D to Z grading scale is universally used for Color grading the diamonds.
If you are looking for perfection then diamond grade of D, E and F should be selected.
Value for Money –
G, H, I and J grade diamond offer excellent value for money with very little or no noticeable Color to the unaided eye.
Clarity in diamonds is measured by absence or presence of inclusions or blemishes that diamonds with least imperfections get highest grades. Inclusion is internal imperfection whereas blemishes are surface irregularities. These inclusion & blemishes affect the appearance of diamond after it has been cut and polished.
Diamonds graded flawless don’t have visible inclusion or blemishes when examined under 10X magnifying glass.
The GIA Diamond Clarity Scale has 6 categories, some of which are divided, for a total of 11 specific grades.
- Flawless (FL) : No inclusion and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification.
- Internally Flawless (IF) : No inclusions visible under 10x magnification.
- Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2 ) : Inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnifications.
- Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) : Inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification, but can be characterized as minor.
- Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) : Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification.
- Included (I1, I2 and I3) : Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance.
The beauty of the diamond depends more on cut than on any other factor. The brilliance, scintillation and dispersiveness of the diamond depends on cutting precision & finish of a diamond. Higher the cut grade, the brighter the diamond.
According to GIA laboratory there are many variation and combinations of proportions that will maximize brilliance & fire in round brilliant cut diamonds. Shapes other than round brilliant cut are called fancy cut or fancies. The best known fancy shapes are Princess, Pear, Oval, Heart and Emerald Cut.
A well cut and proportioned diamond will have each facet properly placed and angled so that maximum amount of light reflects back from the Crown (Top) of the diamond. This reflected light is perceived as scintillation fire and brilliance.
- Excellent- Reflects nearly all the light that enters diamond creating exceptional sparkle and brilliance.
- Very Good- Reflects most of the light that enters the diamond. Appears very similar to excellent cut but at a lower price
- Good- Value for money as compared to higher cut grades. Reflects majority of the light but the sparkle is diminished.
- Fair- Allow the light to escape from sides or bottom thus reducing the brilliance.
- Poor- Allows most of the light to escape from sides or bottom. The diamond appears dull and lifeless.
The carat is the diamonds physical weight measured in metric carat. One carat equals to 200 milligrams. Each carat can be subdivided into 100 points; Ex. 0.25 carat is described as Twenty Five Pointer whereas 1.05 Carat would be describes as 1 Point O Five Carat.
Diamond price increases with diamond carat weight because larger diamonds are rare and more desirable. But two diamonds of equal carat weight differ in price depending on other three factors of diamonds that is clarity, Color and cut.
4 C’s are very important in determining the value of a diamond and not just carat weight.