A guide to buying diamonds: The 4 C’s – cut, carat, clarity, color- gives us a straight-forward guideline and system for rating diamonds. In this post, we will discuss each C to make shopping for your diamond(s) easy and simple.
Cut: Most people will agree when buying diamonds that the cut of a diamond is the most important of the 4 C’s. The cut of a diamond refers to the facets, symmetry, dimensions and reflective qualities of the diamond. The finer the cut, the more brilliant (read: sparkly) the diamond. Cuts are graded as: Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, and Excellent.
Carat: A carat is the unit of measurement for the weight of a diamond. Though many people think carats denotes the overall size of the diamond, it is specifically the weight of each diamond. Obviously, the bigger the diamond, the higher the total carat weight.
Clarity: Clarity of a diamond refers to the absence of inclusions or blemishes (imperfections) on the diamond. The grading system for clarity is as follows:
- Flawless (FL) No inclusions 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 magnification
- 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
Color: The color grading scale of diamonds ranges from D to Z, with D actual being the most colorless, and thus the most pure. That being said, a D would be virtually colorless while a Z would be brown or yellow.
Knowing the 4 C’s is super helpful when it comes to shopping for a diamond, because it will help you save money as well as pick the perfect jewel. For example, if you know your partner wants a big ring or higher total carat weight, you could opt for a lower clarity and color that would still produce a beautiful diamond.
When scheduling an appointment at Mark’s, we will always dive further into the 4 C’s with you to make sure your needs and wants are met while still staying in your budget, because hint: there is a 5th important c and that is COST.
Did you know the 4 C’s before reading this article?Book my private appointment to get my perfect diamond at mark's