The Four C’s of Diamonds

As James and Lily is gearing up for the launch of our new website, we are excited about a new feature that will make a whole variety of diamonds available through our site!  While studying to becoming a graduate gemologist I spent quite a bit of time studying diamonds because there is so much to learn about them.  All these qualities work together to make diamonds sparkle and shine beautifully.  When looking for diamonds they are graded by the four C’s.  I thought I’d give you an explanation of the four C’s to get you ready for James and Lily’s new site!

Cut:  When looking at diamonds we use cut to tell us how well the stone was cut to achieve the most   sparkle and shine.  The way diamonds play with light is so unique we can’t help but love it!   There is a whole science in proportions and percentages that help diamonds graders decide what quality the cut is, but they make it easier by putting diamonds into categories to tell us the quality of the cut.  The categories are: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor.  The measurement differences can be so minuscule between an Excellent graded stone and a Very Good.  Sometimes if you compare two stones visually, one Excellent, and another Very Good, many people will choose a Very Good not knowing the two stone’s grades, because the way a diamond looks is a combination of the four C’s.  If you compare an Excellent stone to a Poor stone, you would probably see the difference.    
Color:  The color grade tells us how much color, or lack of color there is in the diamond.  We use a D-Z scale to grade amount of color in a diamond.  Because diamonds form in nature, there can be extra chemicals and minerals that get caught in the formation of the diamond.  This is what causes color in the stone, typically yellow.  Starting at D there is no color, and as you progress down to Z there more color progresses.  D,E,F is often considered colorless.  G,H stones are near colorless.  I,J will begin to have a little color, and as your progress down in the alphabet the more color you will find in the diamond.
Clarity:  Just like with color, because diamonds form in nature, there can be other things that are caught up in the formation or caused during the formation.  If you have looked at diamond grades before you will be familiar with the terms F,IF,VVS1,VVS2 and so on.   These are how we grade the amount of inclusions that can be seen in the stone under 10X magnification.  It is important to remember that clarity grading is done under magnification. Inclusions are things that can get caught in the stone or are created during the formation of the diamond.  One example could be a crystal.  Another example would be what we call a pin point, a small speck within the stone.  The grade is not only based on what is in the stone but the location as well.  Often the closer the inclusion or inclusions are to the center of the diamond or to the top of the diamond the lower the grade, because it is more likely to be visible.  
F, IF: Flawless and internally flawless
VVS1, VVS2:  Very very slight inclusions
VS1,VS2: Very slight inclusions
SI1,SI2: Slight inclusions
I1: Included.  These will sometimes have inclusions that can be seen without magnification or the amount of inclusions will earn a stone an I grading.
Carat:  The size of a diamond is based on Carat Weight.   Carat weight is factored in the stone’s value because the larger the diamond the more rare it is to find in nature.  Two stone with the same carat weight can be worth  different values because of the rest of the Cs’: Cut, Color, Clarity.

The four C’s can help a stone buyer understand the value of the stones they are looking at.  Choosing a stone is such a personal decision because of the range and different combination of the four C’s.   That is what makes your diamond so special!

                                                  XO, Kelly


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s