4 Things You Need To Know About Diamonds
Now that we’ve covered all the jewelry eras, we are happy to dive deeper and get into the specifics of the gemstone world. Let’s start with the most famous and cherished - diamonds. The term “4 C’s” has been universally used for the past century to classify, evaluate and grade diamonds. The “4C’s” are: Cut, Color, Carat and Clarity. These are important to understand when investing in a diamond, especially if it’s a gift for a loved one or an upgrade for yourself.
In this blog post you will learn:
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) created the first globally accepted standard for describing diamonds. The “4 C’s”, are a good place to start when it comes to understanding diamonds, but there is a lot more to it. The world of diamonds is extremely complex and no two diamonds are alike, but here is what you need to know to get started:
Probably the most important of the “4 C’s”. Cut is what determines the overall look of the diamond. The symmetry of the stone is important because it determines how the light bounces inside of the diamonds and the amount of sparkle it generates. With cut comes the shape, such as round, emerald, pear shape, cushion, baguette, etc. There are also antique cut stones, such as Old European, Old Mine, and Antique Cushion Cuts. Antique cut diamonds are known for their more understated, flowery brilliance and a softer sparkle thanks to larger facets arranged differently than a modern cut diamond.
Color greatly influences diamond’s value. The more colorless or white the diamond is, the harder it is to find, thus making it more valuable. GIA came up with a color grading system that ranges from colorless to more yellow. D is considered colorless, and Z most yellow. Besides that, there are “fancy” colors of diamonds. These are extremely rare and can be extremely expensive, especially pinks, blues, oranges and reds.
When buying a diamond ring, we advise not to settle on a particular Letter Grade. There is a huge price difference in D-F versus K-M. Both ranges can offer great diamonds, but it’s entirely up to you to decide what range you prefer and can afford. At the end of the day, diamonds are subjective and there is nothing wrong with going higher or lower on the color scale. If your goal is to have a very white diamond, but you don’t want to break the bank, diamonds in the F-H range would likely satisfy you. Unless you are an expert, it’s really hard to see the difference, unless compared directly next to D or E color diamonds. On the other hand, if you above all, value the size of the stone, you can find something in the N-R range, that will be larger carat weight and yet more affordable then D-F color diamonds.
You have probably heard the word "carat" when talking about diamonds, but what does it really mean? Often abbreviated as ct or tcw (total carat weight). Not to be confused with Karat, which identifies the purity of gold. While cut, color and clarity are subjective, there is no debating on the carat weight of the stone. The larger the carat, the more expensive the diamond (considering all the other C’s are the same).
Clarity describes inclusions (internal feature) inside of the diamond. There are different types, such as black or white crystals, feathers, clouds and others. All of these inclusions affect how the diamond is graded based on the GIA clarity scale. At first, you might think that having these “flaws” is bad, but that’s not always true. Remember that there are no two diamonds a like, and all these features make a diamond unique. Logically, stones with fewer inclusions are more expensive. The good news, that most of the inclusions cannot be seen with a naked eye, or they are not as apparent and can be well hidden between the facets of the diamond. Not only you will be paying a lot less for a diamond with a few inclusions, but they are also your diamond’s fingerprint signature; rare and unique, just like you!
Clarity grade can also be subjective, but for your understanding, even lower grades like I1, needs a 10x magnification loupe to be examined properly. Stones with clarity grade SI1 and SI2 can be quite wonderful!
The Bottom Line
When it comes to determining the price, you really need to consider all of the 4C’s: cut, color, carat, and clarity, to find balance. Based on the budget, and your values we are able to find perfect diamond options for you and adjust the 4C's depending on your preferences.