Diamonds 4C’s and New C’s – Diamond Buying Guide April 16, 2014 Ashish Sukhadiya

Diamonds 4C’s and New C’s – Diamond Buying Guide

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Most Important Diamond Characteristic: Diamonds 4C’s & New C’s.

In this post, you will learn more about Diamonds 4C’s & New C’s in simple and understanding words.

Diamonds 4C's & New C's

Cut, Carat, Color, and Clarity – are the universal language of the diamond. Understanding this language will help you understand your diamond.

Diamonds 4C’s & New C’s Order of Importance:

Cut

Firstly, the term “Cut” has two references. One is the diamond’s shape and the other is the quality. Determined by its proportions, symmetry, and polish.

Secondly, the top-selling diamond cut shape is the round brilliant cut. Princess, marquise, pear, heart, oval, emerald, radiant, cushion and Asscher are fancy shapes.

While considering the cut of a diamond is the most important factor for its beauty, the cut determines the brilliance of the diamonds. This is based on reflection, dispersion, and scintillation of the light. Unlike color and clarity, there is not a single grade that defines it.

Furthermore, diamonds similar in weight, color, and clarity differ in appearance and value. This is because of differences in cut quality.

Diamonds 4C's & New C's diamond cut

Diamonds 4C’s & New C’s

The cut is the most complicated of the 4Cs. Ct weight, color, and clarity, with their value and rarity, resulting in a diamond’s formation. Cut precision is the result of human decision and diamond cutting skills. Nowadays, it’s possible to have a better cut with the use of high technology in the diamond industry.

There are three factors that determine a diamond’s cut quality:

Proportions: the relative sizes and angles of the diamond’s parts and facets

Symmetry: the precision of the cut design, especially the facets

Polish: the smoothness and luster of the diamond’s surface

Henceforth, you can see the reference of cut grades on a diamond’s certificate. Often using the GIA standards of Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. For the most part, the actual measurements are found on the laboratory reports.

The quality of a diamond’s cut always speaks for itself.

Carat

Well, carat weight is the easiest to understand among the 4C’s. The Carat is the measurement unit of the diamond. And it is further subdivided into 00 equal parts called “points”. One point equals to .01 Ct or 1/100 Ct. 1 Carat diamond equals 100 points. We can write carat weight in decimal numbers. But it is often expressed in fractions which are easy to understand. Diamond weight fractions are approximate and refer to ranges of weight. This chart from The Diamond Council of America® is a handy reference:

"Diamonds

Size Chart

Diamond prices increase with Carat weight because big diamonds are desirable and rare. But two diamonds of equal weight can have different values. Depending upon it’s three other factors: Color, Clarity, and Cut. In jewelry pieces with more than one diamond, the Carats are described in terms of total Carat weight (T.W.). This is the combined total weight of all the diamonds in the piece.
Determining the right Carat weight for you depends on your budget and taste.

Color

Choosing the right color for your diamond is a personal preference. It’s important to remember that you are generally searching for a stone with little to no color.

Diamonds get their color when the crystals grow inside the Earth. Tiny traces of some elements like nitrogen can color the crystals. Also, the pressure involved in the diamond formation creates distortion in the crystal. It is also believed to contribute to their color.

The color evaluation of gem-quality diamonds originates from the absence of color. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) uses a 12-letter alphabetical scale of D to Z.

Using this scale, the diamond on the lower end of the scale (D) will have the least amount of color. You can consider it a colorless stone. The diamond at the higher end of the scale (Z) has deeper tones. Yet, a diamond’s color can be more intense than the “Z” grading.  Then, it enters the color in the diamond and can play a significant role in its value. The value of a Fancy Colored Diamond can surpass that of colorless diamonds. This is especially valid when the intensity of the color is high and the color is rare.

Diamonds 4C's & New C's

D grade is completely colorless

E and F are essentially colorless. The difference between D, E, and F is so slight that only experts can see it when they unmount the diamonds.

K, L, and M are less tinted. Diamonds under 1/2 carat appear colorless when mounted. Diamonds over 1/2 Carat may show a tint of color.

Grades N through Z have a light tint, and it is visible.

Diamonds with less color are more rare and valuable. Only about 5,000 of the polished diamonds produced each year weighing of carat 1/2 or more are colorless. Most of the diamonds sold are grades G to L. For fancy diamonds, the value goes up with the intensity of the color.

Fancy colors include bright yellow, pink, champagne, blue and green. Red, purple and orange diamonds, though found in nature, are very rare.

How the diamond is set can make a difference in color too. Color is more important in rings than earrings and pendants. This is because the diamond is usually larger in that jewelry.

Putting a colorless diamond in a yellow gold setting will reflect on the stone. This will make it have a more yellowish tint.

Colorless and near-colorless diamonds come alive in platinum or white gold setting.

A slight yellow-tinted diamond will appear whiter in a yellow gold setting. Keep in mind that color is only one of the 4Cs. So even when a stone has a visible tint, it can still be very lovely when mixed with good clarity and cut.

Clarity

Clarity is a measure of the tiny imperfections found the most and everywhere in a diamond.

A flawless diamond with little to no imperfections is often desired due to its rarity. But they are also being the costliest one. Thus, it is important to keep in mind that it is very common to find diamonds with slight imperfections.

These imperfections also are recognized as “inclusions”. They usually occur during the diamond’s crystallization period inside the Earth. This can also happen because of the stresses of mining and processing. Inclusions are anything from tiny white points to dark dots, cracks or scratches. The fewer the inclusions are, the more valuable the stone is. The clarity can be calculated using a 10 x power magnification. This means that the object viewed appears 10 times its actual size. The diamond grader examines the natural clarity characteristics. Besides this, a number of characteristics are included, such as size, color, and position. The clarity grade assigned reflects the degree of visibility of the characteristics.

Diamonds 4C's & New C's

Diamonds 4C’s & New C’s

Diamond Clarity has a great influence on the pricing of any loose diamond. With a higher Clarity (FL and near grades), prices move upwards. And if the Clarity is near to I3 or down, the price decreases. One more thing is important – FL clarity is rare, hardly less than 1% of all diamonds ever mined have FL quality.

The GIA Diamond Clarity Grade scale has five main categories of clarity characteristics. All with 11 grades in all.

Types of Diamond Flaws in Diamonds 4C’s & New C’s

Diamonds often own unique markings – either internal (inclusions) or external (blemishes). A diamond’s clarity grade depends on the absence or presence of such inclusions.

The following lists some common terms used for diamonds’ internal and external characteristics.

External FlawsInternal Flaws
  • Natural – unpolished surface,
    the original ‘skin’ of rough diamond
  • Cleavage or feather – inclusion along the atomic grain
  • Pit – small indentation on a flat surface
  • Fracture – irregularly shaped break
  • Cavity – opening on the surface
  • Included – inclusions within a diamond
  • Nick – minor surface chip
  • Carbon spot – included crystal
  • Grain/twinning line – irregularity in crystal growth
  • Pinpoint – small included crystal (appears white)
  • Scratch – small groove (can be due to normal wear)
  • Cloud – a group of pinpoints
  • Chip – broken along the external edge
  • Internal grain line – the visible part of internal grain structure
  • Laser drill hole – clarity enhancements to
    remove/reduce the appearance of inclusions
  • Bearded or feathered girdle – minute to small
    hairline fracture extending from girdle into stone

The clarity grade of a diamond not only affects its value and price. It can also be a good sign of the diamond’s vulnerability. Heavy included diamonds can be prone to breakage.

Diamonds 4C’s & New C’s: Care and Certification.

Care

Diamonds 4C's & New C's

Diamonds 4C’s & New C’s: Care

Caring for your diamond jewelry keeps the diamonds looking at their best. And it prevents them from getting misplace or damage.

I recommend regular professional cleaning, usually every six months. Diamond jewelry can get a build up of dirt. There might be makeup and other materials that can diminish its brightness. This can happen particularly if worn every day. Regular cleaning and inspections will also ensure your diamond warranty remains in effect.

Certification

It is crucial when choosing a diamond, to review the diamond certificates, referred by diamond laboratories as a grading report. For high priced diamonds, certification is a necessity. So, GIA, IGI, EGL will cost you more when talking about the grading of a high-quality diamond.

Diamonds 4C's & New C's

Diamonds 4C’s & New C’s: Certification

It’s impossible for small size and low-quality diamonds to make up to certification. This is because of the high price of the certification and the low price of such diamonds.

 

Diamond industry Facts: Real Facts You Must Know

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