The 4Cs of a Diamond

 In an effort to standardize the grading of the all diamonds present in the market, the foremost expert and respected institution in the diamond market, GIA, developed the 4Cs of diamond grading. They are Carat, Color, Clarity and Cut.

  1. Carat
  2. One of the most common mistakes a new customer makes is mistaking carat as an indicator for the quality of a diamond. While carat signifies the purity of gold, it is different for a diamond. It is a measure of the weight of a diamond like gram is the measure of weight of gold. So the higher the carat weight of a diamond, the more value it commands.  This measurement is required to be so precise that we write them until the hundredth of a carat like 1.01 ct or 5.25 ct. For all diamonds that are above 1.00 carat are identified as a solitaire diamond.

  1. Color
  2. This signifies the color of the diamond. The scale begins with the letter D, representing colorless, and continues with increasing presence of color to the letter Z, or near-colorless. Any diamond presumed to have a high presence of color above Z is considered fancy color and thus commands higher price that the other stones.

  1. Clarity
  2. Diamond clarity refers to the absence of inclusions and blemishes. Diamonds without these birthmarks are rare, and rarity affects a diamond’s value. It ranges from I (I1, I2 and I3), SI (SI1 and SI2), VS (VS1 and VS2), VVS (VVS1 and VVS2), IF and FL; With I being the lowest and FL the highest grade.

Here is a detail description according to GIA:

 Flawless (FL) - No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification
Internally Flawless (IF) - No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) - Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification
Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) - Inclusions are clearly visible under 10× magnification but can be characterized as minor
Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) - Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10× magnification
Included (I1, I2, and I3) - Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance

  1. Cut
  2. This signifies the proportions of the diamond and also the shape of the diamond. The divisions for proportions are Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good and Excellent. The different diamond shapes are Round, Marquise, Pear, Oval, Emerald cuts, Hearts, cushions and triangles. There are no single best diamond shapes as each individual has their own views. Some prefer a Round Brilliant Cut whereas as another individual might prefer a Cushion Cut. However current market trends suggest the Round Brilliant Cut as being the most popular diamond shape right now.