Learning the 4C’s Will Help You Know What You’re Buying

To Ensure You Find the Perfect Piece

The 4C’s – Cut, Color, Carart Weight, Clarity – are used universally to classify the rare characteristics of diamonds. Diamonds possessing the combination of the highest 4 C grades are more than unusual and, consequently, more expensive and sought after.

In this section, we want to guide you through each of the 4 C’s and give you the essential background information necessary to make an educated jewelry purchase.

The Cut

The proportioning of a diamond is extemely important. The fire (variety and concentration of the emitted prismatic colors) and brilliance (sparkle) directly correlate to the proper proportioning of the diamon.

The term “cut” refers to the proportions, symmetry, and polish of the diamond, each of which are analyzed and assigned one of five different grades – poor, fair, good, very good, and excellent.

Diamonds are capable of delivering the most intense flashes and variety of colors to the eye of any gemstone when cut properly.

The Color

Grading a diamond for color means determining the amount the diamond’s “body color” deviates from colorless (ex: clear water). Diamond color is determined by the ability of the human eye to distinguish lighter and darker tints. The Gemological Institute of America color grading scale begins with D the finest color (colorless), and continues through the alphabet to Z as the diamond’s tint show more body color.

The Carat

The name “carat” is derived from the carob seed. Ancient merchants discovered the seeds were always uniform in weight and used them as a standard for weighing diamonds, pearls, and other precious gemstones. One carat equals .02 grams or 200 milligrams.

A carat is a unit of weight and does not necessarily determine size as the molecular density differs between gemstones. For example, an emerald is less dense than a diamond, therefore a one carat emerald can appear larger than a one carat diamond. Conversely, a ruby is more dense than a diamond, therefore a one carat ruby can appear smaller than a one carat diamond.

Cut, color, and clarity being the same, the value of a diamond increases significantly and exponentially as the weight of the diamond increases. For example, a diamond weighing 2 ct will have a value of far more than a 1 ct diamond with the same characteristics.

The Clarity

Clarity grading is the process for clarifying the internal and external natural characteristics of a diamond, ranging from FL (Flawless) to I3 (Imperfect):

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    FL – Flawless

    These stones have no imperfections inside or on the outside of the stone under the magnification of a loupe of 10x magnification.

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    IF – Internally Flawless

    This grade is awarded to diamonds with no internal flaws and only minor external blemishes. Nicks pits or girdle roughness, not on the table, which could be removed in re-polishing.

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    VVS1 , VVS2 – Very Very Slightly Imperfect

    These stones have very, very small inclusions, which are extremely difficult to see under a loupe of 10x magnification.

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    VS1, VS2 – Very Slightly Imperfect

    These stones have very small inclusions, which are slightly difficult to see under a loupe of 10x magnification.

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    SI1, SI2 – Slightly Imperfect

    These stones have inclusions, which are fairly easy to see under with a 10x magnification, and can be seen with the naked eye.

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    I1, I2, and I3 – Imperfect

    These stones have inclusions ranging from eye visible to very easily seen to the naked eye.

Want More Information?

We have more of it for you.  The team at Harzin Jewelers want to make sure that you are making an educated decision when it comes to your next purchase. Please follow the link below to learn about popular diamond cuts.