Diamond Education & 4 Cs of Diamond Quality
Shopping for a diamond can be extremely exciting! It usually means you’re about to purchase a stunning piece of jewelry for someone you love. It may be a gift for an important event, a complete surprise, or just a simple reminder of how much you love someone. Knowing where to start when you’re selecting a diamond can be a bit daunting, but our team at Roman Malakov believes in providing our clientele with a quality diamond education so that everyone can make the best decision in their diamond purchases both now and in the future.
One of the most important parts of diamond education is learning about the 4 Cs of diamonds. All jewelers will give you this information when you’re considering a particular diamond, and since all four Cs contribute to the final price and brilliance of a diamond, it’s important to understand what they mean.
A diamond guide is a great place to start your diamond education, but you can also talk to expert jewelers to get a diamond education and learn about the ever-important 4 Cs of diamonds.
The first, and arguably most important, of the four Cs is Cut. This is not to be confused with the shape of the diamond; rather, it’s the way that the diamond was cut by a jeweler. It refers to the angles of the cuts, the proportions, the facets, and ultimately the brilliance of the diamond. The “grades” given to a diamond’s cut can be ideal, excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor. Some diamonds may be cut too shallow or too deep, leading to a lower grade and less sparkle. This doesn’t mean they are any less beautiful or should be less desirable. Some older antique diamonds are intentionally cut this way to create a different and interesting look that is beautiful in its own way.
The next of the four Cs is Color. This is probably the second most important of the 4 Cs of diamonds, and refers to how colorless a diamond is. While there are colored diamonds, such as yellow, pink, black, and others, the color part of the 4 Cs involves the colorlessness of the diamonds. Grades start with a D for the most colorless and go down to Z for diamonds with a noticeable tint. The more colorless diamonds are extremely rare, so their higher price tag is based upon their rarity rather than their beauty, especially since the preferred color of a diamond is based solely on preference. Most people cannot tell the difference between diamonds whose colors are only one grade apart, much less those that are four to five grades apart. When diamonds of different grades are next to each other, it may be easier to see that there is a difference, but knowing the grade on its own is difficult even for gemologists. The most important thing to consider when selecting a diamond’s color is how it looks in its setting with your metal of choice and how it looks in different lights, as well as your overall preference for its final look.
The third of the 4 Cs of diamonds is Clarity. A clarity grade refers to how many inclusions or blemishes it has and essentially focuses on the cleanliness of the diamond. Several different clarity grades can be given to a diamond, from “flawless” to “having very slight inclusions” to “having inclusions.” Inclusions or blemishes affect how the light passes through a diamond, which can directly impact its sparkle and brilliance. While each diamond has a clarity grade already assigned to it, you won’t know exactly how that grade impacts the look of the diamond until you examine it yourself. The main goal when it comes to a diamond’s clarity is to ensure that the stone is “eye clean,” meaning that to the naked eye, it looks shiny, sparkly, and beautiful.
The final C of the four Cs is Carat. While many people mistakenly think this is purely about the size of the diamond, it actually refers to the weight of the diamond. Depending on how the diamond is cut and what shape it is in, two stones of the same carat weight can appear very different in overall size.
While the 4 Cs of diamonds are important to consider, a big part of your diamond education is understanding that all four Cs work together to create vastly different appearances and looks. You should explore a variety of options when you’re searching for a diamond and weigh the different combinations of the four Cs against other choices to ensure you make the best decision.
More Diamond Education
When you purchase a diamond or other certified gemstone, you will most likely receive information on the four Cs of your particular gemstone from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). This is a nonprofit organization that is committed to researching diamonds, providing gemstone and diamond education, and ensuring that standards are maintained and met across all gemstones sold in the US.
Diamond shape is another important thing to consider when purchasing a diamond. The most common diamond shape is round, but other shapes include princess, cushion, oval, marquise, emerald, radiant, heart, pear, and asscher.
To further enhance your diamond education, to learn more about the 4 Cs of diamonds, or to shop for the perfect diamond jewelry piece, come in to one of our NYC stores or shop online.