Choosing a diamond is usually a new experience for most people, but with the right information and tools at hand, it doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming.
Diamonds are graded on their cut, colour, clarity and carat. These four factors are known as ‘The Four Cs’, and it is these attributes that affect the value and quality of a diamond. Understanding the Four Cs is the first step in your journey to choosing the perfect diamond for your needs.
At Christopher Evans we’re here to guide you through to making the right purchase for you. All the stones we recommend are those which we would buy ourselves because, at Christopher Evans, we are keen to ensure that you are making the right investment. It’s an investment in the pleasure of owning such a beautiful and timeless stone, but also in the potential store of money it gives you.
The Four Cs – Cut
The cut of a diamond describes the symmetry, proportions and finish of a polished diamond. There is an art and science to diamond cutting which requires the skills and workmanship of a master cutter to bring a diamond from a rough mined stoned to a finished, polished diamond. Diamond cut is not to be confused with the shape of the stone, but rather refers to the quality of workmanship and angles that reflect the maximum amount of light and create the best sparkle.
The above diagram illustrates how light reflects and returns based on the cut of the diamond.
It’s important not to confuse the cut of a diamond with its shape. However, there are a number of shapes to which a diamond can be cut, depending on the nature of the original stone. The round brilliant reflects the maximum light and sparkles more than any other shape. The traditional shapes to which diamonds are cut are as follows:
The Four Cs – Colour
Although diamonds are essentially colourless, the term ‘colour’ refers to white diamonds which are graded on a scale using the letters of the alphabet from D to Z.
The letters are based on the level of colour in the diamond, the rarest being in the ‘colourless’ D-F range. The closer along the scale you get towards Z, the more yellow is in the diamond.
With only the naked eye, it can be difficult to make out the difference between a diamond in the D-F colourless range and the G-J near colourless range, particularly after the diamond has been set within the ring.
The above diagram illustrates the different colour grades which can be attributed to white diamonds
The Four Cs – Clarity
Clarity corresponds to the purity of a diamond. Most diamonds have tiny ‘birthmarks’ known as inclusions. A diamond that has minimal inclusions and surface blemishes is rare and more valuable. This is because the smaller and fewer the inclusions, the more light can pass through the diamond, which contributes to its rare beauty.
The above diagram illustrates the clarity scale of a diamond.
A gemologist classifies a diamond using a magnification level of 10 times the naked eye. Diamond clarity ratings are based on the type, position, size and number of inclusions in the diamond. Flawless and Internally Flawless diamonds are the most rare and, therefore, the most expensive with a clarity rating of FL or IF.
The Four Cs – Carat
The above diagram illustrates diamond carat weight
A diamond’s weigh is measured in carats and points. One carat equals one hundred points ( 0.01 carat = l point ). One carat is equal to 0.20 grams.
The higher the carat weight the more expensive the diamond. Half and full carat diamonds go up in value because of their demand. The carat weight, of a diamond refers to the actual weight of the stone. Therefore, carat also corresponds to the size of the diamond, as the larger the diamond is, the heavier it is.
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