# The 4 C’s

## Cut

Math is the determining factor in deciding the cut of a diamond. Every diamond is cut according to an exact mathematical formula. The most common cut, the round brilliant, has 58 facets, or small, flat, polished planes designed to yield the maximum amount of light to be reflected back to the viewer.

This reflection, known as brilliance, is an extremely important factor in evaluating the quality of a diamond. A poorly cut diamond will actually lose light and appear dull. The two most common mistakes in cutting a diamond are:

## Color

The most popular Color for Diamonds is “white” or colorless. Whilst Diamonds come in every Color of the spectrum, for “white” Diamonds truecolorless examples are extremely rare and therefore demand the highest value.

Regular “white” Diamonds are graded by Color and are given letter designations dependant upon how far they deviate from the purest “white.”

Put simply, just a small amount of Color can diminish a stone’s “brilliance & fire” and therefore ultimately negatively effect the overall value of any given Diamond.

Diamonds deemed to be truly colorless are awarded the Color grading of D. Color grading then continues down through the alphabet, with each letter designating a slightly yellower tint. The progression is:

D : Absolutely colorless. The highest color grade, which is extremely rare.

E : Colorless. These are extremely rare and sought after. Only minute traces of color can be detected by an expert gemologist using a loupe.

F : Colorless. Significant quality stone. Slight color detected by an expert gemologist, but still  considered a “colorless” grade.

G-H : Near-colorless. Color noticeable when compared to diamonds of better grades, but these grades offer excellent value.

I-J : These can be excellent value stones. I-J Color Diamonds are almost colorless with only a slightly detectable yellow tint, often making them offer excellent value for money.

K-M: Diamonds with color grades of K through M may appear faintly yellow, brown, or gray in their settings

Recommendation : The best way to determine the true Color of a diamond is by looking at it against a white surface.

## Clarity

A diamond’s clarity is affected by any detectable external irregularities and internal imperfections created by nature when the diamond was formed.

Imperfections such as spots or lines are called inclusions. The less inclusions, the higher the clarity and thus, the greater brilliance and ultimately, value.

Inclusions can interfere with the passage of light through the stone, diminishing the sparkle and value of the diamond.

According to the quality analysis system of the Gemological Institute of America, clarity is graded on a scale ranging from internally flawless (IF) to included (I).

To be graded flawless, a diamond must have no inclusions visible to a trained eye under a 10x magnification in good light.
The quality analysis system is as follows:

FL, IF Diamonds:

These diamonds are the most rare and most expensive. These diamonds have been graded as (FL) Flawless: no internal or external flaws. (IF) Internally Flawless: No internal flaws.

VVS1, VVS2 Diamonds:

A superior quality diamond. Very, Very Slightly Included: Very difficult to see inclusions under 10x magnification.

VS1, VS2 Diamonds:

A lesser quality than the VVS1 or VVS2 grades. Very Slightly Included: Inclusions are not typically visible to the unaided eye, but are viewable at 10x magnification.

SI1, SI2 and SI3 Diamonds:

When combined with other factors, these grades represent good value. Slightly Included: Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification, and may be visible with the unaided eye.

I1, I2, I3 Diamonds:

These diamonds contain inclusions that are visible to the naked eye. I grade diamonds are often purchased by customers seeking the largest stone possible for their money and these individuals are therefore not concerned about inclusions. However, our website does not offer  I3 grade diamonds.

## Carat

A Carat is the unit of measurement for a diamond’s weight – it is equal to 200 milligrams, and there are 142 Carats to an ounce. Carats are referenced by dividing them into points – there are 100 points in a Carat.

A half Carat diamond may be referred to as a 50-point stone (about 100 milligrams). Because large diamonds are rarer, they generally have a greater value per Carat than smaller sized stones.

This word for the measurement of a diamond’s weight Carat – is derived from the carob seeds that were used to balance scales in ancient times.

Today, it is important to evaluate all of the factors (all the C’s) and not just size. A large sized diamond with poor clarity, color and cut does not have the value of many smaller stones. C’s like clarity, cut and color determine the visual brilliance of the jewelry.