Diamond EducationThe 4 Cs
Diamond Anatomy & Cut Quality
When you’re shopping for a diamond, its brightness and sparkle will draw you to the jewellery counter, and keep you captivated long after you’ve made your diamond purchase. Achieving maximum brightness and sparkle requires excellent cutting technique, which is reflected in the diamond’s cut grade. Of the 4 Cs, the ‘Cut’ has the most impact on a diamond’s appearance.
Understanding the 4 Cs of Diamond Shopping
This short tutorial explains the 4 Cs of Diamond – cut, colour, clarity, and carat weight – the most important characteristics to understand when making a diamond purchase
Diamonds are formed deep within the earth, under extreme heat and pressure; they often contain unique marks, either internal (inclusions) or external (blemishes).
Diamond clarity refers to the absence of these inclusions and blemishes. Diamonds without Blemishes and inclusions are rare, and rarity affects a diamond’s value, diamonds are assigned a clarity grade from flawless FL to diamonds with obvious inclusions I3.
The diamond is analyzed using a 10X magnification by a minimum of three gemmologists to determine its clarity grade based on the number, type, position and size of the clarity characteristics displayed on the stone. Each gemmologist examines the stone without knowledge of the previous gemmologist’s findings in order to attain the most accurate clarity grading.
The Clarity Scale contains 11 grades, with most diamonds falling into the VS (very slightly included) or SI (slightly included) categories. In determining a clarity grade, the system considers the size, nature, position, colour and quantity of clarity characteristics visible under 10× magnification.
- 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 minor and range from difficult to somewhat easy for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
- Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) – Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader under 10x magnification
- Included (I1, I2, and I3) – Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance
Cut quality is the factor that gives a diamond its sparkle and brilliance. The allure and beauty of a particular diamond depends more on cut quality than anything else.
Measurement devices are used along with a visual assessment of the diamond’s girdle and culet sizes, are used to calculate the diamond’s cut grade. There are six cut grades ranging from excellent/ideal to Poorl. The diamond is then visually examined to substantiate the accuracy of the cut grade. The diamond is then visually evaluated for optical symmetry to determine whether it displays a “hearts & arrows” pattern.
Diamond Colour Grading
The colour evaluation of most gem-quality diamonds is based on the absence of colour. A perfect diamond has no hue (Colour), and consequently, a higher value. A Colour grading system most use is D Colourless to Z light amounts of colour measures the degree of colourlessness by comparing a stone under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions to establish the colour grading. The colour grading is generally carried out by at least three trained gemologists.
Diamond carat weight is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs. A metric “carat” is defined as 200 milligrams
Each carat can be subdivided into 100 ‘points.’ This allows very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place. The weight of a diamond below one carat may be described by its ‘points’ alone. For instance, a diamond that weighs 0.25 carats as a ‘twenty-five points.
The diamond is weighed and measured three times with state of the art measurement equipment. The measurement devices are located in a controlled environment and calibrated at a minimum, twice a day.
Diamonds and Gems Conflict Free Diamonds Policy
All the diamonds we purchase are from legitimate sources, not at all involved in any way in funding conflicts and are in compliance with United Nations resolutions. We Guarantee that our diamonds are conflict free, based on personal information / knowledge and/or written supplied guarantees provided to us at the time of purchase.
Conflict diamonds are also known as “Blood Diamonds” which are used to fund illegal operations of military, rebel, or terrorist’s movements. Diamonds and Gems understands the great harm to local African Populations that might be caused by conflict diamonds. For this reason, we have a policy to comply with the Kimberley Process and do not deal in conflict diamonds knowingly.
Kimberley process is a UN mandated international certificate program aimed to prevent the trade of conflict diamonds. The KPCS outlines some provisions through which the trade of diamonds is to occur. Hence, our policy of buying diamonds is clear. We buy from suppliers that clearly state / warrant that their diamonds are not blood diamonds and are from sources free from conflict. In every regards we are committed to the highest quality and ethical standards on behalf of our consumer market.