THE 4 CS
A diamonds value, rarity and beauty are determined by factors that are commonly known as the 4 Cs, these are: colour, clarity, carat and cut. Before deciding on purchasing your diamond jewelery, it is important to understand why two diamonds that may look exactly the same are actually valued differently. Before buying a diamond ring or jewelery, this following section will help you to understand the 4 Cs in more detail and will be useful when studying the diamond’s brilliance, beauty and quality.
Diamonds naturally vary in color with the majority of them on the market being sold as near colorless. At Budget Diamonds, we use the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), Gem Scan & Harold W. scale of color. On this scale, diamond colour is graded from D, which has the least color, through the alphabet to Z, which has a light yellow color. Truly colorless diamonds (D) are treasured for their rarity.
Inclusions are ranked on a scale of perfection called clarity, which means that the fewer inclusions a diamond has, then the greater the clarity and thus making it more valuable. The clarity scale is a reminder that it is fairly common for diamonds to have natural flaws and they are rarely perfect. These are known as nature’s ‘fingerprints’ or ‘birthmarks and they can look like tiny crystals, clouds or feathers. The beauty of a diamond will not be greatly affected by inclusions as they can be hidden by the setting on the engagement ring or the mount. (from best to worst IF,Flawless,VVS1,VVS2,VS1,VS2,SI1,SI2,I1,I2 & I3)
Diamonds are measured in carats, which take into account the weight, rather than the size. Outsizes carat weights are rarer and more precious. Carats are split into points where 100 points are equal to one carat.
The cut of a diamond refers to their proportion and finish. Skilled craftsmen transform a rough diamond to a gleaming polished diamond by polishing tiny facets into the rough stone. Facets are the flat, polished surfaces on a diamond. Well cut and proportioned facets on a diamond will make good use of light, allowing it to be dispersed and reflected from one facet to another, releasing the diamond’s brilliance.
A diamond can be cut in various ways; to be heavier, thus gaining more value, or to hide or minimal inclusions. Symmetry, proportion and how polished a diamond is will all determine the quality of the cut. These can vary from diamond to diamond, so the shape and the quality should be taken into consideration.