This basic knowledge will not only unlock the mystery of a diamond’s quality, it will help you understand a diamond’s value and price. No matter how beautiful a diamond may look you simply cannot see its true quality. The 4Cs of diamond quality will provide you with the information you need to know the diamond’s actual quality.
UNDERSTAND THE 4 C'S OF DIAMOND QUALITY
Diamond Color In most diamonds, the term actually refers to the absence of color. The less color in the stone, the more desirable and valuable it is. Some of these differences are not visible to the naked eye, but directly impact the overall quality and price of the stone.
Diamond Clarity measures the amount, size and placement of internal ‘inclusions,’ and external ‘blemishes.’ Grades run from ‘Flawless,’ with virtually no imperfections, to ‘Included,’ which contain a significant number of imperfections.
Diamond Cut does not refer to a diamond’s shape, but to the proportion and arrangement of its facets and the quality of workmanship. The amount of brilliance, sparkle and fire in a diamond is determined by cut. Grades range from ‘Excellent’ to ‘Poor.’
Diamond Carat refers to a diamond’s weight. Generally speaking, the higher the carat weight, the more expensive the stone. Two diamonds of equal carat weight, however, can have very different quality and price when the other three Cs are considered.
A group of tiny pinpoints found inside a diamond, too small to distinguish individually. In higher clarity diamonds, clouds are often difficult to detect under 10x magnification. Occasionally with lower clarity diamonds, you may see a note on the grading report that clarity is based on clouds not shown. This may be referred to as a “micro-cloud” and in rare instances can become slightly eye-visible.
A crystal is a tiny bit of mineral, diamond or other matter found within a diamond. It can vary in size, shape and color, and may extend to the diamond’s surface.
A general term for any fracture or fissure in a diamond that extends to the surface. In higher clarity diamonds, feathers may be so shallow or low-relief as to be difficult to find even under 10x magnification.
Minute crystals enclosed in the diamond that look like tiny specks under 10x magnification. The presence of a single pinpoint can make the difference between a Internally Flawless and VVS1 clarity grade.