4c’s of a diamond: Learn about cut, clarity, carat, and color

4c's of a diamond
Diamonds can be a symbol of joy for most women. Women start dreaming about possessing a diamond the moment they learn its value and see its incredible beauty. Being equipped financially is not the sole perquisite here. In order to ensure that their dream is fulfilled in all its righteousness, learning about the nitty gritty of the diamond becomes a necessity. If you simply hop into a diamond store with your wallet full, you will come out confused and empty handed.

Diamonds have an intricate story to narrate, a complex set of features hidden and a bewitching history that dates back to roughly the 4th century BC. Though you need not have to imbibe yourself on everything in order to buy a diamond, learning about the 4C’s is definitely a must. A detailed knowledge on this will further equip you to obtain your dream diamond confidently and without much struggle.

What are the 4c’s of a diamond?

4c’s is an abbreviation of the four terms cut, color, carat and clarity, which is recognized as the universal language of diamond. They are the tool for people to determine the difference between two diamonds, the differences of which are often difficult to discern with the naked eyes. The difference in the charectoristics of diamonds greatly determines the pricing of diamonds when you are picking out an engagement ring. Once you understand this unique language of diamond, you will be half way through your diamond buying journey.

Diamond Cut

Cut of a diamond
Of all the 4C’s, diamond cut is the most important characteristic of a diamond, as it has the biggest impact on its beauty and quality. The more precise the cut, the more beautiful is the diamond to the eye. Cut does not imply a diamond’s shape, rather it refers to the diamond’s symmetry, proportion and polish. It is an uphill task to analyze and quantify a diamond cut because no two diamonds possess the same type of cuts. It is on the diamond cutter to decide the shape, polish and facet. The cut has three major influence on the appearance of the diamond; brilliance, fire and scintillation.

Brilliance refers to the brightness created by the combined effect of all the white light that is reflected from the surface or the inside of a well polished diamond. The flashes of color or the dispersion of light into a spectrum of colors is known as the fire. The scintillation on the other hand, refers to the sparkle that is reflected when either the diamond or the light source is moved. Laboratories evaluate the diamond’s brilliance, fire and scintillation when grading the cut of a diamond.

In a well-cut diamond, the light enters the table and make its way to the pavilion where it gets reflected from one side to the other, before finally reflecting back out of the diamond via the table and to the eye of the observer. In a poorly cut diamond, the light after reaching the facets leaks out from either the sides or bottom of the diamond rather than reflecting back to the eye of the observer. Hence, the more precise the cut, the more will be its brilliance and its captivating beauty.

In general, the following grading methods have been developed to help distinguish the cut of a particular diamond. They are:

  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Fair
  • Poor

While at Diamond Exchange Dallas we can educate you on diamond cut and show you different diamonds scanned on our state-of-the-art diamond laser grading machine. You can find out more about diamond cut at Diamond Exchange Dallas here.

ColorDiamond Color Grading

Color is the second most important characteristics which one needs to consider when choosing a diamond. Diamonds are born under the earth in a wide range of colors. The white diamonds are the traditionally valued ones and when someone speaks of a diamond’s color they are referring to the presence or absence of color in the white diamonds. Diamond color is a grading standard that decreases or increases the value of a diamond. A white diamond may possess a relative amount of yellow, gray or brown color due to the presence of some elements in the diamond. The less body color in a diamond, the more its value because it is a colorless diamond that allows more light to pass which consequently emits more sparkle and fire.

The GIA scale of color has been adopted by the diamond industry, making it the most widely followed one. On this scale, the color of diamonds is graded from D and goes up till Z, where D is a truly colorless diamond and Z has a tinge of light yellow in them. Though it is difficult to detect the color of diamonds between D and J on the color scale, beyond J, one can discern the yellow tinge with the naked eye. In the market, diamonds in the range of D-F are the most sough after. The colorless diamonds are not only expensive, but also very rare.
Diamond color grading scale:
Diamond Color Scale
Of late, there has been a tremendous rise in popularity of colored diamonds. They are categorized under fancy color diamonds. These diamonds do not follow the same color grading rules. Fancy color diamonds are rare, expensive and comes in a rainbow of colors. Diamond Exchange Dallas will show you different stones during your visit so you will be able to compare the colors of diamonds you may be interested in. Find out more about diamond color here

Carat

Diamond Sizes vs Carat Weight
Perhaps of all the 4C’s, the carat weight is the easiest to comprehend. In simple words, carat refers to the weight of a diamond. People often confuse it with a measurement of size. Carats are divided into points. 100 points equals to one carat. One point is equal to 0.1 carat or 1/100 carat. When a piece of jewelry contains more than one diamond, the stones are weighed together and not individually. The ‘carat total weight’ refers to the total weight of all the diamonds in a jewelry piece. It should be remembered that a carat weight does not reflect the size of the diamond. A diamond may appear big, but may weigh less.

The price of a diamond jumps as the carat weight increases. However, two diamonds with the same carat weight may have different price range owing to the three other factors; color, cut and clarity. Though one cannot differentiate between 1.1 carat and 1.2 carat diamond, but the cost difference between these two carat weights can be huge. Hence, if you wish to go for a 1.20 carat diamond, you can take a look at diamonds next to 1.10 carat of the same quality. You will not notice a huge difference in size, though you will be able to save hundreds of dollars.

When it comes to buying a diamond, the most appealing factor is the carat weight of the diamond. However, one needs to remember that color, clarity and cut also plays a major role in influencing the value of a diamond. While visiting Diamond Exchange Dallas we can show you different sized diamonds with different carat weights. Find out more about carat weight here.

Clarity

Diamond Clarity Chart
Diamond is the product of nature and like all natural things, diamonds too can be rarely found in their perfect form. Diamonds are born with their own set of flaws, known widely as inclusions and blemishes. Diamond clarity is a grading term that is used to describe a diamonds inclusions. They also go by the name ‘fingerprints’ or ‘birthmarks’ and they usually look like tiny crystals, feathers or clouds. It is the task of the diamond cutter to cut and polish the diamond in such a way so that the inclusions and blemishes are well hidden.

Clarity is the degree of imperfections present in a diamond. The fewer the inclusions, the more valuable the stone. Diamonds with numerous inclusions or blemishes will have less brilliance because the flaws will come in the way of the light passing through the diamond. Smaller or less number of inclusions a diamond has, the more valuable and rare it becomes. Diamonds without any inclusions or blemishes are extremely rare. Flaws in a diamond cannot always be detected with the naked eye and can only be clearly seen under magnification. While a customer is a Diamond Exchange Dallas we show them different diamonds through the loupe to compare different clarities. You can find out more about diamond clarity here.

About our diamond selection at Diamond Exchange Dallas:

Nobody knows more about the 4c’s of diamonds than Diamond Exchange Dallas. At Diamond Exchange Dallas we physically cut diamonds on-site and we are experts at that. Because we cut our own diamonds on-site and sell direct nobody has better prices on wholesale diamonds in Dallas than DiamondExchangeDallas.com. We invite you to visit us for all of your diamond needs! For more information on diamonds visit our diamond education page.