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The 4 C's Explained

A diamond is classified by 4 distinct factors that, when combined, can help to determine its value. These factors are called the 4 C’s: Colour, Cut, Clarity and Carat.

First created by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), the 4C’s are now the global standard that has been accepted for describing and determining the value and quality of a diamond.

The 4C’s are now a universal language. Customers can can use the 4C's to prioritize aspects are most important to them and find the diamond that best fits their preferences and budget.

The weight of a diamond is conveyed in Carats. The metric value of a carat is determined as 200 milligrams and every carat can be further subdivided into 100 ‘points’ allowing for a very precise and accurate measurement of the weight of the stone. I.e: 1 carat = 100 points.

The larger the diamond, the rarer and more desirable it becomes – meaning that the price of the stone will increase. However, it is important to note that two diamonds of the same carat can differ in price according to the remaining "C's" (clarity, cut, color).

To be able to correctly evaluate the clarity of the diamond, we must be able to determine the number, size, nature and position of any imperfections/inclusions as these will affect the overall appearance. Even though no diamond is exactly pure, the cleaner it is, the higher it’s value.

Although many of these inclusions are too small to be seen by the naked eye, the quantity ad position vary greatly among gradings.

Diamonds are acclaimed for their tremendous ability to transmit light shimmer and sparkle. Although it is often thought that the diamond’s cut is the shape of the diamond (ie: round, square, heart, oval); the diamond’s cut refers to how well its facets interact and reflect light.

It takes careful artistry and impeccable craftsmanship to precisely cut a diamond so that its proportions, polish and symmetry deliver the most rewarding and magnificent return of light.

diamond’s cut is the most crucial part of the 4C’s when it comes to its eye-catching beauty and value, however, it is the most complex and difficult to analyze. The accuracy in which your diamond is cut will dramatically impact its fire, brightness and scintillation. Fire is the term that is used to describe the way that the light that enters the diamond is broken down into different colours.

In order for a diamond to make the best use of light, it must be cut into the right proportions. If the cut is too deep, the light can escape through the sides of the diamond or through the bottom. On the contrary, if the cut is too shallow, the light will escape through the bottom before it has time to be reflected by the facets.

The grading of diamond colour is based on the absence of colour. A completely pure diamond has absolutely no colour, shade or tint and has the highest value. The degree of colour is measured by comparing a loose diamond with a ‘Master Set’ under very specific grading conditions.