Diamonds – The Four C’s
Learn about the 4C’s
Learn about the 4C’s to choose the right diamond for you! Park Jewelers is here to help educate you and make sure you are getting the best diamond and best quality Diamond, while being mindful of your budget.
Diamonds take billions of years to form in nature. As a result, all gem-quality diamonds are rare. The time it takes for diamonds to travel from the mine to you is long and laborious. The Four Cs are factors to help our customers identify the quality of a diamond you may be interested in. The four characteristics are all considered when determining a diamond’s rarity, which then determines its value. Another important factor is the beauty to the one who will cherish it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that is truly important when deciding which diamond is perfect for you.
Fine diamonds are among the most desirable of all gems. However, the value of a diamond can vary vastly from one to another based of several factors. There are experts dedicated to evaluating every diamond for rarity and beauty, using four primary guidelines. The guidelines are referred to as The Four Cs – Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight.
The cut of a diamond refers to several factors. The most common aspect of cut that customers often think of is the actual shape of the diamond. This is the first part when determining the cut of a diamond. Diamonds are cut into many different shapes. Among the most popular shapes are Round, Princess, Oval, Asscher, Cushion, Emerald, Baguette and Marquise cuts. There are many other shapes also available.
Cut refers also to the diamonds proportions and how it is actually cut. A diamond starts out as a rough diamond, and the quality and proportions of that rough diamond often determine the shape it is cut into. The overall proportions, size and placement of the many reflective surfaces or facets of a diamond play a large part in “cut.” It is imperative to balance these properties to get the ideal cut, as it affects how the stone captures light and reflects it back to the eye.
Diamonds come in various colors and degrees of rarity. With the exception of fancy colored diamonds, the most valuable diamonds are those with the least color. The color scale for transparent diamonds is as follows: D-F (colorless), G-J (near colorless), K-M (faint yellow), to Z (light yellow). Completely colorless diamonds are the most rare.
There are instances when diamonds are formed with traces of other minerals. The result is rare and beautiful colors. They are referred to as “fancy” colors. Fancy colors range from blue and brilliant yellow to red, brown, pale green, pink and violet. Due to the rarity of these colored diamonds, they are considered highly desirable and can be quite valuable.
The clarity of a diamond is measured by the presence or absence of visible flaws. These flaws can be tiny surface blemishes or internal inclusions, and even those seen only with magnification from a jeweler’s 10x loupe can alter the brilliance of a diamond. Because of this, it can affect the value of the diamond. Clarity levels are based on the following scale, beginning with Flawless (FL & IF) followed by Very Very Slight (VVS1 & VVS2), Very Slight (VS1 & VS2), Slightly Included (SI1 & S2), and Included (I1, I2, & I3).
A diamond’s size is measured by its weight, rather than its dimensions. The standard unit of measurement for a diamond is One Carat. It is equal to approximately 0.2 grams. Diamonds are also commonly referred to in points. A point is equal to 1/100 of a carat; therefore, a 50-point diamond equals 0.50 carat. Diamonds of equal weight can also appear slightly larger or smaller, depending on their depth and proportions. Large diamonds of high gem quality are rare and therefore much more valuable.