4C's of Diamonds
The Carat Weight
The word carat derives from the word carob, a Mediterranean seed, which has an extremely consistent weight for measuring. The greater the carat weight, combined with quality, the rarer, and more valuable the diamond becomes.
Diamonds and other gemstones are weighed in metric carats: one carat is equal to 0.2 grams, about the same weight as a paperclip. (Don’t confuse carat with karat, as in “18K gold,” which refers to gold purity.)
Just as a dollar is divided into 100 pennies, a carat is divided into 100 points. For example, a 50-point diamond weighs 0.50 carats. But two diamonds of equal weight can have very different values depending on the other members of the Four C’s: clarity, color and cut.
The true definition of cut is the quality of the proportions and symmetry of the diamond. Your diamond's proportions make a vast difference on how brightly your diamond shines. An 'ideal cut' diamond is one that allows the maximum amount of light to return through the top of the diamond, which takes into consideration the depth, table size, crown height and angle, girdle thickness and more. Our diamond professionals will be happy to assist you in selecting the best diamond cut.
After a rough diamond is mined, it is evaluated to determine its best possible cut, in order to maintain the maximum clarity, color, and carat weight. The term 'cut' is often confused with diamond 'shape', such as round brilliant or princess cut.
Diamonds range from colorless to yellow or light brown, and are sometimes found in a spectrum of fancy colors, including yellow, blue, and even red diamonds. The less color, the rarer the diamond.
D - Colorless
E-F - Colorless
G-J - Near Colorless
K-M - Faint Yellow
N-R - Very Light Yellow
S-Z - Light Yellow
After 'Z' on the color scale, diamonds become fancy yellow, which cost more because of their rarity.
Diamonds are composed of mostly carbon. During the heating process, other elements become trapped inside, giving each diamond its own unique fingerprint. These inclusions help identify the clarity of your diamond.
F- No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader.
IF- No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader.
VVS1-VVS2- Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see.
VS1-VS2- Inclusions are clearly visible but can be characterized as minor.
SI1-SI2- Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader.
I1-I3- Inclusions are obvious and may affect transparency and brilliance.
*All diamonds are viewed through a 10x magnification lens by diamond graders.