Understanding the four fabulous c's

Posted on 15 April 2014 by Galaxy

We all know choosing a diamond can be a bit bedazzling. Luckily understanding the way these striking stones are graded and valued is as easy as ‘ABC’. More specifically, ‘C’ - and four of them to be exact.

Here is a simple guide to understanding the four fabulous C’s of diamond grading, and how to choose the perfect stone for you.

A cut above the rest

The very first ‘C’ refers to a diamond’s cut, which consists of the shape it is polished in, as well as the quality of its polish.

The shape in which a diamond is polished gives the stone its special name. Round Brilliant cut diamonds are the most popular and have a gorgeous sparkle. For those who love something a bit out of the ordinary, fancy cuts like Princess (square), Emerald (rectangular) and Trillion (triangular) are a great way to show off their unique flair.

Other popular shapes to look out for are Cushion cuts (square or rectangular with slightly rounded sides), Marquise, Oval and the ever-elegant Pear cut.

Diamonds are cut to perfection using the age-old art of lapidary combined with new technology to achieve the perfect angles and facets. A perfect sparkle is achieved when all the facets of a diamond are polished just right and light bounces around inside the stone to create a lively shine.

Colour me sparkly

Diamonds come in a variety of natural tones, from the iciest white to a warm yellow hue. Since there are so many varieties in the colour a diamond can have, a grading system was put in place to categorise these sparkly beauties. According to this colour grading system, D, E and F refer to the whitest stones and K, L and M refer to a lovely medium white range commonly used by jewellers.

Although diamonds are considered more valuable when they’re whiter, colour is never a flaw. Choosing the perfect colour for your stone has a lot to do with your skin tone and whether you prefer it set in a yellow or white gold ring.

Crystal clear clarity

Since diamonds are natural crystals straight from the earth, each one is uniquely special. As a diamond forms, natural tiny inclusions become a part of the stone. Based on the number and size of inclusions present in a diamond, as well as where they feature in the stone, a clarity grading is assigned to determine the diamond’s value. The grading can range from Internally Flawless (IF) to Included (I).

Since the inclusions in a diamond are a part of its unique beauty, it is important not to think of them as impurities or flaws, but rather as the diamond’s own natural fingerprint. Most inclusions are microscopic and have to be magnified at least ten times before it can be seen with the human eye.

Size matters

The last (but definitely not least) ‘C’ is the Carat weight of a diamond. A Carat is a unit of measure equal to 0.20ct of a Metric Gram. Carat weight can also be measured in points, with one Carat equalling to one hundred points (1ct=100pt). Naturally a diamond’s weight and size would influence its value immensely.

When deciding the value of a particular stone, all four C’s are considered equally important and are factored into the final price. Luckily with so many variables and gorgeous diamonds out there, choosing your perfect diamond means you can decide exactly how important each ‘C’ is to you. Perhaps you want the highest colour and clarity grade; perhaps you’re more concerned with size.

The bottom line is, your perfect diamond is out there waiting for you... just ‘C’ for yourself.