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Shopping for a Diamond can be a minefield, complicated further by nuance and opinion. The Four C’s dictate a Diamonds’ characteristics and price. Together, we’ll go over some of the facts, conversations and misconceptions that arise when investigating Diamonds.
You may have heard of the Four C’s. It stands for; Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat. The four fundamental aspects of a Diamond and its appearance to both the naked eye and under a microscope or loupe. Though, how much of it is truly relevant to you and do you actually need to attain the best quality across Colour, Clarity and Cut whilst also maximising the Carat weight?
Let’s start with Clarity. It’s the most easily confused factor of the Four C’s and often thought to be something it’s not. Clarity relates to inclusions within the Diamond. The grading scale ranges from Flawless down to Included 3. Within the two ends of the scale sit; IF, VVS, VS and SI. Which stands for; Internally Flawless, Very Very Slight, Very Slight and Slight Inclusions.
One requirement for a Diamond that may not be truly needed is having to stay at a VVS level or above. We understand the need for elements of perfection and the significance of making the Diamond as powerful as possible, but the issue of staying at or above a VVS level is value-related.
To your eye, there’s very little distinction (if any) between a VVS Diamond and a VS Diamond. The same can then be said about the differences between a VS Diamond and an SI-graded Diamond. Inclusions are for the most part very minimal and easily lost within the facets of a Diamond. The better the Clarity, the more money you’ll be paying and for not a lot of difference.
Often, people see a Diamond that doesn’t sparkle as impressively as a Diamond may on advertising campaigns and social media, for example, and blame that absence of razzle-dazzle on Clarity. It’s probably not that. It may be the Cut of the Diamond.
Round Brilliant-Cut Diamonds have a Cut grade. If the Cut grade is below ‘Very Good’, it’s usually not as lively on the eye! The Cut grade is vital info for a Round Brilliant-Cut Diamond, but not registered for fancy shape Diamonds such as; Emerald Cut, Oval Cut or Cushion Cut.
One thing we’ve found that’s non-negotiable for a lot of people is the Colour of the Diamond. The Colour is easily noticeable and it doesn’t require as much experience with Diamonds to identify differences between Colour grades. The lower the Colour, the more yellow a Diamond is. The better the Colour grade, the more crystal clear, or white, the Diamond is.
Carat is the last of the Four C’s. Often, it’s identified as a size of a Diamond. Although, it’s not. Carat is a weight. Therefore, two 1 Carat Diamonds can look slightly different to your eye due to the actual measurements and spread of the Diamond. When put on the scales, these Diamonds can still register the same weight of 1.00ct.
So, to summarise. A Diamond’s most apparent features will be its Carat Weight and Colour. Whilst lower Clarity Diamonds can still look incredible and help you find a good blend between the Four C’s to achieve a better pricepoint.
The best way to understand Diamonds and the Four C’s is to view them in person, rather than to only gather an education via websites and blogs. Getting hands-on with Diamonds allows you to truly learn the differences between them and really learn where and what your money is going towards.