Before buying loose diamonds online or from a retailer you must first understand the GIA 4Cs of diamond. Diamond’s color, clarity, cut & carat are termed as Diamond’s 4 Cs. Every diamond which you see in an engagement ring or in jewellery can be defined with this diamond 4cs guide.
What is 4cs of diamond?
Basically, to understand diamond’s quality and valuation, the diamond trader first examines the color, clarity, cut and carat size of any diamonds. Hence it helps in finalizing the diamond selling value. GIA, HRD, IGI etc leading agency grade diamonds on the basis of diamond cut, diamond color, diamond clarity & diamond carat size.
1. Diamond Color:
Diamond color plays the vital role in valuation. White (colorless) diamonds have the highest value compare to other light color diamonds i.e slightly yellowish or brownish. However, for fancy colors like pink and blue, you need to pay more. GIA color grading system starts with D (colorless) to Z (light color). An untrained person may find hard to judge stone’s color. At GIA lab, color grading is done under perfect light and comparing it with other stone of know color for an accurate result. Learn more about Diamond Color.
2. Diamond Clarity:
What is diamond clarity? As diamond is formed in earth mantle with high temperature and pressure, which many times create the marks, cuts, or unique hits inside the diamond (internal-inclusion) and even on diamond’s skin (external-blemish). Clearer the diamond ( no/less inclusion and blemish) more it’s value. Diamond clarity scale begins with FL ( flawless) representing best clarity and continues with increasing inclusion and blemish to I2 purity. Learn more about Diamond Clarity.
- Flawless Clarity : Pure, very rare and most expensive of all, no inclusion or blemish are visible even to the skilled grader using 10x magnification.
- Internally Flawless Clarity: No inclusion, only blemish which can be visible by skilled grader using 10x magnification considered as FL purity.
- Very, Very Slightly Included Clarity (VVS1 and VVS2): Very minor inclusion which can be hardly visible using 10X magnification are considered into VVS category.
- Very Slightly Included Clarity (VS1 and VS2): Minor inclusion which can be visible through 10x magnification can be considered into VS1 or VS2
- Slightly Included Clarity (SI1 and SI2): Easily visible inclusion under 10x magnification. The skilled grader can notice very easily.
- Included Clarity (I1 and I2): Inclusion that affects diamonds brightness and transparency. Easy to spot inclusion even with naked eyes or 10x magnification for small diamonds.
Every diamond in the world is unique and can be recognized through its clarity i.e place, size , shape and color of every inclusion & blemish in diamond are different and thus help in differentiating.
3. Diamond Cut:
Cutting of diamond has the very great impact on its light or shine. People often think stone cutting has to do with its shapes like heart, oval, emerald etc. However, diamond cutting considered with three aspects i.e diamond proportion, symmetry & polish. Ideal cut creates more shine and light reflection, thus it has a shinning price too. Diamond cutting might be the most crucial factor in 4Cs of diamond, minor changes in diamond proportion may change its light performance and thus value. Learn more about Diamond Cut.
- Excellent Cut (EX): Perfect brightness, fire, and dark created due to standard proportion, symmetry, and polish. Diamond facet cutting within standard parameters may result in ideal or excellent cut.
- Very Good Cut (VG): Brightness and fire in diamond are bit lower than EX cut diamond. Although variation in proportion is more than 0.50% sometimes lead to dark and bright effect.
- Good Cut (GD): Dark/light uneven pavilion mains due to shallow pavilion angles, dark ring effect on edges are visible from face-up view etc can be considered into a good cut diamond.
- Fair Cut (FR): Swallow Pavilion and crown combination break light transmission, hence lack or less brightness and contrast sometimes creates the fish-eye effect.
- Poor Cut (PR): More of dark facets and less of brightness, usually poor cut has a thick girdle and uneven looks but it gains more weight in proportion to its diameter.
4. Diamond Carat Size:
Carat in 4Cs of diamond considered as standard weight unit for diamond. 1 carat equals to 0.2 gram. As a dollar divided into 100 cents, 1 carat is divided into 100 points. For example, 70 point diamond can be said as 0.70 carat. Pointers have great value, for example, the value of 0.50 VG cut diamond is higher than 0.48 EX cut diamond. Although not alone weight result in more value, other aspects from 4Cs of diamond are highly considered while appraising diamond. Learn more about Diamond Carat.
Additional, 5th ‘c’ to 4cs of diamond
Well, GIA has developed 4cs of diamond which we talk above. In addition, diamond certification is now popularly considered will buying big diamonds, hence we have added the 5th cs to the original 4cs of diamond for the betterment of diamond buying and learning experience.
5. Diamond Certification:
Few of the world popular and trusted non-profit organisation provides gem diamond certification, which ultimately increase buyers confidence and security. However, GIA is the most popular institute followed by HRD, AGS, EGL IGI. Diamond certificate provides all the important details of diamond including 4cs of diamond, hence it’s important to ask certificate will buying stone. Know more about Diamond Certification.
- GIA – Gemological Institute of America
- HRD – Hoge Raad voor Diamond (Belgium)
- AGS – American Gem Society
- EGL – European Gemological Laboratory
- IGI – International Gemological Institute
Source – GIA
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4cs of Diamond – Reference
Image cerdit – GIA Blog : GIA.edu
American Gem Society : AGS website