Diamond Education

The 4 C's
 

Diamond Anatomy & Cut Quality

When you’re shopping for a diamond, its sparkle will draw you to the jewelry counter, and keep you captivated long after you’ve made your diamond purchase. Achieving maximum brightness and sparkle requires excellent cutting technique, which is reflected in the diamond’s cut grade.

Understanding the 4 C’s of Diamonds Shopping

A diamond cutter must spend more time and sacrifice more of the rough crystal in order to produce a well cut finished stone, thereby ending up with a smaller diamond than had he taken liberties with cut quality. Well cut diamonds therefore yield less carat weight from the rough and are consequently more expensive to produce.

Clarity

Below is a depiction of the basic behavior of light entering a diamond. A well cut diamond will refract and reflect a high percentage of light back to the eye, whereas a poorly cut diamond will allow light to leak out the bottom resulting in diminished brilliance and fire.

Diamond Clarity Descriptions
Light Performance Factors
  • Brightness
  • Dispersion (fire)
  • Leakage
  • Contrast
Proportions Factors
  • Girdle Thickness
  • Culet Size
  • Weight Ratio (spread)
  • Durability
  • Tilt
Finish Factors
  • Polish
  • Symmetry

Cut

Diamond shapes other than round are referred to as “fancy” shapes. Almost any shape is possible and there are new designs coming into the market as new diamond cutting technologies and techniques are developed. Determining a cut grade for fancy shapes is far more complicated than for rounds, and as a result only the AGS light performance system is capable of accounting for the complexity. Even with this adaptive scientific system, not all shapes have yet been fully worked out.

Diamond Clarity Descriptions
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Color

A diamond’s color impacts both its appearance and its value. The color grading of diamonds is based on a scale which is a continuum of color intensities ranging from colorless to obviously tinted. The color grades are very small increments along this continuum starting at D and progressing to Z. This is known as the “normal range” of diamond color. Colors beyond Z are referred to as “fancy colors” and are graded in a completely different way. In general, diamond values fall through the normal range and then abruptly begin to increase once color strength hits the fancy range. For the purposes of this article we confine the discussion to color grading in the normal range.

Diamond Color Descriptions
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Mauris blandit aliquet elit, eget tincidunt nibh pulvinar a. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Donec velit neque, auctor sit amet aliquam vel, ullamcorper sit amet ligula.

Donec rutrum congue leo eget malesuada. Vivamus suscipit tortor eget felis porttitor volutpat. Curabitur aliquet quam id dui posuere blandit.

Sed porttitor lectus nibh. Nulla porttitor accumsan tincidunt. Quisque velit nisi, pretium ut lacinia in, elementum id enim.

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Carat (Size)

Carat is a measure of WEIGHT. The weight of a diamond is expressed in carats. This term comes from ancient times when gems were weighed against the carob bean. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams, or one fifth of a gram.

Diamond Sizing Descriptions
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Mauris blandit aliquet elit, eget tincidunt nibh pulvinar a. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Donec velit neque, auctor sit amet aliquam vel, ullamcorper sit amet ligula.

Donec rutrum congue leo eget malesuada. Vivamus suscipit tortor eget felis porttitor volutpat. Curabitur aliquet quam id dui posuere blandit.

Sed porttitor lectus nibh. Nulla porttitor accumsan tincidunt. Quisque velit nisi, pretium ut lacinia in, elementum id enim.

Nulla quis lorem ut libero malesuada feugiat. Nulla quis lorem ut libero malesuada feugiat. Quisque velit nisi, pretium ut lacinia in, elementum id enim.