The 4 C's

This short article explains the 4Cs of Diamonds – cut, colour, clarity, and carat weight –
the most important characteristics to understand when making a diamond purchase.

CUT
No single diamond is perfect for everyone—but all of our customers, whether they’re eyeing a .50-carat or a 16-carat diamond, want as much sparkle as their budget allows. Of all the 4 C’s (cut, colour, clarity, carat), cut has the greatest influence on a diamond’s beauty and sparkle. Even a diamond with a flawless clarity grade (no blemishes or inclusions) can look glassy or dull if the cut is too shallow or deep. So, remember the importance of a good cut and go with the best cut grade that you can afford.

COLOUR
The absence of colour in a diamond is the rarest and therefore, the most expensive. While the majority of our customers choose a D or E colour grade, many go with a beautiful near colourless grade to make the most of their budget and allocate more on the best cut that they can afford (which gives them more sparkle).

Deciding whether or not you want to spend more on diamond colour grade is partly related to the size and shape of the diamond that you are considering, and your setting preference. You can save by knowing how colour affects these attributes and we can advise and create the perfect setting for your diamond.

  1. CLARITY
    Diamond clarity is the assessment of small imperfections on the surface and within the stone. Surface flaws are called blemishes, while internal defects are known as inclusions. In most cases, a diamond’s beauty is not affected by these in any way since most inclusions can’t be seen with the naked eye. When referring to inclusions, gemmologists often use the term “internal characteristics” instead of flaws. Internal characteristics are what give a natural diamond its character. It’s also important to note that diamonds with the fewest and smallest inclusions receive the highest clarity grades—and higher price tags to reflect that.

    Remember, all diamonds are unique, not perfect. They are made underground through enormous pressure and heat. Natural inclusions and blemishes are inevitable.
    *Tip – Knowing where your diamonds inclusions are is a very good thing, they are like your diamonds fingerprints and no two diamond inclusions are the same!

    • The term “eye clean” means that the diamond’s inclusions are too small to see without magnification.
    • A good place to start your search and maximise your budget is with Slightly Included (SI) and Very Slightly Included (VS) grades because inclusions will not be readily noticeable without magnification.
    • Diamond shape and size affect clarity. While clarity is less important than a diamond’s cut or colour, if you are buying a diamond over one carat or considering certain fancy-shaped diamonds (like an emerald or Ascher cut where flaws are more visible), you may want to spend more for a higher clarity grade.
    • Diamond clarity is an important characteristic that affects a diamond’s beauty. While clarity affects price, there are a number of factors that can help you decide which clarity grade is right for you.

    CARAT
    The term carat is often misunderstood. It refers to a diamond’s weight, not its size. Another misperception is that a larger carat weight is always better than a smaller carat weight. While it’s true that a big rock can be a status symbol (here’s looking at you, Hollywood), carat weight is not related to sparkle. Beautiful sparkle is the result of a well-crafted cut. In fact, a high carat weight diamond with a poor cut may look smaller than a diamond with a smaller carat weight and a very good cut.

    1. “Buy shy” to save money. Select a carat weight slightly below the whole and half-carat marks. For example, instead of a 2.00 carat diamond, consider buying a 1.90 carat weight. This will save a considerable amount of money, and the slight difference will never be noticed.
    2. Splurge on cut : This is the most important factor because it maximizes sparkle. Even a high-carat diamond with excellent colour and clarity can appear lifeless and dull if the cut is poor.
    3. Fancy shapes cost less per carat. The most important thing to realise about fancy shaped diamonds is that they are generally less expensive than an equivalent round diamond. Additionally, fancy shapes can appear larger than their actual diamond carat weight size, especially when placed in a halo setting.
    4. Keep ring size in mind. The smaller the finger, the larger the diamond will appear.

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