An Overview of the 4C’s
While diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, the process of choosing one can sometimes feel like more of a nightmare. The purchase of a diamond can be very exciting, but it also can turn into a confusing process. If you don’t know what to look for in a stone, shopping for a diamond can create a certain amount of uncertainty and an overload of information from some jewelers can create strong feelings of buyer’s apprehension. Whether you are purchasing a special gift or THE ring for that special someone, a diamond can be quite an investment and you will want to make sure you are getting the best quality for your money.
As you shop, keep in mind color, clarity, cut and carat weight, otherwise known as the 4 C’s of diamonds. Having a basic knowledge of these factors can hugely impact the quality and value of the diamond you ultimately choose.
Here is a quick list of terms to help you get up to speed and become a little more diamond savvy!
Color: Grading from D-Z – While the majority of people picture diamonds in their ideal state, which is colorless, there can actually be a great variation to diamonds when they are viewed closely. The scale of colors range from D-Z grade with D’s being colorless and more desirable all the way to Z’s, which appear to have a slight yellow tint. + Read about “Diamond Color”
Clarity: Grading from FL- I3 – Clarity refers to the presence or absence of “inclusions” or “blemishes”. The highest grade receives an FL, which means flawless, and from there it is quite a wide range from internally flawless, very, very slightly included, very slightly included, slightly included and included. Most inclusions or blemishes cannot be seen by the naked eye so it is important to always see the grading report! According to the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), a grading report from a scientific source will be the most reliable proof on the quality of stone you are purchasing. + Read about “Diamond Clarity”
Cut: Grading from Excellent to Poor – This is perhaps the “C” that most people feel more familiar with. Commonly mistaken as the shape (such as round, princess, pear, etc.) the cut is actually more complex and is based upon the most complex analysis of a diamond’s facets and polish. Grading is done on a 5 step scale from Excellent to Poor. + Read about “Diamond Cut”
Carat: Grading by metric weight – Often viewed as “the size”, the carat weight actually refers to the overall weight of a diamond. A metric carat is 200 milligrams and each carat is weighed to the hundredth decimal from 0.00-5.00 carats. Sometimes these measurements might be referred to in terms of their points. For example a 0.25 diamond would be considered a “twenty-five pointer” and a 0.75 carat would be a “seventy-five pointer”. +Read about “Diamond Carat”
This brief diamond introduction is enough to get your feet wet when it comes to your diamond education. In this ongoing series we will cover each “C” in detail, but if your education on the 4 C’s takes you no further than this page remember that one of the most important tips we can offer our customers is to ask for the “diamond grading report”.
When you shop at Forever Diamonds most of our diamonds already come with a GIA diamond grading report. We have these readily available and are always willing to go over them in detail with you. If you are looking for a diamond, please view our GIA Reported and Registered Diamonds. If you have any specific questions, feel free to email us or if you are in the Phoenix or Gilbert, AZ area please stop by our store for an in-person education on the questions you may have!