Diamonds are bought to signify love, major accomplishments and life’s milestones. The more you know about your diamond jewelry, the more confident you will feel when making your diamond jewelry choices. Take a moment to learn about the 4Cs and find out how they play an important role in the value of your diamond and its uniqueness.
The shape of the diamond is often confused with the cut. Shape is the physical form of the stone.
The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance or sparkle. Each shape is cut differently. Before a diamond is cut, the location of inclusions and flaws, the natural coloration, and the original shape of the rough stone are studied extensively. The stone facets are then mapped out and cut in a way that maximizes size, shape, and clarity. For optimal light performance, you will want a diamond that is cut neither too shallow nor too deep.
Diamonds are graded based on the amount of color they do or do not possess. The scale runs from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). Absolutely colorless diamonds are rare and therefore very valuable.
A diamond is distinguished by its natural characteristics. Referred to as a diamond's clarity, these characteristics may be on the surface (blemishes) or within the stone (inclusions). A stone’s clarity is judged by the number and types of these characteristics using a scale that runs from Fl, defined as flawless, to I3, defined as inclusions visible with the naked eye. A flawless diamond is truly rare.
FL: Flawless - No internal or external flaws.
IF: Internally Flawless - No internal flaws.
VVS1, VVS2: Very, Very Slightly included. Difficult to see inclusions with 10x magnification.
VS1, VS2: Very Slightly Included. Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification to a skilled grader.
SI1, SI2: Most SI1 diamonds are pretty clean to the naked eye. SI2 diamonds might have visible inclusions that can be seen by the unaided eye or through the pavilion (back of the diamond).
I1, I2, I3: Included - Inclusions are visible with the unaided eye.
The weight unit of measure for diamonds is the carat. One carat is equivalent to .2 grams or .007 of an ounce. Carat weight can be further divided using points. There are 100 points in one carat. So a 1/4 (.25) carat stone can also be expressed as 25 points and mean exactly the same thing. When comparing two diamonds, please note that just because one is twice the carat weight of the other does not mean that it will appear to be twice the size.