On the hunt for an extra sparkly diamond but don’t know where to start? The process of choosing a diamond begins with comprehending the distinct features of each diamond. Diamonds are evaluated based on the 4Cs, which are cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. These attributes affect the stone’s attractiveness and worth and have been established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) as the universally accepted standard for diamond grading. To discover more about each of the 4Cs of a diamond, read our helpful diamond buying guide below.
A cut of a diamond refers to the manner in which a diamond's surfaces and dimensions are proportioned and how these surfaces are positioned to produce brilliance and sparkle. A diamond’s cut, among the 4Cs, has the most significant effect on a diamond's exquisiteness and shine. For instance, what is the relationship between the diamond's diameter and depth? These seemingly small but critical factors determine the diamond's beauty and worth. When purchasing a diamond, most customers seek the highest amount of sparkle that their budget permits. Therefore, it is recommended that you choose the best cut grade you can buy.
Diamond color refers to the degree of body color in the stone, which indicates the presence or absence of brown or yellow hues in white diamonds. Typically, diamonds that have colors ranging from light yellow to brown are considered to be within the norm. Truly colorless diamonds are very rare and hence highly valued. While most diamonds may look totally colorless to consumers, many of them actually possess slight yellowish or brownish tinges that decrease their value. However, the case is different for fancy-colored diamonds, like pinks, blues, and deep yellows, where the heavier their color, the more valuable they are.
The evaluation of minute imperfections on the exterior and interior of a diamond is known as diamond clarity. Surface imperfections are called blemishes, and internal irregularities are called inclusions. It is crucial to remember that no diamonds are perfect. They are created naturally, under intense heat and pressure, so natural blemishes and inclusions are unavoidable and are actually what makes every diamond unique. Usually, a diamond's beauty is unaffected by these imperfections as most are not visible to the naked eye. But on the market, diamonds with the least or smallest imperfections are awarded the highest grades of clarity, which are associated with higher prices.
The concept of “carat” is often misinterpreted, as it actually refers to the weight of a diamond and not its physical size. It is also a common misconception that a larger carat weight equates to a better diamond, but in fact, the sparkle and beauty of a diamond are dependent on its cut. Diamonds with larger carat weights are typically cut from bigger rough diamond stones, which can be harder to find than smaller ones. Therefore, the relationship between a diamond’s carat weight and value is determined by the rarity of the rough stones, as well as their natural color and internal and external characteristics which dictate diamond clarity.
Steps to Buy a Diamond
Now that you have learned about the 4Cs, it is time to get that diamond! Below are the steps to buying the diamond of your dreams:
- Learn about a diamond’s grading based on the 4Cs
- Set and stick to your budget
- Consider how you prioritize each of the 4Cs
- Get a perfect fit by trying on different shapes and settings