Diamonds 4 Cs
If you are on a search for a diamond, understanding the diamonds 4 Cs basics is the most essential aspect you should know.
The diamonds 4 Cs actually determine the diamond look and price.
When looking for a diamond, my main recommendation is to set two main issues:
- Diamonds 4 Cs priority order.
- A budget.
Diamonds 4 C’s – Clarity:
Clarity means: how clean a diamond from inclusions is. Clarity has 11 grades (12 for EGL certifications – SI3) Flawless – FL – The highest grade, it means that the diamond is clean from inclusions.
Internally flawless – IF – the diamond has very small external inclusions (can be seen with a microscope only).
Very very slight inclusions – VVS1 and VVS2 – only an expert can see inclusions in a VVS1 and VVS2 clarity diamonds and only when using a microscope.
Very slight inclusion – VS1 and VS2 – Inclusions can be detected with a 10x magnifying loupe. In rare cases they can be seen with a naked eye (diamonds pros language – means: no magnification aids).
Slight inclusion – SI1, SI2 and SI3 (EGL certifications only) – Inclusions can be seen with a 10x loupe and in many cases with a naked eye.
Industrial diamonds – I1, I2 and I3 – Inclusions can be seen easily with a naked eye especially at I2 and I3 clarity diamonds.
Diamonds 4 C’s – Carat size
: Carat weight determines the actual size of the diamond. The shape affects the size (mm size) of the diamond, but even diamonds with the same shape, will not look the same (but close). For example: a 1.00 Carat Round diamond can be anywhere between 6.2-6.6 mm wide.
The size of diamond effects highly over its price. Diamonds are priced today mainly buy the “Rapaport price sheet”. The price sheet contains 4 pages: 2 of them for Round diamonds and the other 2 for Fancy shapes (all the other shapes). Each shape is separated to different Carat Size groups.
The Main Carat size groups are:
1. 0.50-0.69 Ct
4. 1.00-1.49 Ct
5. 1.50-1.99 Ct
6. 2.00-2.99 Ct
7. 3.00-3.99 Ct
8. 4.00-4.99 Ct
9. 5.00-9.99 Ct
10. 10.00 Ct and up
Diamonds 4 C’s – Color:
Color is a very obvious Category. It is easy to understand the visual difference between different colors (red, blue, yellow…), but it is harder to grasp the difference between the more common diamonds: D – K colors.
The most expensive diamonds today are colored diamonds: Red, Blue, and Pink and few other colors. These diamonds can cost more then $10,000 per carat for the lighter shades and up to $1 million to the darker and solid color shades.
As you probably know especially if you started the shopping process, F – J colors are the more common colors for most buyers. These colors are reasonably prices and look great. I believe that diamonds should be bought when you know what your budget is and which one of the diamonds 4 C’s is the most important for you.
When knowing both choosing a color is easier, if color is most important: you go for higher color and compromise on the other 4 C’s and vice versa.
My recommendation for you regarding colors: H and I colors will provide with the best look for you budget.
Diamonds 4 C’s – Cut:
Cut I believe is an underrated C. A well cut diamond will look much better than a non well cut one. There are two main ways to know if a diamond is well cut:
1. Looking at its certification and understanding the “dry” stats.
2. Looking at the diamond – a well cut diamond will shine and sparkle much more than a not well cut diamond.
In my experience most buyers when starting to seek for a diamond, do not put much to much attention on the Cut aspect. They usually concentrate on Size, Color and Clarity. What sometimes do happened when they start looking at diamonds, they “discover” the Cut due to its shiny look.
Today the internet became a top information source for diamonds. I would advice every shopper today, mainly the ones that are planning to shop online, to educate themselves and also going to a local store looking at a few diamond. It will assist you in knowing what diamond should you buy.
One important fact: the price difference between a well cut diamond and not a well cut one is smaller relatively than for the other 4 C’s.
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