The 4C’s of a Diamond
The most important of all the qualities in a diamond is its cut. This is because the effect of a cut has a huge impact on the diamond’s beauty. A perfect cut will expose the diamond’s brilliancy and scintillation and allows light to enter through its top and be reflected and dispersed back through its top.
A diamond cut is specifically describing its proportions. Each diamond has its own unique set of properties: Diameter, Table, Crown, Girdle, Pavilion, Depth and Cutlet. The Diameter measures the width of the stone (includes the table and the crown). This is the top most portion of the diamond. The table is the largest facet located on the top of the diamond. The crown is the top part extending from the table to the girdle. The girdle is the very edge of the diamond where the crown and the pavilion meet. The pavilion is the very bottom part of the diamond extending from the girdle down to the cutlet. Depth is the total height of a diamond measured from the girdle down to the cutlet. The cutlet is the small or pointed facet at the very bottom of the stone.
A truly colorless (D-color) diamond is highly rare. Most diamonds have a slight variation of yellow or brown to them. This slight different however, makes a huge different in price. You are able to see this coloration in well cut diamonds. However, fancy cut diamonds or other diamonds that are nearly colorless will not disguise the yellow, brownish tint for the most part.
Colorless diamonds are traditionally more desirable to the consumer. However, diamonds come in every color of the rainbow. Classifications of diamonds in range D-F (Colorless) are most rare and valuable. D/E color stones are virtually colorless whereas F has nearly an unnoticeable (even by a gemologist) amount of color. Range G-J (Near Colorless) appears to have no color in the face up position. However, they may display a slight color when placed down against a white background. Again, an untrained eye is unlikely to detect this, especially if the diamond is mounted.
Clarity of a diamond refers to its internal imperfections. These imperfections are Inclusions, crystals spots and blemishes. Inclusions are internal, that is, inside the diamond. Crystals are merely minerals trapped inside the diamond; feathers are breaks in the diamond. Blemishes in this range are usually very small and are only on the surface of diamonds.
Clarity of FL/IF is most valuable because it is flawless. Under a 10x magnifier glass, you will not find any imperfections internally. Diamonds in this range are highly expensive and rare.
Clarity of VVS1/VVS2 are Very Very Slightly included. Under a 10x magnifier glass, you will have difficulty finding imperfections. Some inclusions can even be removed by polishing the diamond. This category of diamond is also rare and expensive.
VS1/VS2 diamonds are slightly included. Under a 10x magnifier glass, you will find some inclusions. These will typically be small crystals and feathers. Depending on the imperfection, you might in a highly rare instance be able to see the imperfection with your eye. It is on the most part a great quality diamond.
SI1/SI2 diamonds are slightly included. Under a 10x magnifier glass, you will be able to find inclusions. These inclusions may be visible to your eye.
I1/I2/I3 diamonds are included. These diamonds will have imperfections visible to the naked eye. These are usually used as accent diamonds in jewelry.
Carat is the base measurement for weight of a diamond. One carat is equivalent to a .20 of a gram or about a 1/142 of an ounce. Jewelers use points to describe the carat size of a diamond. 1 Carat of a diamond is divided into 100 points. Carat or weight of a diamond is the least important in determining its value. It is also the easiest factor of a diamond to determine with most accuracy.