One of the first questions you need to understand before purchasing a diamond is how they are characterised and evaluated - aka the 4Cs: how to select the right diamond.
What are the 4 C's in choosing a diamond?
The 4Cs are a grading system developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and are used to evaluate a diamond's quality and value.
- Carat Weight: is the weight of a diamond and is measured in a unit called carats. A one carat diamond is equivalent to 0.2 grams. The carat weight measures the size of the diamond and this impacts the overall price - larger diamonds are rarer hence making them more valuable.
- Cut: refers to a diamond's proportions, symmetry, and polish. A well-cut diamond will reflect light better, making it more brilliant and valuable. The best cut diamonds are called triple EX (i.e. excellent proportions, symmetry and polish). There are 5 categories of cut:
- Clarity: This refers to the presence of inclusions within the diamond and how clean it is. Less inclusions mean that the stone is cleaner and results in a higher clarity rating making the diamond more valuable.
|FLAWLESS||INTERNALLY FLAWLESS||VERY VERY SLIGHTLY INCLUDED||VERY SLIGHTLY INCLUDED||SLIGHTLY INCLUDED||INCLUDED|
- Colour: refers to the presence (or absence) of colour in the diamond. Diamonds with that are near colourless are more valuable than those with pale or brownish tinge. The exception to the colourless is in fancy-coloured diamonds which are rare and can be very valuable. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades diamonds on a scale from D (colourless) to Z (yellow or brown).
|D E F||G H I J||K L M||N O P Q R||S T U V W X Y Z|
|COLOURLESS||NEAR COLOURLESS||FAINT||VERY LIGHT||LIGHT|
This is an overview of the 4Cs: for how to select the right diamond and are important in diamond grading, as they all contribute to a diamond's overall quality and value. However, the importance of each C can vary depending on personal preference and the intended use of the diamond.
Which diamond C is most important?
The importance of each C can vary depending on personal preference and the intended use of the diamond.
For example, if you are looking for a diamond for your engagement ring or celebration ring, you will want the maximum size and beauty for which you will want to rank higher on the clarity and cutting and you may opt for lower clarity and colour. We recommend going for excellent cut, G/H colour and anywhere between VS2- SI1 in terms of clarity. However, you may come across two different stones, with the same characteristics, yet they vary in price. To help you navigate the other finer details which include characteristics like evaluating the angle of the diamond, fluorescence, the placement of the inclusions etc. it is recommended to speak with a professional gemologist so you end up with the best, and biggest stone and they can help you understand the 4Cs & how to select the right diamond.
Alternatively, if you are going for a pair of earrings, then the clarity and colour may be even lower because they are worn on the ears and as such aren’t typically examined that closely.
What is the best diamond certification?
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is widely regarded as the most reputable and authoritative gem lab in the world and is recognized as a leader in gemological research, education, and laboratory services, especially when it comes to diamonds.
The GIA is known for its strict grading standards, state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, and highly trained staff. Its grading reports are widely trusted and accepted by the diamond and jewelry industry, and its research on gemology and diamond grading has helped to set the standards for the industry.
Other well-known gem labs include the American Gemological Society (AGS), the International Gemological Institute (IGI), and the European Gemological Laboratory (EGL). However, the GIA is generally considered to be the most authoritative gem lab due to its long-standing reputation, rigorous standards, and widespread acceptance in the industry.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the 4Cs of diamond grading, lets chat and help you select the right diamond. Book a free consultation today: https://aljoher.ca/pages/contact-us