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The 4 C`s

The value of a diamond is determined by 4 characteristics known as “The 4 C’s”. These are: Carat, Colour, Clarity and Cut.

Carat

A Carat is the unit of measurement used when weighing a diamond. One carat is the equivalent of 0.2 grams. A diamonds’ value is greatly determined by its weight. For example if you had two identical diamonds i.e. same colour, clarity and cut but the one weighs 1 carat and the other only half a carat, the 1 carat diamond may be worth as much as 350% more than the half carat!

Diamond Carat Size guide

Colour

A diamond’s colour is graded in a range from D-Z. D being truly colourless and of the highest quality. E and F are also graded as colourless while G, H, I and J are near colorless. Stones grades K, L, and M will have obvious hints of colour and as the scale approaches P you may find subtle changes in hue and tone.

The exceptions to the rule are "Fancy" diamonds in colours that include pink, blue, orange, green, and canary yellow. These are particularly rare and very valuable.

Diamond Colour Chart

Clarity

The number, size and type of flaws that are contained in a diamond determine its clarity.

The following are the various clarity categories:

Flawless (FL) & Internally Flawless (IF) Diamonds that reveal no flaws on the surface or internally.

Very, Very Small Inclusion 1 (VVS1) & Very, Very Small Inclusion 2 (VVS2) Diamonds with minute inclusions absolutely invisible to the naked eye. Only through careful inspection with a microscope can these tiny inclusions be accurately pinpointed.

Very Small Inclusion 1 (VS1) & Very Small Inclusion 2 (VS2) Diamonds with tiny inclusions difficult to locate. Only a trained eye looking through a 10X loupe can pinpoint the inclusions in this category. The inclusions are nearly impossible to see with the naked eye.

Small Inclusion 1 (S1) & Small Inclusion 2 (S2) Diamonds with inclusions easily identified through a 10x loupe. Finding flaws in this category with the naked eye is difficult. The gems in this category maintain their integrity, depending on the location of the inclusions.

Imperfect 1 (I1) to Imperfect (I3) Diamonds with inclusions which may or may not be easily seen by the naked eye.

Diamond Clarity Chart

Cut

This refers to both the style of the diamond as well as the workmanship. A well cut diamond reflects the maximum amount of light, through the diamond from one mirror-like surface to another, dispersed through the top of the stone. Diamonds cut too shallow or too deep lose light that spills through the side or bottom. Consequently, a poorly proportioned stone is less brilliant and spectacular and accordingly less valuable.

The more common styles or cuts of diamond include:

Diamond Shapes - Various Cuts