Carat, Cut, Clarity and Color – What do the 4 C’s of diamonds really mean? Diamonds are forever but not all the same
The 4Cs of diamond grading is a tool for people to understand why they might want to buy one diamond over another and so the 4 C’s were established to do just that.
CARAT: The basic measurement of every diamond starts with its weight. Carats are often referred to when the size of a diamond is referenced but it is not – carats are a weight measurement. Diamond sizes are also measured in points: 100 points equals 1 carat.
CUT: A diamond’s cut can vary from diamond to diamond and has to do with how the diamond cutter chooses to shape, facet and polish a diamond. The most important use of cut is to cut the diamond for beauty. A diamond is essentially a prism for light, and diamond cutters work to maximise the amount of light that shines through each stone.
COLOR: Diamond colours can vary greatly from” white” to black and plenty in between The market has traditionally valued white diamonds higher and the grading scale reflects that. The D grade, at the top of the scale, is considered “colourless,” rarest and most expensive. Going down the 23-grade scale from D to Z, diamonds become progressively more yellow, brown or grey.
Colour diamonds have become more valuable as they’ve become more fashionable, and “fancy” colours, when they occur naturally, are rare and expensive.
CLARITY: Diamonds like most natural things, are rarely perfect. Diamonds often have flaws, known as inclusions or blemishes. Diamond cutters try to cut and polish a diamond to hide these inclusions, but they’re still there — and the clarity grade measures them. The scale ranges from flawless to heavily included.