4 Cs of a diamond represent the four main components of the stone: Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat Weight.
Each of the C’s is evaluated for quality and is graded on a scale. The most consistent and recommended entities for diamond grading are the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society (AGS).
In fact, 4 Cs grading indicates the quality of a diamond and determine its value. Moreover, diamond sellers usually set their prices based on grading reports. That’s why understanding the basics of these gradings is helpful to avoid spending your budget on a component that will go unnoticed to the naked eye.
FIRST C – CUT
Diamond cut refers to the precision of angles, proportions and symmetry, which directly impact brilliance, fire and scintillation.
According to GIA diamond cut grades on the scale of Ideal, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. It is worth to mention that Ideal and Excellent cut grade diamonds provide the maximum brilliance and fire.
The cut is the biggest indicator of the beauty of the stone and should be made a priority over the other 4 Cs of a diamond. Even a diamond with no inclusions or colour tints will be dull if it’s not cut exceptionally well. No precision, no sparkles.
SECOND C – COLOUR
When talking about diamond colour we mean how white or colourless the stone is. According to GIA diamonds are graded from D to Z, with D being the most colourless, and Z containing brown or yellow tint noticeable to the naked eye.
The pricing of diamonds significantly reflects these gradings, though the most critical aspect with colour is to determine how colourless it appears in the setting. For example, I colour diamond set into white gold or platinum most probably will look the same as K colour diamond set in yellow gold. That’s why as a general recommendation while purchasing a diamond ask for the assistance of an expert to ensure you are not paying for a feature that will remain unnoticed.
Note: Here we talk about ”white” diamonds. Coloured diamonds, like fancy pink or green etc., are graded the other way.
THIRD C – CLARITY
A diamond’s clarity grade shows how clean the diamond is from any kind of inclusions or blemishes. According to GIA diamond’s clarity is graded on the following scale:
- FL – Flawless
- IF – Internally Flawless
- VVS1, VVS2 – Very Very Slightly Included
- VS1, VS2 – Very Slightly Included
- SI1, SI2, SI3 – Slightly Included
- I1, I2, I3 – Included
Blemishes and inclusions are imperfections that will most likely interfere with the light that passes through the diamond. Depending on the size, location and darkness of these, the brilliance of the stone will be dulled and it won’t be that sparkly. That’s why it’s extremely important to ensure that the stone is eye clean.
FOURTH C – CARAT WEIGHT
Carat (Ct) is not how large the stone is. It refers to the weight of the diamond. 1 carat (Ct) equals 0.2 grams. It’s extremely important to understand that depending on the cut and shape 2 diamonds of the same carat weight may be quite different in size.
While thinking about large carat weight, it’s important to understand what you value more: the size or brilliance that will outshine any larger dull stone. Our recommendation is to be open to lowering carat weight to ensure you purchase a stunning diamond.