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DIAMOND EDUCATION - 4 Cs of a Diamond

Colour - Clarity - Carat - Cut

COLOUR

The ‘color’ of a diamond actually indicates the ‘colourlessness’ of it. The grading of a diamond’s colour determines the whiteness, as the colour grades start from ‘D’ and continue till the rest of the alphabetical order.
The highest available grade is D, termed as rare and colourless. As you go ahead from grades D to Z, the colour differs from pure white to various tinges of yellow in a descending range.
The more yellow the stone, the lesser its value. Grade D is the highest valued, while Z is the lowest one. ‘Colour’ is considered as the second most important characteristic after the ‘Cut’.


CLARITY

 Clarity in a diamond is the measure of the size and numbers of imperfections or inclusions in it. These ‘imperfections’ are very microscopic and do not hinder the beauty of a diamond in any way.
Most of the diamonds include elements of carbon, the component from which they are made. These are known as inclusions/ imperfections which are present naturally and thus make each diamond unique.
The tiny inclusions occur naturally during the formation; mostly not perceived by the naked eye.
Diamonds with the least number of imperfections are priced high. Out of the four C’s of a diamond, the Clarity is the easiest to understand and has the slightest impact on a diamond’s appearance.

Factors of Clarity:

The clarity of a diamond refers to the amount of inclusions in it. The black, white or grey marks inside a diamond’s structure make for the ‘inclusions’ in a diamond. Each diamond bears its own exclusive inclusions which are determined by several factors

These factors that determine the clarity are:

  • Size of inclusions
  • Quantity of inclusions
  • Nature of inclusions
  • Colour of inclusions
  • Location of inclusions

Each of the factors combined helps a grader assess the precise clarity of a diamond. These inclusions are often named as pin, feathers, points, bubble, carbon, graining etc. The clarity of a diamond speculates the value of a diamond and thus is an important factor.

Clarity Scale Chart:

  • FL, IF - Flawless, Internally Flawless:

Internally and externally flawless, these are very rare diamonds with no internal imperfections even under 10 x magnifications. Termed as ‘very rare’

  • VVS1, VVs2 - Very, Very Slightly Included:

Barely any inclusions, the inclusions are very difficult to see under 10 x magnifications. Termed as ‘excellent quality diamond’

  • VS1, VS2 - Very Slightly Included:

The imperfections are not easily visible to the naked eye.  Very slight inclusions are visible under 10x magnifications.

  • SI1, SI2 - Slight inclusion1, Slight inclusion2:

Imperfections in SI1 are visible under 10 x magnifications, while those in SI2 are visible to the naked eye.

  • I1 - Inclusion:

Numerous imperfections; easily visible to the naked eye.


CARAT

Carat is the measure of a diamond’s weight and does not refer to a diamond’s actual size.
One carat equals 0.2 grams. The heaviness of a diamond is determined by how large its carat is.
The hundredth of a carat expresses a diamond.  Thus, if a diamond weighs less than a carat, i.e. 0.75ct, it will be referred as 75 points.
Carat should not be confused with the size, but should be counted as a measure of weight. The diamond size is evaluated from the top portion.
Also, Carat and Karat are two different terms. While Carat refers to a diamond size, Karat is used to rule the purity of gold.

Choosing the best size of Carat:

To get the best carat weight of a diamond, judge the size of your finger, your budget and the size of the setting.
If you are looking for a large carat weight, but are set for smaller budget, choose a diamond with a good cut, clarity of SI1-SI2 range and a colour grade of I or J.
Diamonds below the full and a half carat weights are too small to measure and thus cost less.
It is known that smaller the finger, the larger the diamond will appear. For example, a size 4 finger makes a 1.5carat diamond solitaire appear much bigger than a size 8.


CUT

Cut is known to be the most important characteristic of a diamond, as it has the greatest influence to determine a diamond’s beauty. The cut determines the most vital factor of a diamond, the ‘sparkle.’
The diamond’s light performance or the brilliance is measured or determined by the cut grade. Cut with specific proportions, a diamond sheds light from the top portion or the ‘table’ part. If improperly cut into shallow angles, the light leaks from the bottom or if cut too deep- it breaks out from the sides.
Cut of a diamond should not be confused with its shape. While ‘shapes’ are cut from a raw rough diamond, the ‘cut’ refers to the angles and proportions given to a diamond, in order to increase the sparkle.

Grades of Cut:

  • Ideal or Excellent Cut:

A rare cut, it reflects almost all the light that enters in it. The excellent quality diamond consists roughly the top 3% of well cut diamonds.

  • Very Good Cut:

The cut reflects mostly the same amount of light that of an Excellent cut, but is priced lesser.

  • Good Cut:

A good cut diamond reflects most of the light that enters. Priced at a lower cost, these diamonds are affordable.

  • Fair Cut:

Not as brilliant as a good cut, but the fair cut reflects a small portion of light. These diamonds help maximize the carat weight over other cuts and are thus a good value for money.

  • Poor Cut:

The poorly cut diamond is either cut too deep or too shallow. Thus, the diamond loses a great amount of light and shows poor brilliance when compared to others.

Choosing the right cut:

It is recommended to choose a diamond from an Excellent to Very Good to Good cut, so that you are bound to have a good sparkle. If choosing from a lower grade, it is advisable to view them personally before buying.

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