A diamond is an organic whole. Diamonds were formed from carbon hundreds of feet below the earth’s surface, and the carbon that formed the diamonds was also subjected to intense pressure and heat. This pressure and heat subsequently caused crystallization.
Most people have heard about the four C's of diamonds through advertisements or direct contact with jewelry salespeople. However, while familiar with the concept, most individuals are a little sketchy on the details.
Every diamond, like a human fingerprint, has certain distinguishing characteristics. The 4Cs-color, clarity, cut and carat weight -are the globally accepted standards for assessing the quality of diamond.
Crysus Jewelry ensures our clients have a comprehensive understanding of the characteristics of the diamond they are looking for in order for them to make the right choice.
Now, Let's take a closer look into each individual 4Cs.
The diamond color is one aspect of the buying process that you shouldn’t overlook. Diamonds can vary hugely in price based on their color, meaning that picking the right color for your specific needs could help you save a lot of money without affecting the appearance and shine of your diamond.
A diamond’s color refers to how clear or yellow it is. In general, the highest quality diamonds are totally colorless, whereas lower quality diamonds can often have a slight yellow tint.
Just like cut quality, clarity and carat weight, color is one slice of the pie to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a diamond. To get the best value when buying a diamond, it’s important to balance color with the three other Cs.
Diamond color is measured using Gemological Institute of America, or GIA color scale which goes from D (colorless) all the way to Z (light yellow or brown in color). Between D and Z (the normal color range), there are numerous diamond color grades, ranging from near colorless to slightly yellow (see GIA Chart below).
Colorless: D, E, or F
Near Colorless: G, H, I, or J
Faint Yellow Tint*: K, L, or M
Very Light Yellow Tint*: N, O, P, Q, or R
Tinted Light Yellow*: S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z
* The tint viewed may actually be yellowish, brownish, or gray.
Color is graded in a different way for fancy color diamonds. While white diamonds receive a grade of D to Z, based on the yellow or brown tint present, fancy color diamonds are graded on the intensity of its color.
Instead of a letter, the grade for fancy color diamonds go from “Faint”, Very Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense to Fancy Vivid also called Fancy Deep or Fancy Dark.
To use fancy yellow diamonds as an example, a diamond with a “Faint” grade would be slightly more yellow than a Z grade white diamond. While a Fancy Intense or Fancy Vivid yellow diamond has a deep, almost golden hue.
Diamond color matters, but only to a certain point. The way we approach the 4Cs, we separate cut and carat weight from color and clarity. Cut and carat are positive traits (you want to maximize as much as possible). Color and clarity are negative traits that you want to make sure you don’t notice when looking at a diamond.
When it comes to color, there is a line where you notice whether the diamond is clear or whether it has a yellowish tint. Your goal should be to make sure you don’t buy a diamond with a yellowish tint so low that you notice it. That line between yellowish and clear varies based on the shape of the diamond and the style setting you are putting the diamond in. We get into that below.
Once the diamond looks clear to you, there isn’t much to gain by spending more on a higher color grade. Keep in mind that buying a diamond is a zero-sum game. If you spend more money by going with a higher color grade than necessary, you will have to sacrifice on size, brilliance or clarity.
Crysus Tip:Color is one of the most noticeable characteristics of a diamond. Most people can notice whether or not a diamond is colorless (the most desired).The metal color is also a key factor to be considered when choosing your diamond color. Some, such as yellow gold and rose gold, can hide the faint yellow color of a lower grade diamond better than platinum and white gold. If the diamond is colorless, a white gold or platinum setting will enhance the diamond's whiteness.
The breathtaking beauty of a diamond comes from a combination of fire (that flash of rainbow colors that comes from within) and brilliance (the burst of sparkling light). This dazzling beauty is a direct result of the diamond's cut. The last of the four C's, cut is a little more complicated than just the shape or visible outline of the diamond. Cut also refers to a diamond's faceting as well as the diamond's symmetry, proportion, and finish (known in the trade as the "make").
There are three basic styles of diamond faceting: brilliant cut, step cut, and mixed cut.
Brilliant: Designed for maximum diamond sparkle, the brilliant cut uses many triangular and kite-shaped facets.
Step: Instead of sparkle, a step cut aims to increase a diamond's elegance with fewer facets and more trapezoids and rectangles.
Mixed: A mixed cut combines the step and brilliant cut styles for a uniquely beautiful diamond.
The Diamond cut scale is measured from Poor to Excellent. The Cut Grade of a diamonddirectly impacts its beauty; if a diamond is designed, cut, and finished properly, it will have a much more desirable appearance,even when compared to diamonds of higher color and clarity grades.
Crysus Tip: The main point to remember when shopping for diamonds is to choose a stone that looks beautiful to you. Different people have different preferences for styles, shapes, colors, and sizes.
Clarity is determined by the type, size, number, position, and contrast of inclusions. Contrast is important, because dark inclusions in a diamond are more visible and therefore more distracting from a diamond's beauty than white or gray inclusions. Plus, if an inclusion is positioned in just the wrong spot, it can be reflected within the stone multiple times, making the diamond appear even less attractive and negatively affecting its clarity even more. Inclusions occur within the stone, while blemishes are external in nature. There are many grading scales used to describe diamond clarity; however, the diamond grading scale used by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is probably the most well known. The scale can be broken down as follows:
Flawless (no inclusions under 10x loupe)
IF (internally flawless, surface blemishes exist)
VVS 1, 2 (very, very slightly included: minute inclusions)
VS 1, 2 (very slightly included: minor inclusions)
SI 1, 2 (slightly included: noticeable inclusions)
I 1, 2, 3 (included: observable inclusions)
Note: In some cases the term "imperfect" will be substituted for "included" when describing VVS, VS, and SI stones. Diamonds in the I range are also sometimes referred to as imperfect 1, 2, or 3.
Cysus Tip:Clarity makes a significant impact on the price of the stone, but when shopping for diamonds, you should remember that clarity does not always significantly affect a diamond's brilliance, and better clarity does not always ensure a more brilliant stone. While clarity does affect a diamond's brilliance, the stone's cutting largely determines its brilliance. In fact, most people cannot discern the visible difference between diamond clarity grades “flawless” through “slightly included.”
Carat is one of the most important of thefour C's of diamond buying: It's the globally recognized standard for the weight of a diamond (not to be confused with karat, a measure of gold purity).
Carat weight is pretty black and white. Diamonds are weighed in carats, which are composed of 100 points. Basically, a half-carat stone is 0.50 carats or 50 points. Carat is abbreviated as "ct." Special diamond scales calibrated to one thousandth of a carat are generally used in the jewelry trade, so diamonds are weighed to the thousandth and rounded to the hundredth of a carat. Occasionally you may hear the term "four grainer" referring to a 1-carat stone. Each grain is equal to 0.25 carat or 25 points. If you think in terms of grams, 1 gram is equal to 5 carats. This metric equivalency provides a level of uniformity anywhere in the world.
Due to the limited supply of larger diamonds, the value of a diamond rises disproportionally as the weight of the stone increases. For example, four 0.25-carat diamonds of the equivalent quality will not equal the value of a single 1-carat stone of identical quality. The disparity becomes more noticeable as the size and quality of the diamond increases.
Crysus Tip:Note that "carat" describes the weight of a stone, not the size. Carat weight and size are fairly uniform from diamond to diamond so a 1-carat round diamond will consistently measure around 6.5 mm. (Colored stones, however, are a different story. Since density varies from one gemstone to the next, shape and dimensions must be specified. If you are ordering a colored stone for your favorite 1-carat round diamond semi-mount, then you also need to specify 6.5 mm for the size. Standardized calibrations were created for gemstone and jewelry manufacturing.)
Each of the 4 C’s contribute to the overall beauty of a diamond and make each stone unique. A Diamond, however, should be viewed as an organic whole and looked at in totality as the eye has difficulty differentiating one component by itself, such as Clarity or Color.
At Crysus Jewelry, we work with an extensive network of the world's best fine diamond suppliers to guarantee the highest quality standards in all our products. We offer a large selection of certified diamonds for the industry's most competitive prices. You will always save thousands shopping your diamonds from us. Guaranteed!
Our custom made pieces are made with throughly hand-selected VS / VVS stones, G/H color with excellent cut offering an unrealistic shine on your customized piece.
Looking to purchase a diamond? Still have questions about diamonds' structure and characteristics? Contact us and one of our diamond experts will reach out to provide all the information you need.