The 4 C's of Diamond Grading

There is no sweeter way to tell someone you love them than giving them something brilliant, something called "diamond." Through the ages, the diamond has earned its place as one of the most popular stones to express love and appreciation to your special someone. Perhaps that is why diamonds are one of the most sought after gem in proposals and weddings. However, not many can say that they had an easy, breezy diamond selection process. Some men consider choosing a diamond a walk in a scary park where there are so many obstacles they have to face like the kind of diamond to buy to figure out what sort of diamond design suits the taste of the love of his life. The most daunting question of all, is the diamond authentic, to begin with?

Choosing a diamond should not be a traumatic experience. With proper knowledge and enough information, you can start with the necessary steps of choosing the perfect diamond for the most special day of your life. Thankfully, there is what we call the diamond grading, a guide to help us understand the quality of the diamond better. All of the qualities of the diamond are important and should be given attention. One of the most popular ways of diamond grading is the four C's: color, clarity, cut, and carat. Each is equally important to remember for a smooth, hassle-free diamond possession.

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Let's break down these four C's of diamond grading to guide you in choosing the perfect diamond.

Diamonds are popularly known to have a clear or white color. It is a common notion that the clearer or whiter the diamond, the more valuable it is. There are also some specially colored diamonds, which are pink, yellow, and red, that carry precious value. They are graded differently than clear crystals. However, if a clear diamond has a hint of color in it, its value can be affected thoroughly. The GIA has set a diamond grading system when it comes to dealing with diamond colors.

COLOR

When choosing a diamond, make sure you are getting the color that you want the most by referring to this diamond grading color system. GIA grades diamonds with a rating starting from D (which is the clearest one) until Z (diamonds with yellowish tones).D, E, F - Diamonds with color grades of D, E, and F are called the "collection diamonds." These are unique diamonds because they have colorless features. The color differences among these three are so minute that only an expert on diamonds can tell. G, H, I, J - These diamonds are referred to as "near-colorless" with a slight hint of colors in them. These diamonds are valuable considering their supply are many than those in the higher grade diamonds.K, L, M - The color hints in these diamonds start to be evident to the naked eye. N, O, P, Q, R - The color tint in these diamonds begin to change from yellow to light brown. S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z - Color tints on these diamonds are considered too much by buyers. These diamonds are rarely merchandised.

Diamond color plays a vital role in determining the value of the diamond. However, certain factors can also make some diamonds under the grade G to J to look as colorless as those in the D-F grade when they are mounted in a yellow gold band. Yellow gold bands, on the other hand, is not an appropriate band to fit diamonds under the D-F category as it tends to make the colorless diamonds look tinted. Lighting also affects the color of the diamond; an I diamond can seem like an E diamond under normal lighting conditions. When choosing a diamond based on color, make sure that you get the proper lighting conditions and tones of the bands, and don't forget to compare each diamond side by side.

CUT

If you are after the sparkle, shine, and the diamond's ability to reflect most of the light, you have to do so with the stone's symmetries. We come to the next, and most important C in the four Cs. The following C in our diamond grading is the "cut." The cut is different from shape, although they are mistakenly interchanged. Cut refers to symmetry. The cut is considered the most crucial factor in making sure you get the best diamond. 

Although color, carat weight, and clarity are the main categories to pay attention to, you can get the best payoff if you pay special attention to the diamond cut. Physics plays a vital role in making the diamond look sparkly and brilliant, and how the diamond is cut will determine if the stone offers enough sparkle. A diamond with an exquisite cut will provide a lot for lusters while a poorly done one will rob the diamond of its light. Cut grades are given by the GIA for diamond grading to determine the cut that is best for you.

♦ IDEAL - The diamond reflects almost all the light. This cut is exquisite and has a rare version that makes it valuable.

♦ VERY GOOD - Light reflected by this diamond is as much as the ideal cut, but this usually comes with a lower value.

♦ GOOD - Reflects almost 75% of the light that enters the diamond. Significantly has a lower price than a very good cut. 

♦ FAIR - Can still be considered a quality diamond but does not reflect all the light that the diamond catches. 

♦ POOR - Reflects very little light. Not merchantable in quality.

Admittedly, the ideal cut diamond is very rare in the market, making it expensive. To get the best balance between money and pay off, opt for the very good and good quality. Don't waste money investing in a fair or a poor one. Get the brilliance that you want with the right diamond cut.

CARAT WEIGHT

The next C in our diamond grading system is the carat. Carat gets associated with size when, in fact, it is a direct measurement of a diamond's weight. If you have a one-carat diamond, you own a stone that weighs 200mg. The word carat came from the carob seed used to measure diamond size. Large diamonds are considered rare than those of smaller sizes, making them expensive and valuable. However, is bigger always better? Prices can still change even if two diamonds are of the equal carat weight because of these factors to be considered: the cut, clarity, and color. 

Thanks to Mother Nature's aid, some diamonds develop naturally in large sizes while others remain smaller. When looking for a diamond ring, it will be ideal for you to know the desired size of your lady love beforehand. The ladies see the diamond in its size while the men, its price. Knowing the size beforehand also comes in handy since larger diamonds are rarer than those of smaller sizes, you might have to pay on a carat-per-carat basis. Factors like the diamond cut can make the size of the diamond appear smaller or bigger. 

CLARITY

Diamonds undergo extreme heat and pressure for them to reach their full development, so it is a given that they will have some imperfections present in them. These imperfections are known as inclusions and blemishes. Inclusions include those bubbles, other minerals, and scratches found within the diamond body. Blemishes, on the other, hand are found on the surface of the diamond. In diamond grading, clarity is essential for the 4C's that determine the imperfections in the diamond. 

Imperfections within and without the diamond can cause the stone not to reflect enough light. That is why diamonds with little to no imperfections are valued higher than those with inclusions and blemishes. The GIA has set a clarity scale to be used in diamond grading. FL - Flawless. No inclusions or blemishes are found in a 10x magnification.IF- Internally Flawless. No inclusions. Blemishes are present in a 10x magnification.

♦ VVS - Very very slightly included. Inclusions are present but difficult to see in 10x magnification.

♦ VS - Very slightly included. Inclusions can be seen in 10x magnification.

♦ SI - Inclusions are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.

♦ I - Included. Inclusions are obvious in 10x magnification and can already affect diamond quality. 

It is superbly rare to see a diamond with flawless characteristics. Make sure to be vigilant enough to compare and criticize diamonds before buying them. Bringing the principle of the 4c's of diamond grading will help you quickly find the best diamond for your life's love. However, the only secret to finding the best stone, always listen to what your lady love likes. If you know her taste, and you buy according to her style and personality, you can never go wrong. IceCarats is willing to help assist you in your diamond hunt. Call us at 800.737.7759. Don't sit there waiting. Keep sparkling, darling!

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