The “4C’s”

  • Four factors that make up the value of a diamond: color, clarity, cut and carat.
  • Each of these four factors plays a part in the pricing of a diamond.
  • You can prioritize certain factors over others.
    • For example, you can decide size is more important than color, or clarity is less important than color, etc..

Color

  • Diamond color generally ranges from D (clear) to Z (toned)
  • Around S the diamonds become known as “Fancy” yellow diamonds.
  • The finest colors, around D, E, and F, are very clear.

Clarity

  • Diamond clarity ranges from flawless/perfect to I (included).
  • Internally Flawless:exterior has some minor flaws
  • VVS1 (very, very slightly imperfect): minute inclusions that are extremely difficult to see. Inclusions are only visible through a loop magnified 10 times.
  • VVS2 (very, very slightly imperfect): minute inclusions that are difficult to see.
    • for both VVS1 and VVS2, the inclusions can only been spotted by someone who has had a lot of experience looking at diamonds, and the viewer must be using a loop magnified 10 times.
  • VS1,VS2(very slightly imperfect): have some very small inclusions. VS1 inclusions are more difficult to see than VS2.
  • SI1, SI2 (slightly imperfect): all have small inclusions.  These can only be seen in a loop.
  • I1, I2, I3(visibly included): have inclusions that may be seen by the naked eye.

Carat

  • There are 100 points in a carat.
  • Diamonds will cost more per carat weight.
  • Carat is probably the least important factor in determining the value and quality of a diamond. In other words, when purchasing a diamond, bigger does not necessarily mean better.

Cut

  • Cut is what unleashes the brilliance and lets the diamond truly shine.
  • Diamond cutting requires knowledge and skill.
  • Precise cutting will optimize the diamond’s optical properties and allow light going in to be refracted and reflected back out, and the color to be dispersed.
  • Because of the complexity in cutting a diamond, Cut is the most critical of the “4C’s”.