The 4 C’s of Diamonds: In the twentieth century the first agreed-upon standard of grading diamonds was established by GIA. Today it is this standard that the world uses to grade diamonds. The system is based on the four C’s of diamonds: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat weight.
Often, Cut is considered round, oval, or princess but in the 4 C’s Cut is how well the diamond was cut by the diamond cutter. There are 5 grades of diamond cutting; Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor.
The Color is important, as colorless diamonds are rare and add value to your diamond. With the use of white metals, stones with a tint of yellow or gray can affect the overall appearance of your jewelry item. The diamond grading scale lists color from D to Z. D represents a diamond without any color at all. As the color begins to increase in a diamond it is graded further down the alphabet.
Clarity: a natural occurring diamond is the by-product of carbon exposed to loads of heat and pressure deep in the earth. Once the carbon has become a diamond there are often pieces of carbon left that never changed to diamond and are considered flaws. There are two kinds of flaws that we find: inclusions that are inner attributes and blemishes that occur on the surface area.
The Clarity grading scale has 6 categories with subdivisions for a total of 11 specific grades. Flawless (FL) has no inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification.
- Internally Flawless (IF) has no inclusions visible under 10x magnification
- Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) has inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
- Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) has inclusions that are observed with effort under 10x magnification, but can be characterized as minor.
- Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) has inclusions that are noticeable under 10x magnification
- Included (I1, I2, and I3) has inclusions that are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance.
Carat weight is based on the actual weight of the diamond in carats.