Navigating the 4 C's of Diamonds
Diamonds are among the most rare of the gifts this planet has given us. Since 400 A.D., diamonds have been sought after for their beauty, their strength and their versatility. The modern era for diamonds began in the 1860s with the opening of the first diamond mine in Kimberley, South Africa. However, it wasn't until 1953 when the international diamond grading company the Gemological Institute of America established the four standards in which all diamonds are judged today, known as the four Cs of diamonds.
For our first blog post, we look at what each of these four Cs mean and how this knowledge can benefit you as a consumer.
Arguably the most important of the 4 Cs, the cut isn't just about whether your diamond is heart-shaped, brilliant or oval. It is about whether the cut gives the diamond the most sparkle. Ideally, light enters the diamond from the top and appears to "sparkle" within the stone. If the diamond is not cut correctly, the stone can appear dull and lifeless.
Clarity relates to the amount of blemishes or inclusions within the diamond. The more of these inclusions that are found using the industry-standard 10x loupe or microscope, the less valuable the diamond. The ratings range from the best which is Flawless meaning that no inclusions are found using a 10x loupe to the worst which is Imperfect meaning inclusions can even be seen with the naked eye.
When it comes to white or colorless diamonds, the color of the stone can be rated from D (meaning absolutely no color is found) to Z (which means the diamond may have a yellow, grey or brown tinge to it). When it comes to our specialty, Fancy Color Diamonds, there are four ratings: Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense and Fancy Vivid. Only 1 in every 10,000 carats of diamonds mined are considered Fancy Color Diamonds.
Originating from the Greek and Italian words for carob bean, carat is a measurement of a diamond's weight or mass. The more carats a diamond weighs, the more expensive it then becomes. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams. Carob beans were the original unit of measurement by ancient diamond traders. Back then, diamonds were weighed on a scale with carob beans, which were almost universal in weight, were used as the counter balance.