The 4 C’s

Like snowflakes no diamond is alike.

Today a globally accepted standard is used to ascertain the value of your diamond.  Therefore when you receive our certificate of authenticity you will be certain that global standards of certification have been employed.

The 4 C’s which are – Cut, clarity, colour and carat-weight are the most important aspects when identifying and certifying your diamond.

CARATCOLOURCLARITYCUT

This part of the identification process is actually the simplest and has no purpose but to certify the dollar value of the stone.

The stone is weighed and is then indicated in carats and carats can be subdivided into 100 points.  A carat is 1/5 of a gram and if a diamond is less than a carat then it is calculated in points.

Diamond prices vary according to their carat weight, and anyway larger diamonds are obviously rare and very desirable, even though two diamonds of the same weight can vary greatly according to price depending on the other characteristics involved in identification, which would be colour, clarity and cut.

Diamonds are mostly valued according to all the 4 C’s rather than just the carat-weight.

Authentic diamonds come in many varying shades.  The most valuable diamonds however are white or “colourless”.  The most valuable colour rate is “D” which is colourless and then the diamond goes through the whole spectrum of colours to “Z” which has a light yellow tint.  The differences are very subtle and will require an expert gemologist to provide the colour grading.

Therefore, the best diamond is a diamond without any colour or tint as it allows light to pass throughout the diamond and this then disperses to give the rainbow effect.

Less valuable diamonds have yellow, brown, blue and even pink tints, yet they are still valuable and very beautiful anyway.

It is a rare diamond that is “flawless”!

The amount of flaws or the absence of flaws in a diamond will determine its clarity-grading.  When a diamond is viewed under 10x magnification this is usually enough to locate any flaws present in the stone.

It is during the diamond’s creation in the earth where many circumstances account for the stone’s clarity.  It could be either the heat or pressure that it undergoes before being mined.  Very tiny “inclusions” which are imperfections or flaws are contained in them and these flaws will interfere when passing light through the stone, so this helps to grade the clarity of the stone.

With “flawless” being the highest, i.e. without inclusions on the inside and scratches or nicks on the outside and grade 1 being the lowest on the grading scale, i.e. it does have flaws and may have damage to the outside surface.  It is evident to see why many people prefer the flawless type of stone.

It is the cut that is essential to the grading of the diamond’s beauty and value.  It is the most difficult to analyse out of all the 4 C’s.

The ability of the diamond to discharge it’s light and brilliant sparkle is what makes it more valuable and this is only attained during cutting.

It takes a “Master Cutter” to produce a diamond so its proportions and symmetry can deliver the brilliant light possible that can only be obtained from a diamond.  Artistry and a steady hand is required to bring out a rough diamond’s beauty.  It takes long years of training to reach the ability to produce a stunning diamond.

For example, the Great Star of Africa, the largest cut diamond in the world has 74 facets and was cut by a true Master Cutter Mr Joseph Asscher.  He needed to study the stone for six months before determining how to divide it from the rough diamond.

Gabi Tolkowsky took almost three years to transform the Centenary Diamond.  It has 247 facets and is pear shaped.

Whatever, the shape of the diamond, from classic round to fancy cut, the cut is graded on the precision of its critical angles, the harmony, the proportion and the final stage, the polishing.  The interrelationship between the differing parts of a diamond – top flat facet (the table), the crown, the edge around the middle of the diamond (the girdle) and the underside (pavilion) all affect the way a diamond releases light.