Diamonds: The 4 C’s

Engagement…Wedding…Anniversary…Birthday.

The reasons for choosing a diamond can be countless. No gem better symbolizes commitment, appreciation, and love than a diamond.

Its timeless elegance and classic beauty have long connected diamonds to romance.

loose diamonds

Diamonds, in fact are the universal romantic symbol. Yes, “a diamond is forever,” and selecting the right diamond demands particular attention.

No two diamonds are alike. The characteristics that dictate a diamond’s value — cut, color, clarity and carat weight — are what make each stone unique. Deciding to buy a diamond is, of course, a very emotional decision.

In shopping for the right diamond, you will be faced with a large variety of different shapes, settings and prices. Once you’ve made the decision to buy one, make sure you know what to look for. Ask questions. Compare stones. Choose the right jeweler. Remember, it’s more than just following you heart.

1) Cut

Cutting is of prime importance to the beauty of a diamond. If a diamond is cut too shallow or too deep, or if the stone is too thin or spread, the value is affected. The professionals at Beyond4cs.com can show you how, with correct proportions, light will enter the stone and return to the eye as brilliance instead of leaking out the back facets. The slightest deviation from fine cutting standards will rob the diamond of its desired fire and sparkle, and therefore affect value.

Whether the shape is round brilliant, oval, marquise, pear, heart, or emerald cut, a diamond’s cutting grade is determined by its deviation from an ideal cut, the standard. Ask us to compare an ideal cut diamond to a lesser quality cut so you can see the actual difference. Always remember that fine cutting can offset lesser qualities of color and clarity in a diamond.

2) Color

Absence of any color in the body of a diamond is considered the rarest quality. Body color is interior color, not the surface rainbow of reflected light. The AGS and the GIA both developed scales to be used in grading color quality.

For example, diamonds graded 0 through 4 on the AGS scale, or D through I on the GIA scale, are among the rarest qualities. Stones in the medium category, 5 through 6 or J through L, may exhibit faint yellow to brownish color and have a lesser value.

In the lower categories from 7 or M and below, the yellowish or brownish tint may be apparent even to the untrained eye, especially in larger sizes. Our AGS and GIA training and the use of our certified master diamonds are the basis for our accurate color grading.

3) Clarity

A flawless grade denotes the absence of internal or external marks when the diamond is viewed under 10X magnification. A flawless diamond is the rarest, and therefore, the most precious clarity grade. We would like you to be comfortable in your understanding of the various grades.

Let us show you examples of SI (Slightly Included) and I (Imperfect) grades. Stones are clarity graded taking into consideration the size, nature, location, number and color of the inclusions. In the VVS (Very, Very Slightly Included) category the inclusions are “minute” under 10X magnification. in the VS (Very Slightly Included) category the inclusions are “minor” under 10X magnification.

In the SI (Slightly Included) category the inclusions are noticeable under 10X magnification. In the I (Imperfect) category, the inclusions are usually visible without magnification, particularly in the I-2 and I-3 levels.

4) Carat Weight

Carat weight is the final factor that decides the value of your diamond. It is a metric system of weight with 100 points to 1 carat (e.g., a three-quarter diamond weighs 75 points or .75 carat). Weight is important, but it is the cutting, color and clarity that determine the per carat price.