The Four Cs of Diamonds
Fine diamonds are among the world’s most coveted gemstones. Here at Bling Advisor, we take our diamonds seriously— giving you access to the best quality diamonds out there! So, how is the value of a diamond determined? Experts have created a simple system using the 4 Cs— cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.
The cut creates a diamond’s coveted sparkle and brilliance. When you look at the surface of a diamond, you’ll notice that there are actually many surfaces, called facets, that reflect light. Of the 4 Cs, cut most greatly affects the beauty of a diamond. The stone’s overall proportions — the size and position of its facets — make up the cut.
Experts have studied the optimal proportions of a diamond that create the most sparkle. A stone that falls within these parameters is considered ideal.
Some commonly used terms regarding refraction and light:
- Brilliance— the combination of all of the white light reflected from the surface and the inside of the diamond.
- Dispersion— flashes of color you see in a polished diamond. Dispersion is also known as fire.
- Scintillation— flashes of light you see when the diamond, the light, or the observer moves.
Ideal diamonds make up roughly the top 3% of diamonds. In a diamond with an ideal cut, light enters and returns through the top of the diamond.
Another factor that determines the value of a diamond is its color. Although there are some exceptions in rare, colored diamonds, the more valuable a diamond is, the less color it has. Completely colorless diamonds are extremely rare.
Color is measured using a letter grade scale. The diamond is manually compared to a master set to determine its color range.
A diamond’s clarity is measured by the existence or absence of visible flaws. Small blemishes, even those unseen to the naked eye, on the surface of a diamond can alter the brilliance of a diamond and affect its value.
Flawless: No internal or external clarity characteristics
Internally Flawless: No internal clarity characteristics
Very, Very Slightly Included: Difficult to see under 10X magnification
Very Slightly Included: Inclusions not typically visible to the unaided eye
Slightly Included: Visible under 10X magnification and may be visible to the unaided eye
Included: Inclusions visible to the unaided eye
Carat weight is typically the first characteristic of a diamond that we think of. The term carat actually refers to the weight of a diamond, not its size. A bigger, heavier diamond does not always equal a bigger sparkle, either. The sparkle comes from a well-crafted cut. You may notice that some jewelry describes the carat weight as CTTW, which includes the total carat weight between all of the diamonds in the piece. Carat weight has the biggest effect on a diamond’s price.
Pro Diamond Buying Tips:
- If you are in the market for a beautiful, brilliant diamond, you may want to splurge on a higher quality cut over a heavier carat weight. Cut maximizes sparkle!
- A few things can affect the way a diamond will appear: band size, setting, and ring size. We’re here to help you get the best looking diamond for your buck, so we use these factors to enhance a diamond’s natural beauty.
- At Bling Advisor, we also help you to find exactly what you are looking for. Instead of offering a list of customization options to choose from, we can bring your dream ring to life!
Send us your design today! We have access to the industry’s best suppliers, so we can find the ideal diamond for you.