Understanding The 4 C’s of Grading Diamonds

Monday, 28 June 2021
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Diamond Grade Chart

Understanding The 4C’s of Grading Diamonds

What are the 4 C’s of Diamonds?

To many people the grading and value of diamonds is a mystery but understanding The 4 C’s of Grading Diamonds will greatly increase your knowledge of the aspects that are important in determining value. But in reality there are four main characteristics that contribute to the value and attractiveness of a diamond. These four characteristics are; Cut; Colour; Clarity and Carat.

Understanding the 4 C’s

If it is your intention to buy a diamond then it is important to understand what each of the 4 C’s refer to and how the different grades affect value and price. The more research you do the better informed you will become but beware that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. This article is designed to give you an understanding of the basics, however if you require more in depth knowledge on each aspect please refer to our in depth articles on the individual elements, Carat, Colour, Clarity and Cut.

The most important of the 4 C’s

Diamond CutThe Cut of a diamond is the most important element as it effects the sparkle, fire and brilliance of the diamond. A stone that is poorly cut will look dead or like glass, see through. A diamond’s cut focuses on the technical aspects such as crown angle, pavilion angle, table size etc of which there are optimal dimensions and standards. To learn more about Cut click here for an in depth analysis. The cut has such a huge impact on how the stone appears and buying a well cut diamond you will never regret.

4C’s Colour of the diamond

Diamond ColourThe range of colour in “white diamonds” is from colourless to a shade of yellow. Curiously the grading starts at D for colourless and ranges to Z which is classified as light yellow to brown. Diamonds are more valuable the closer they are to colourless. There are generally only small differences in colour as you move through the grades and there are opportunities to save money depending on the metal the diamond will be set in and the shape of the stone. For example if the diamond is to be set in yellow gold a stone with a slight yellow colour, grade K to M will look perfect and be cheaper than a colourless grade of D to F.


4C’s Clarity of the diamond

Diamond ClarityThe clarity of the diamond refers to the imperfections within the stone. Diamonds were formed under intense heat and pressure and in the majority of stones there are any number of imperfections. The internal imperfections are known as inclusions and there are 11 grades that describe the level and visibility of inclusions with in each stone. The range goes from Flawless, with no inclusions, to Included (I3) where often the faults in the stone are visible to the naked eye. The effect of inclusions in the diamond can present itself as cloudiness although small inclusions can be difficult to see with the naked eye. A detailed summary of Clarity ratings is available here.


4C’s Carat

Diamond CaratThe size of the diamond is referred to as the carat weight and relates to weight and not the size of the diamond. The carat weight is closely related to the diamond’s dimension but the cut will have some bearing on relationship between weight and size. There are standard carat weights that command generally higher prices, being 0.5ct, 1.0ct, 1.5ct and 2.0ct. because they are round numbers and mostly desired by purchasers. So purchasing a diamond that is 0.90ct or 1.10ct are generally better value for money and to the majority of people they would never know the difference. The good thing about diamond carat weight is there is no right or wrong size. The other elements of the 4C’s are more important than the weight of the diamond. Diamonds that are in between the standard weights can still be designed into a ring or other jewellery item and become beautiful items of jewellery that can be worn forever.

How Anastasia’s can help you with understanding the 4C’s

The 4C’s are the basis of valuing a diamond and are a standard by which each diamond can be compared to another. There are two authorities on valuing diamonds being GIA and EGL. We have outlined the basics here and our other articles provide more in depth understanding. However, if you need expert advice on any aspect of diamonds and how the various 4C’s impact on cost and value please contact us on email showroom@anastasiasbroome.com.au or call us +61 8 9468 8116 at Anastasia’s of Broome.

Author Bio.

Jill Hansen runs Anastasia’s Of Broome and is a highly recognised expert in both the fields of South Sea Pearls and Diamonds. Jill trained in seeding pearls in the Cook Islands by Japanese Pearl Technicians, and established a wholesale pearl business selling pearls all over the world. She pioneered the combination of pearls and diamonds to create Lust™ Pearls, a unique fusion of these two beautiful gemstones. Jill holds the prestigious recognition of being an Antwerp Diamond Broker for selecting and sourcing Diamonds direct from the diamond capital of the world, Antwerp. She is a diamond expert and is happy to use and impart her knowledge to help customers make informed decisions.


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