One of the greatest concerns for diamond shoppers is buying a fake diamond. You want the highest quality possible within your budget when choosing diamonds, but how do you choose the perfect diamond? How do sellers determine the quality and prices of diamonds? The answers to these questions lie in the 4Cs. Each of the four Cs represents a grading scale that you should know before you go shopping for a diamond. Here is a full description of the 4Cs.
A karat refers to the unit weight used to measure diamonds. A hundred points of diamonds are equal to one karat. You will find the initial “ctw” on diamond jewelry, which refers to the karat total weight. The ctw value given represents the total weight of diamonds used in that piece of jewelry. You may not discern the difference in karat weight between two identical diamonds with your naked eyes. However, to the supplier, a slight difference in karat weight represents a huge difference in the price. The difference may be thousands of dollars.
Diamonds are mined in different colors that represent different grades. The highest grade is the colorless diamond, which is classified in the D grade. The color scale for diamond starts from D and goes all the way to Z. The D grade diamonds are the most expensive and rarest diamonds in the market. Hence, you need to consider your budget when picking a diamond color. The most common diamonds in the market that we consider as colorless fall between grade G and J. You can detect a yellow tint in a diamond from grade J and below. The color becomes progressively yellow, gray, or brown as you move towards grade Z.
The clarity grade measures the flaws in diamonds including blemishes and inclusions. Every mineral comes out of the earth with flaws, no matter how clear it looks. The same applies to diamonds, including those that appear colorless. Diamonds cutter have a way of cutting and polishing around flaws such that the diamond looks flawless. However, the flaws still remain in the rock. The scale of clarity ranges from flawless to heavily included. You may not see some of the flaws or inclusions with the naked eye, but it is advisable to check each diamond closely before buying.
The cut grade is hard to quantify compared to the other grades. It refers to how the diamond is shaped, faceted and polished. Cutters may choose specific shapes to increase the karat weight or hide flaws. However, the greatest consideration here is the beauty. Diamond cutters go for the cut that enables each stone to reflect the most light. The brightness, fire, and scintillation are considered when grading diamonds based on the cut. The cut scale ranges from ideal or near ideal to poor.
You will make the best decision when you go shopping armed with the knowledge of the four grading scales. However, you need to determine the most important scale to you. If you are buying a diamond for someone else, he or she may consider its beauty more than the weight or flaws. If the flaws or inclusions are invisible and the cut reflects much light, the recipient will treasure the diamond forever.