Understanding the 4C's
Each and every diamond is unique and in order to find your perfect diamond, you will have to prioritise what matters most to you. There are 4 main factors that are considered when grading a diamond: carat, clarity, colour and cut. The fifth C that is arguably the most important is the certification.
Diamond Specialist strongly recommends choosing GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certified diamonds as it is the international diamond grading standard.
- Of the standard 4Cs, Cut is the most important as it has the greatest influence on a diamond's sparkle. The better the cut the more the diamond will sparkle.
- Most people who buy diamonds obviously want their stone to sparkle! Thus it is more important to get a better cut stone than a stone with high specifications. Even if a diamond has a perfect clarity and color grade, if it has a poor cut, it will appear dull and flat.
- After CUT the next most important "C" is colour. This is because the naked eye will notice this after sparkle.
- People who want a white diamond should stick to H as a minimum. However I-J coloured stones will still look fantastic.
- At the end of the day it's a personal preference as plenty of people prefer a slightly more yellow stone than a perfectly white one as they feel it looks more like the genuine thing.
- If you do choose to go with a diamond lower in the colour scale, below a L, selecting yellow or rose gold for the band will help offset the yellowness in the diamond and may make it appear whiter.
- The bulk of diamonds have tiny imperfections called inclusions. The less inclusions a stone has the cleaner it will be, thus allocated a higher clarity grade.
- Clarity is often the least important of the 4Cs because most inclusions are microscopic; they don't affect the diamond's beauty in a visible way. Most diamonds with a VS2 clarity or higher are 100% eye clean. Si1 and Si2 clarity stones are fantastic value as they have inclusions that are hard to spot with the naked eye but are much cheaper than Vs or VVS stones.
- To ensure you get the best stone possible every stone that is ordered is checked by us to ensure that the stone is eye clean, not cloudy and has no green/brown/yellow tinges.
- The most misunderstood of the 4C's is carat. Carat refers to a diamond's weight, not its size. You could have five one carat diamonds and they can all have different dimensions. The cut rating plays a big part in how big a diamond will actually be. Thus it is important to consider cut and carat together; a larger carat diamond with a poor cut grade can appear smaller than a smaller diamond with a higher cut grade.
- To maximise your budget consider buying just under the magic numbers of 1 and 2 carat. Buying a 0.90 ct stone rather than a 1 ct stone will cost significantly less and the size difference will be minimal. Come talk to us and we will explain in full the benefits of buying just under!