The 4C’s of Diamonds

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Established by GIA, the 4C’s is a set of characteristics to keep in mind when comparing diamonds. These characteristics include: Colour, Cut, Clarity and Carat weight.

Colour: Diamonds are given a colour grade between D and Z according to their saturation. When buying a white diamond, D is the highest colour grade available and means that the stone is as clear as a drop of water.

Cut: The cut of a diamond determines its sparkle and brilliance. Cut grades progress from Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. When choosing a diamond, we recommend buying only those that are Excellent or Very Good in cut.

Clarity: You might have heard the term “VVS” mentioned in pop culture by the likes of Jay-Z and Post Malone and wondered what it means. VVS stands for “Very Very Slight” and refers to the diamond’s “inclusions”. Diamonds are formed under extreme pressure and heat conditions, and thus often contain imperfections either internally or externally.

The clarity grade scale begins with Flawless (FL) which are extremely rare as they contain absolutely no internal or external flaws when examined under 10x magnification. This is followed by Internally Flawlesss (IF), VVS1, VVS2, VS1 (Very Slight), VS2, SI1 (Slightly Included), SI2, I1 (Included), I2 and I3.

Insider tip: I1, I2 and I3 are sometimes also referred to by industry experts as P1, P2 and P3. The P stands for “Pique”, a French term meaning “mark” or “blemish”.

Carat weight: The weight of a diamond is universally measured in Carats or CT for short. A 1 carat diamond would weigh the equivalent of 0.2 of a gram. Diamonds that weigh under 1 carat will usually be referred to in “points”. So when you are looking to buy a diamond and the merchant presents you with a “fifty pointer,” they’re referring to a stone that is 0.50CT.

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