The 4 “Cs”
What to know when buying diamonds.
If you are looking to purchase a loose diamond, please read our brief informational page below and then visit our loose diamonds page where we offer a specially selected collection of loose diamonds available for purchase.
There are 4 attributes to consider when purchasing diamonds. These attributes are known as “The Four Cs”.
Cut – The proportions and finish of a diamond.
Although there are no internationally recognized grades for cut, as there are for clarity, colour and carat, the brilliance, fire and luster that give diamonds their unique beauty depend more on cut than any of the other C’s.
A well-cut diamond will internally reflect light from one mirror-like facet to another and disperse and reflect it through the top of the stone. This is based on a scientific formula and results in a varied display of brilliance and fire. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or “leak” light through the sides or bottom, resulting in less brilliance and, as a result, lower value.
Sometime confused with cut, is shape which refers to shape the diamond was cut into be it round, square, pear, or emerald for example. A round diamond is symmetrical and therefore reflects almost all of the light that enters it. The round cut is the most brilliant of all diamond shapes and follows specific proportional guidelines. Non-round shapes are also known as “fancy shapes” – these have their own guidelines to determine quality of cut.
Clarity -The presence or absence of inclusions and blemishes.Inclusions are minerals or fractures that can appear inside a diamond. Blemishes appear on the surface of a diamond.
Inclusions are minerals or fractures that can appear as tiny crystals and can look like clouds or feathers. Some are caused by the conditions present when the diamond was formed, some by the cutting process or after the diamond was cut. Jewellers use a magnifying loupe or binocular microscope to view inclusions. These instruments allow them to view a diamond at 10x its actual size so that any inclusions are easier to see.
The value of a diamond can be affected by the size, number and position of inclusions. Since there are very few flawless diamonds found in nature, these diamonds are therefore much more valuable. The Gemological Institute of America has established a standard scale for clarity, ranging from F (flawless) to I (included). The scale is based on the visibility of inclusions at a magnification of 10x. This magnification is the accepted standard used in North America and most other countries.
»F-IF: No external marks or internal inclusions. Surface blemishes but no internal inclusions
»VVS1-VVS2: Very, Very, Slight Inclusions
»VS1-VS2: Very Slight Inclusions
»SI1- SI2:; Slight Inclusions
»1: Inclusions visible under 10X magnification as well as to the human eye
»I2: Inclusions visible under 10X magnification as well as to the human eye
»I3: Inclusions visible under 10X magnification as well as to the human eye
Colour – The extent to which a diamond is colourless.
The term colour can have two meanings, however it usually refers to the absence of colour. The term Fancy Colour is used to describe naturally coloured diamonds with attractive tints.
Carat – The weight of a diamond.
Carat is a measure of weight though it is often confused with size. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams. One carat can also be divided into 100 points. A 0.75 carat diamond is the same as a 75-point or 3/4 carat diamond.
If you have any questions about loose diamonds or buying loose diamonds, please contact us or
drop by the store to talk to one of our diamond consultants. We are more than happy to help!.