Jewelry Buyer Education: The 4 Cs of Diamonds

Published February 25, 2019

Did you know that diamonds have a grading scale? That’s right, all diamonds sold on the market are rated according to the famous 4 Cs. For jewelry enthusiasts, this is very important knowledge to have. Even if you are not a jewelry enthusiast but are shopping for someone who is, having knowledge about this is a very useful thing.

The 4 Cs were popularized by the Gemological Institute of America or GIA for short. GIA is a non-profit and independent organization specialized in stone grading, and is the largest, most respected gemological institute in the United States.

As jewelry is effectively an investment, especially when encrusted with diamonds, it is good to know about the nitty-gritty of the jewelry market. Continue reading to learn more about the 4 Cs that you should consider when buying diamond jewelry.

1) The Diamond’s CUT

First off, we have the cut of the diamond. This refers not on the diamond’s actual shape but the facets and proportions of the stone as well. The quality of the cut depends largely on the quality of the workmanship that was put into it.

This factor affects the way that light bounces off the stone and the way that this light is reflected back into the surface. In other words, diamonds with better cuts are brighter and more brilliant compared to poorly cut ones.

In choosing the cut, consider opting for the cut that produces the best ‘light bounce’. This will ensure that you will get the most out of your diamond’s value.

2) The Diamond’s CARAT

“Less is more” is not an expression that fits this criteria. Diamonds and other gemstones are measured by weight, the unit of which is known as the carat. The larger the carat of a precious stone or pearl, the more expensive it is. Naturally, the larger the diamond is, the heavier and more costly it is.

Diamonds are rare in and of themselves but larger diamonds are even more hard to find. Aside from a higher carat point because of the heavier weight of larger diamonds, their innate rarity is what sets them apart from the other smaller diamonds.

3) The Diamond’s COLOR

Did you know that diamonds also come in different colors? Diamonds come in hues of blue, yellow, pink, and the most valuable of them all, white. The color in this case, more accurately and seemingly more ironically, refers to the absence of it.

According to GIA’s 4 C grading chart, a diamond is more desirable the less color appears in it. This is why white or colorless diamonds are more expensive than other colored diamonds. This all the more justifies why white or colorless diamonds are the traditional choice when it comes to classic engagement rings.

4) The Diamond’s CLARITY

Diamond clarity ranges from flawless to included. Flawless diamonds are very expensive because they have minimal to no imperfections. Included diamonds, on the other hand, are cheaper because of the more obvious blemishes.

This is an important consideration because clarity affects the extrinsic value and price of the diamond. So if ever you are considering the purchase of diamond jewelry, be sure to choose one with a flawless diamond (or as close to flawless as your budget allows) so that you can get more return if ever you choose to sell it.

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