Almost everybody is familiar with the term ‘the four Cs’, but how many of those familiar with the term actually know what the four C’s refer to or how they are used to assess the value of a diamond?
The term ‘cut’ when used to describe an attribute or quality of a diamond refers to the specific and unique shape of a stone.
The way by which diamond is cut affects and to an extent determines how light that enters it will to exit and so showcase the stone. For example, a cut which makes the best of a diamond and its proportions (hence, an ‘ideal cut’) will bear a complex arrangement of facets which combine to reflect as much light entering a diamond back into the eyes of those who perceive or see it. The less light which is reflected back into a person’s eyes when gazing at a diamond the less ‘brilliance’ the diamond will have.
Carat is a measure of a stone’s weight. Then, just as with any valuable substance the earth yields, the thinking is: ‘the more the better’. Further, because larger single diamonds are far rarer than smaller examples, the monetary value of a diamond increases exponentially according to its size.
So, and in summary, when somebody shows you their new diamond ring and speaks about its carat, they are speaking about the weight and size of the stone and not commenting on the quality of its cut, clarity or colour which too will be relevant in assessing its value.
When assessing the clarity of a diamond one is concerned with the ‘flaws’ the stone contains. To the naked eye often these flaws themselves often seem invisible, but diamonds which bare fewer flaws as such bare more ‘brilliance’. Hence, the clarity of a diamond will affect the way it looks to the naked eye.
Almost no stone is ‘flawless’; this is true even of diamonds. Hence, a diamond’s clarity is assessed to determine how ‘imperfect’ a diamond is in order to assess its value.
‘Colourless’ diamonds are by far the most highly valued diamonds in existence. Why? The answer lies, as any gemologist or jeweller knows, in the fact that colourless diamonds permit the highest refraction of light. This refraction of light is, by non-experts, most commonly referred to as a diamond’s ‘sparkle’.
Hence, coloured or ‘off-white’ diamonds, whilst they do exist and are valuable, are less so because they absorb a portion of the light that reaches them. Consequently, this ‘dampens’ or ‘dulls’ their sparkle.
To learn more about ‘the four Cs’, refer to the Diamond Buying Guide website, which features both information and diagrams to introduce buyers to the art of diamond cutting or take a look at this great infographic which does a great job of outlining in simplistic terms just what each 'C' means.
Meanwhile, to view some of our own stunning examples here at Wave Jewellery, browse our Diamond Jewellery Collection.