The 4C’s | A few things you didn’t know

Whether you are in the market for buying a diamond or not, you have probably heard of the 4C’s: It is the 4 elements to consider when assessing the quality of a diamond before you fork out your hard earned loot!

GIA created this system, which is a globally accepted standard for describing diamonds: Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat Weight.

As a leading designer jewellery brand with our roots firmly in the land of gold and diamonds, we are solidly in love with these invincible gems. But not for the obvious reasons. Each of the 4C’s presents an opportunity to be creative.

           

Lets talk about what you DON’T know about the 4 C’s:

1. CUT (not necessarily shape!)

Of the four C's, cut has the greatest influence on the diamond’s brilliance and fire. Rated from poor to excellent; a diamond with a poor cut will look dull whereas a diamond with an excellent cut will display great brilliance. For eg, a excellently cut 0.97ct diamond actually looks larger than a 1ct diamond with an average cut, no really!

Tip: When discussing your budget with your trusted jeweller, consider alternative shapes known as ‘fancy cuts’. They are priced at a lower price per carat due to a smaller demand. So you will get more sparkle for your bucks!

We love alternative cuts: 

           

Left: Marquise cut juxtaposed with round cognac diamonds  |  Right: Rose cut with flat back and faceted top.

        

Left: Cushion cuts actually look much bigger than their equivalent weight in a round cut  | Right: Pear-shape diamond flanked by small marquise cut diamonds.

2. Colour

White diamonds are graded from colourless (graded D) to commercial whites (graded HI) to yellow tinted (LM), moving down the alphabet the yellower it gets.

What you did not know is that if the colour cannot really be identified, diamonds are supposedly less desirable, hence do cost less. However, it still has all the precious characteristics and therefore should not be looked down upon. If not certified as a fancy colour, you can get an exceptional stone at an even more impressive price.

Tip: As opposed to striving for colourless perfection, embrace colour and work with it to steal the show!

     

Left: A lightly brown tinted stone turns into a peach beauty set in rose gold Right:  Enhance a pale yellow stone in 18ct gold to give dramatic contrast  |  

 

Urchin Ring Above: A vivid orange becomes the center of attention when surrounded by diamonds grading from white to chocolate:

3. Clarity

Formed deep within the earth under extreme heat and pressure, diamonds often contain unique inclusions or blemishes. A clarity grade is assigned to diamonds ranging from flawless (FL) to diamonds with obvious inclusions (I3).

Tip: Compare apples with apples – Inclusions graded SI1 and higher generally cannot be seen without magnification, something to take into account when comparing prices.

 

 

Left Image: As long as inclusions are not compromising the stone's integrity, this too can become a talking point. This brown diamond has a gas cloud inclusion which gives the stone it's romantic smoky feel.

Right Image: (Treasure Ring) The excessive included nature of this 1.89ct diamond became the focus point of this character filled piece.

 

4. Carat Weight

Just as a dollar is divided into 100 pennies, a carat is divided into 100 points. However, unlike dollars and pennies, 100 loose pointers collectively will cost less than a single diamond of 100 points (aka 1ct)

Tip: Using multiple diamonds placed into a claw setting will translate into a fantastic design feature and you can have 1 carat of diamond on your finger at a fraction of the price!

Left: 19 Diamonds set in rose gold gives you a total of 1,3ct | Right: 180 Diamonds totaling 1.2ct perfectly complements this whiskey topaz.

The 4 C's are a great tool and will assist you in buying a good quality diamond but rather than allowing this to be an overwhelming experience, find a trusted jeweler that will gently guide you toward the perfect stone that is right for you and your pocket. Ultimately putting a smile on the face of the person receiving it, is what matters most.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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