The4C’s of a Diamond
The4C’s of a Diamond
Diamondis one of the hardest substances in the world and is used as jewelryand for industrial purposes especially for cutting metal and othertypes of diamond. Besides, diamonds are very precious stones whosevalue is determined by a number of factors. The value of diamond isdetermined by four factors usually known as the 4C’s by jewelers.These factors include cut, color, carat (weight) and clarity. Theknowledge of how these factors influence the value of diamond isimportant in determining the price of diamond (Chu,2001).The in short, the colorless diamonds are the most precious. Thismeans that they have less or no blemishes or inclusions, are well cutto allow light to pass through them and be reflected back showingscintillation and brilliance. This essay will explain the concept of4C’s of diamond and how they are used to classify diamond.
Diamondscome in a wide range of colors starting from brown or faint yellow,to very rare blues, pinks, and greens and colorless. The color ofdiamonds is determined by the occurrence of trace features in theatomic structure of the diamond. The intense the color exhibited by adiamond, the down it is ranked in the ranking ladder (Azo Materials,n.d). Some colors are very rare in diamonds and are grouped in adifferent scale. Their classification is influenced by hue andsaturation. They include pinks, amber, red, blues and greens. Thehighest quality diamond is diamond that is colorless. Diamond that iscolorless allows light to pass through it without difficulties anddisperses light in a rainbow of colors. The best colorless diamondsbear the grading marked ‘D’. Other colors are designated lettersdown the alphabetical ladder through Z for diamonds which are brown,light yellow or grey. Determining the value of diamond through coloris difficult and requires knowledge of specific requirements andequipment.
Insimple terms, carat refers to weight in diamonds. Carat isabbreviated as ‘ct’. Carat is a word borrowed from the carobtree, which produces seeds of consistent weight and uniformity (AzoMaterials, n.d). Initially, diamonds and other precious stones weregauged against these seeds. As carat of a diamond increase, itsclarity also increases so does the value or the price. A carat issubdivided into 100 points in that a diamond of 50 points weighs 0.5or ½ carat. One carat or 100 points is equivalent to 0.2 grams (AzoMaterials, n.d). It is very easy to determine the carat-weight of adiamond unlike other aspects like color. However, two diamonds ofequal carat weight may differ in value depending on their cut,clarity, and color. Large diamonds are rare to find and have highvalue.
Diamondsare cut in varying shapes, with the shape being determined by theshape of the rough diamond. Unlike other factors, cut is notdetermined by nature. Sometimes people confuse cut with the shape ofa diamond. However, the two are not the same. When we talk of cut, weare more concerned in the proportions of diamond rather than itsshape. A professional diamond cutter can cut a diamond in a mannerthat it can handle light in a better way that produces morescintillation and brilliance (Azo Materials, n.d). A well cut diamondreflects light from one surface to another and then lets it outthrough the top. In a nailhead cut diamond (diamond cut too deep) offisheye (diamond cut too shallow) allows light to come out throughthe pavilion part or at the bottom. This does not allow the ultimatebeauty of the diamond to be experienced. Normally, diamonds are cutwith 58 plain faces of facets. The size and position in regard toother surfaces are reached through a mathematical formula used todesign high valued diamond. Common cuts of diamond may include round,oval, princess, emerald, pear, and marquise (GIA, 2014).
Theclarity of a diamond is subject to the number and positioning offlaws in the diamond. The imperfections may not be visible throughthe naked eye but can be viewed under magnification of a microscope,usually 10 x magnifications (GIA, 2014). Diamonds may also containinclusions or birthmarks as they are sometimes referred to, whichinfluence its clarity. Clarity of diamonds is classified using amultifaceted approach which evaluates the position, size andvisibility of the imperfection. Flaws or inclusions affect the waylight enters and is reflected by the diamond, hence its clarity (AzoMaterials, n.d). The type, number and size of inclusions influencethe grade of a diamond. The lesser the number of flaws, the higherthe value of the diamond as it is rare to find. GIA grades clarity indiamonds from Flawless to Imperfect 3. On the other hand, the DiamondShopping Network provides diamonds from grade imperfect 1 throughflawless (Malnekoff,2001).
TheGemological Institute of America (GIA) defines clarity grades fromFlawless, which is of the highest quality through Internally Flawless(IF), Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2), Very SlightlyIncluded (VS1 and VS2), Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2), to Included(I1, I2 and I3) which is of the poorest quality (Diamond Ideals,n.d).
Clarityis easily assigned at first glance or impression by a professionalgrader. The grader determines if it is easy, difficult or very hardto see the inclusions by first looking at the gemstone. The clarityof majority of diamond can be accomplished within two minutes ofexamination but the most difficult of all is the flawless andinternally flawless which require significant time to assign such avaluable grade.
Conclusively,diamonds as precious gemstones vary in shape, color, size, weight andappearance. These factors determine how valuable the diamond is. Themore colorless the diamond the more precious it is. The larger thediamond, the rarer it is and more valuable. In addition, clearerdiamonds, like those with no inclusions or blemishes, the morebrilliant they are hence more valuable. When shopping for diamond,having this knowledge can be useful since diamonds are veryexpensive. Even with this knowledge, the help of a grader may berequired to determine the real worth of a diamond. Although a fee ispaid for services of a grader, it is worth it as diamonds areexpensive. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), is anorganization which deals with grading and classification of gemstonesand can offer great help for shoppers. It is always advisable for oneto be sure that they quality they are buying offers true value fortheir money.
AzoMaterials. (n.d). Diamonds- Colour, Carat, Clarity and Cut, The Factors Influencing a Diamond’sValue.Retrieved http://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=2420 (AccessedDecember 5, 2014).
Chu,S. (2001). Pricing the C’s of Diamond Stones. Journalof Statistics Education,9(2).
DiamondIdeals, (n.d) LearnAbout Diamonds.Retrieved http://www.diamondideals.com/education/find/four_cs.cfm(Accessed December 5, 2014).
GIA,(2014). 4C’s Education. Retrievedhttp://gia4cs.gia.edu/en-us/the-diamond-4-cs.htm (Accessed December5, 2014).
Malnekoff,P. J. (2001). U.S.Patent No. 6,304,853.Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.