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Learn About Diamonds
The Four C’s Quick Chart
The Four C’s are four variables that are used to calculate the value of a diamond.
CUT refers to the proportions, finish, symmentry and polish of the diamond. These
factors determine the fire and brilliance of a diamond. Well cut diamonds sell at a premium and poorly cut diamonds sell at discounted prices.
COLOR describes the amount of color the diamond contains. This can range from colorless to yellow with slight tints of yellow, gray or brown. Colors can also range from intense yellow to brown, blue, green, pink and red. These fancy colors are rare and therefore more valuable. It is possible to influence the color by an irradiation treatment followed by a heat treatment.
CLARITY describes the clearness or purity of a diamond. This is determined by the number, size, nature and location of the internal (inclusions) and external (blemishes) imperfections.
DIAMOND COLOR AND CLARITY SCALE
GIA Color Grading Scale
|D E F||G H I J||K L M||N O P Q R||S T U V||W X Y Z|
|Colorless||Near Colorless||Faint Yellow||Very Light Yellow||Light Yellow||Fancy Yellow|
GIA Color Grading Scale
|F L||I F||V V S 1 V V S 2||V S 1 V S 2||S I 1 S I 2||I 1 I 2 I 3|
|Very, Very Slight
The clarity scale is broken down into the following grades:
|F L||Flawless Free from all inclusions or blemishes|
|I F||Internally Flawless No inclusions visible at 10x magnification|
|V VS1||Very, Very Slightly Inclusions that are extremely difficult to locate at 10x Included|
|V VS2||Very Very Slightly Inclusions that are very difficult to locate at 10x Included|
|V S1||Very Slightly Included Minor inclusions that are difficult to locate at 10x|
|V S2||Very Slightly Included Minor inclusions that are somewhat difficult to locate at 10x|
|SI1||Slightly Included Inclusions that are somewhat easy to locate at 10x|
|SI2||Slightly Included Noticeable inclusions readily seen at 10x|
|I 1||Included Obvious inclusions – somewhat easy to see with the unaided eye|
|I 2||Included Obvious inclusions – easy to locate with the unaided eye|
|I 3||Included Obvious inclusions – very easy to see with the unaided ey|
CARAT WEIGHT is the unit weight for the diamond. A carat is further subdivided into 100 points (.01 carat = 1 point). One carat is equal to .20 grams. The greater the carat size of the diamond, the greater its value per carat.
THE FACTS ABOUT COLOR
The less color a diamond has the more valuable the diamond is. There are naturally colored diamonds such as pink, green, blue and brown and the more common yellow, called “fancy color diamonds”ï¿½ which are more rare and very high in value, but they are not graded on the same scale.
The diamond color grading system uses the letters of the alphabet from D through Z, with “D” being the most colorless and therefore the rarest and most valuable, and “Z” having the most color within the normal range, and being the least valuable.
The determination of a diamonds color is by looking at it under controlled lighting and comparing it to the Gemological Institute of America’s color scale, which is based on a set of diamonds of known color. Here is a diagram showing how a diamond’s color is graded:
DIAMOND COLOR SCALE
A diamond’s color is most accurately determined when it is not mounted in a setting, since settings can introduce tints of their own color into the diamond. This is more evident in yellow gold settings, and less so in white gold and platinum settings. Gemological laboratories such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and American Gemological Society (AGS) will only grade diamonds that are unmounted.
THE FACTS ABOUT THE CUT
A diamond can be cut into many different shapes, depending on the nature of the rough diamond. It is the cut but also the finish that enables a diamond to make the best use of light. Light is reflected from one facet to another and the cut gives the maximum scintillation and brilliance to the diamond. Cut should not be confused with the shape of the diamond.
DIAMOND LIGHT DISPERSION
In a properly cut diamond, light entering through the table and bezel facets is reflected back through the top.
If the diamond is cut too deep, much of the light leaks out the sides.
If the diamond is cut too shallow, part of the light leaks out the bottom.
PROPORTIONS OF DIAMONDS
THE FACTS ABOUT CLARITY
Clarity of a diamond refers to how clean or not clean a diamond is. Sometimes there are inclusions, (a solid, liquid, or gaseous foreign body enclosed in a mineral or rock) such as impurities, or internal flaws within the diamond. There could also be blemishes on the diamond which are surface imperfections that may impair the look of the diamond. It stands to reason the less inclusions, or blemishes the higher the value of the diamond.
All diamonds have specific clarity grades, these grades are shown as:
F, IF, VVS, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI, SI2 and most recent the SI3. By definition it’s simply Internal and external flaws on a scale.
When looking at a diamond there are charts available where diamonds are graded, it is obvious in the Cut and blatantly obvious in the Color, but when it comes to the Clarity it is impossible to show a chart in the grading. Each diamond has it’s own fingerprint of inclusions, and/or blemishes in various parts of the diamond. Our feeling is to show you diamonds with specific clarity grades is unfair to the definition of clarity.
Definitions for the clarity grades come from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) which is the renowned number one gem testing lab worldwide.
IF: Internally Flawless.
VVS1, VVS2: Very, Very Slightly included.
VS1, VS2: Very Slightly Included.
SI1, SI2, SI3: Slightly Included.
I1, I2, I3: Included.
Each diamond’s fingerprints of inclusions and/or blemishes, excluding Flawless, or Internally Flawless, should not be noticed by the naked eye. If it is so heavily included, it will ruin the brilliance of the stone or could damage it’s structure. The fewer inclusion the easier the light can reflect through the facets and then to your eyes. A majority of diamonds contain some blemishes (flaws outside the diamond) or inclusions (flaws inside the diamond) like crystals, clouds, or feathers. Surface blemishes are not considered a major concern, since they can often be polished out by a lapidarist (professional stone cutter). Crystals are mineral deposits trapped inside the diamond; clouds are small specks or hazy areas that give a milky appearance; and feathers are small cracks that are shaped like a bird’s feather.
THE FACTS ABOUT CARAT WEIGHT
What is a Carat? A carat is a unit of weight for precious stones, equal to 200 milligrams. The word carat actually comes from the word carob (as in carob seeds), which is how ancient cultures measured the weight of diamonds on their scales. The weight was standardized internationally and adapted to the metric system.
A Karat “with a K” is a unit of measure for the fineness of gold, equal to 1/24 part. Pure gold is 24 karat; gold that is 50 percent pure is 12 karat. Some people think that a carat is the measure of the diamond’s size, this is untrue since cutting a diamond to different proportions can affect its weight.
Note: diamonds shown are not actual size. Ct = Carat
Carat Weight Scale
In choosing a diamond you must take into consideration Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight, which must be in harmony with one another to achieve the most desired look for you. We at Descar look at all the aspects in determining what best fits your style, and means.
No two diamonds are the same. They are nature manufactured and the diamond cutters try to get the best possible cut out of the rough that they have to work with, which is why cut is the first most important of the four C’s. Therefore, two diamonds of the same weight could vary substantially in value dependent on their Clarity and Color.
Care of your Diamond Jewelry . . .
Cleaning solutions are available in many forms for everyday cleaning, which can be purchased here at DesCar to clean your jewelry at home. We also have the capacity here at the store to clean your jewelry when you come in. Do not wear your jewelry when doing housework, yard work or any other kind of rough work. Even though a diamond is extremely durable, a hard blow could chip it.
When doing household chores, never allow your jewelry to come into contact with chlorine bleach.
If you notice a loose stone or noticeable damage to your jewelry, do not wear the jewelry until you have taken it to a professional jeweler. We recommend that you have a jeweler check the setting in your diamond ring once a year.
When you’re not wearing your diamonds, be sure to store them in a fabric-lined case or in a box with dividers or separate compartments–diamonds can scratch other jewelry as well as each other.
As always, you have to keep in mind, that fine jewelry should always be worn with care and lovingly.