Understanding the four Cs of diamonds is an essential part to buying any loose diamond, yet few people actually understand what they are. Each of the Cs plays a major role in the ultimate price of loose diamonds, and the look and feel of it.
It's time to learn vocabulary that we at Long's Jewelers use on a daily basis when it comes to negotiating diamonds. Here are the four Cs that you should know before you go shopping for a loose diamond.
A well-cut diamond acts as a prism, splitting white light into a brilliant rainbow of colors. Because you want a beautiful diamond, avoid stones that are cut too deep or too shallow because they maximize size rather than light performance.
Diamonds with less color are rarer and therefore more valuable. You want to aim to purchase a diamond that is almost perfectly clear. At Long’s, our standards of color are very high and we typically carry diamonds within the D – J range on the GIA color grading scale (see below):
The difference between each color grading is very slight to the unaided eye, and a well-cut diamond can appear to have less color than it actually does.
The clarity of a diamond describes the inherent imperfections or flaws of the stone. These different flaws can be things such as dark spots, feathery cracks, or white points in the loose diamond. While flawless diamonds are the rarest, a diamond does not have to be flawless in order to be stunning. A lot of times these flaws are almost impossible to see with the naked eye.
Here is the GIA's clarity scale for evaluating diamonds:
Carat is the measure of a diamond’s weight, not size. Two 1-carat diamonds can look very different based on the cut of the stones. Diamond cutters are given the opportunity to cut a diamond as big as they can to maximize weight or as beautiful as they can to maximize performance. The trick is to find the right balance of carat weight and cut that works for you. Did you know that a 1ct and a 3ct diamond can look exactly the same from the top as well?