THE 4 C’S
For consumers of diamonds, the product can often be confusing with its wide range of different characteristics and gradings.
Towards the middle of last century, De Beers came up with a set of standards, referred to as the 4C’s in order to assist the consumer in making his/her diamond choices.
The 4 C’s are CUT, CARAT, COLOUR and CLARITY.
CUT – refers to the quality of the faceting of the stone; the proportions of the stone; the precision of the angles of the facets, thus enhancing its ability to refract and emit light which gives that unique diamond sparkle to the eye. The better the CUT the higher the value of the diamond as a fine creation combining nature’s gift and man’s artistry.
CARAT– signifies the weight of the diamond; diamonds are measured in carats (one carat is two tenths of a gram); generally the heavier the diamond the more valuable it is, assuming that the other elements of the 4C’s are the same.
COLOUR – normally diamonds are graded in terms of colour on a scale from D (as clear as water) to Z; each incremental letter means a very slight increase in colour; the other extreme is the group of colours known as fancy colours, such as blues, pinks, greens and reds which can command extremely high premiums, significantly above even D colour.
CLARITY– refers to the internal quality of the stone in terms of whether it is flawless or contains a certain level of inclusions; flawless stones are obviously considered the finest quality and therefore the most valuable; the inclusions can be cracks, known as gletzes, or carbon inclusions knows as piques, other included minerals or small bubbles.