You’ve finally found the perfect ring design after stalking your partner on Pinterest and pestering friends. Maybe you and your partner have found the perfect engagement jewel.
Next up is conquering the diamond 4c of engagement rings and manipulating each component to get the best value when purchasing diamond engagement rings.
The diamond 4c is distinguished in colour, Clarity and carat weight. They make up the grading system that determines how expensive a diamond is.
Andrew Mills, a gemologist and jeweller, says that the diamond 4c grading system should be used as a guideline rather than a scale.
Mills says that the first thing you should remember when looking at the diamond 4c is that there is no correct answer and that a lot of information can be misleading about what is necessary to purchase a diamond.
What do you think about the diamond and its natural beauty is what matters?
Although a diamond may be the most expensive on every scale, that doesn’t mean it is less beautiful than a cheaper one. When weighing a diamond’s worth, each of the diamond 4c is considered together.
The notion that a diamond must be perfect across all diamond 4c is false. There is no set of “perfect” diamond specifications.
We have broken down the diamond 4c of an engagement ring in no particular order. Also, helpful tips and tricks to help you make the most out of each part financially.
Reasons to Recommend the Diamond 4c?
Each of these diamond 4c (Carat Color Clarity, Clarity, and Carat) can significantly impact the diamond’s beauty.
The value of a diamond cannot be determined by one component alone. The beauty and quality of a diamond are determined by how the four C’s interact within it.
Diamond Story recommends that you place the most significant emphasis on the stone’s cut, as this greatly influences the overall reflection.
To get the best bang for your buck, you can play with the colour and Clarity. For example, a 0.8 Carat Round Excellent Cut Diamond (J colour, SI1 Clarity) can look just as beautiful as a round brilliant cut diamond (I colour, VS1 Clarity).
Cutting of Diamond 4c:
Mills believes that cut is the only component of a diamond that is not affected by the natural world.
This refers to the cut quality of the diamond, not its shape or size, but how the stone is faceted and proportioned.
This determines the way that the diamond interacts with light. Brilliance is the ability of a diamond to reflect light to the eyes. It is determined solely by its cut. Colour and Clarity are irrelevant.
Visually, the cut is the most important C for any diamond shape. Colour and Clarity are next.
The GIA system grades diamond cuts as excellent, perfect, fair, weak, or reasonable. The cost of a cut doesn’t change as much as other Cs.
Mills recommends that you stick to the Excellent-to-Very Good range for a well-cut stone that works well with light. He says that any range of colour or eye-clean Clarity can be stunning and bright if the diamond has been well-cut.
Particularly for long-shaped stones like marquise or oval, radiant, emerald and pear, the size and proportion of a diamond can significantly impact its appearance.
It is a good idea to keep the length to width ratio balanced. This can make the stone look more prominent. For the best diamonds, you can choose from a range of lengths.
Color of Diamond 4c:
D-Z is the scale that describes diamond colors. D stands for entirely colourless, and Z stands for a light yellow.
Mills states that standard diamond quality falls within D-J color grades. The color of the diamond will also be affected by its shape. For example, a brilliant round diamond hides color exceptionally well.
This allows you to go lower on the scale and not see any yellowing. Longer diamond shapes like the oval and radiant reveal color more quickly. Remember that diamond color is an individual preference and does not necessarily indicate quality.
You can usually go down to a J-grade with round and emerald cuts. To avoid seeing any color, cut such as the oval, cushion, and radiant require a slightly higher quality (G and up).
Clarity of Diamond 4c:
This C refers to the number of inclusions (natural imperfections) in the diamond and whether they can be seen with an unaided eye.
The GIA grading system rates diamonds from Flawless to Included (FL) according to their inclusions. A stone does not have to be very high up on the GIA grading scale. It can either be Flawless (FL) or Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS).
To look flawless and free of inclusions, it doesn’t need to be at the top. Mills states that it all comes down to how clean the diamond looks in person.
An SI1 (Slightly Included) clarity diamond will appear perfectly eye-clean. This is even though a VVS1 clarity stone (Very Slightly Included) of the same carat, color, and cut costs tens of thousands less.
Mills says that there is no reason to increase the Clarity of any diamond shape, except for emerald and Asscher, beyond VS1 [Very Slightly Included] Clarity. For all other shapes, start at SI1 Clarity or higher.
You should not see any imperfections to the naked eye for most of them. Even SI2 diamonds may be pretty clean, but it is best to stick with SI1 or higher.
Finding the right balance between Clarity and color is crucial to get the best out of your diamond.
This balance can vary depending on the shape of your diamond. However, it is possible to save money while still getting the best quality.
Carat of Diamond 4c:
Carat is the measurement of the actual weight of a diamond. GIA states that one carat equals 0.2 grams. This is roughly the same weight as a paperclip.
The diamond’s price will increase if it has a larger carat. Carat is a guideline. It only determines the stone’s weight and not its actual size.
Mills says you can have five diamonds (let’s call them ovals), exactly 2.00 Carats. However, they will all have slightly different shapes and sizes.
One diamond carat can be divided into 100 points. A 50-point diamond will weigh 0.50 carats. A stone that is a certain weight can appear more extensive than its carat because of its dimensions (measured by millimetres).
For example, you could find a 2.00-carat diamond, but it may look closer to a 2.20-carat stone. You are buying a stone that appears more prominent but doesn’t have to be as expensive.
How Does the Cutting, Color, Clarity, and Carat make Diamond 4c Unique?
Each of the four c’s adds to the overall sparkle, beauty and value of a diamond. They make it stand apart from all the rest.
The diamond is the culmination of these attributes. Each component and each factor can be challenging to separate from the other. It is therefore essential to understand the interplay of these factors.
Cut: The most crucial aspect of any diamond is its cut. This has been stressed before. To ensure you have a budget-friendly diamond, look for one with a great cut that doesn’t compromise on Clarity or color.
Color: When buying a diamond, the color of the diamond should be the second most important. The diamond should not be viewed from the naked eye.
Clarity: Clarity is the third most important factor when purchasing a diamond. We recommend that you choose a diamond without visible inclusions.
Inclusions and blemishes should not be a distraction from the brilliance and scintillation of the diamond. We recommend that you speak to one of our diamond experts to learn more about inclusions in diamonds and their impact on the sparkle of the diamond.
Carat: Although Carat is the last component on this list; it’s not the worst. However, we recommend that you use your discretion when choosing this component. Do you prefer a heavier diamond that is less sparkly or a more sparkling stone?
Diamond Story recommends that you lower your carat weight to go for high sparkle, rather than vice versa.
You now have an understanding of diamonds. When choosing your diamond, you need to consider all factors. You can have one of our diamond experts assess it for you if you are still uncertain about the purchase.
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