The four C’s
Cut: The cut of a diamond is a representation of the precise shape and positioning of a diamonds facets. An ideal cut balances the brilliance, dispersion and scintillation for optimum sparkle. The grading of a diamonds cut will be labelled from ‘poor’ up to ‘excellent’. A diamond with high quality colour and clarity, but a ‘poor’ cut grade will seriously affect the sparkle and brilliance of the stone, making the cut grade a vital part of purchasing any diamond.
Clarity: The clarity of a diamond measures its flawlessness. This is determined by the amount of inclusions present within a natural diamond after it has been cut. Clarity will affect a diamonds value more directly than any other factor because it is also a measure of rarity. For example, a diamond which is graded as ‘IF’ (Internally Flawless) is in the top percentage of rare diamonds and therefore in the most expensive category. The clarity scale begins at I3 (Included 3) and travels through to IF (Internally Flawless).
Colour: The colour of a diamond is measured on an alphabetical scale beginning at ‘D’ ending in ‘Z’. ‘D’ being colourless, and ‘Z’ being saturated. The ideal method by which to exhibit a diamonds colour is by looking through the side against a white background. In the scale, D-G colour diamonds are regarded as colourless, as it is very difficult to see a big difference between them, H and onwards is where progressive grades of yellow saturation will be seen.
Carat: Carat is the total weight in a precious stone, ranging from 0.01ct to 100.00ct (polished diamond). Measurements in millimetres give a rough guideline for the average weight of diamonds, and precious stones i.e. a 6.5mm round diamond is approx. 1.00ct. However, weight can vary based on a stones proportions, particularly on ‘fancy shape’ diamonds. GIA and other certification companies:
Fancy colours: Diamonds can also come in a varied selection of fancy colours, ranging from faint or light coloured up to vivid and intense coloured. The colours most commonly seen are yellow, pink, red, green, blue, purple and all others in between. Smith & Green also specialize in fancy colours as well as white diamonds.