When shopping for a diamond there are four main features you need to consider before purchasing. These features are commonly referred to as the 4Cs.
The 4Cs classify the value of each diamond. Every diamond’s price, rarity and beauty are determined by the combination of cut, color, clarity and carat (or weight).
The cut of a diamond refers specifically to the proportions and angles of the stone.
Although nature determines the other three characteristics, it takes a master diamond cutter to reveal the truest epitome of a diamond’s beauty. A well cut diamond reflects light from one mirror-like facet to another and projects that light through the top of the stone. The result is a brilliant fiery display and eye catching sparkle.
The color refers to a diamond’s lack of color, grading the whiteness of a diamond on a color scale implemented by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). This color scale ranges from D (colorless) to Z (most colorful), colorless being the more popular choice among traditional diamonds.
Second to cut, color is generally considered the next most important characteristic when selecting a diamond. Color manifests itself in a diamond as a pale yellow. This is why a diamond’s color grade is based on its lack of color. The less color a diamond has, the higher its color grade.
Color differences can be so subtle that diamond colors are graded under controlled lighting conditions and are compared to a master set for accuracy. While truly colorless Grade D diamonds are treasured for their rarity, diamond color is ultimately a very personal taste.
A diamond’s clarity is a measure of the number and size of microscopic imperfections that naturally occur in almost every diamond. Many of these imperfections are invisible to the naked eye, and do not affect a diamond’s beauty in any discernible way. Industry professionals use a scale ranging from I3 to FL to help determine a diamond’s clarity ranking.
GIA Gemologists refer to these imperfections by a variety of technical names, including blemishes and inclusions, among others. The greater a diamond’s clarity, the greater its value and rarity.
A diamond’s carat is the measure of its weight. Much as a person’s body weight does not necessarily correlate with height, carat weight, by itself, may not accurately reflect a diamond’s size.
To gain a precise understanding of diamond size, you should consider carat weight with two other characteristics:
1) The distance across the top of the diamond measured in millimeters.
2) The diamond’s cut grade.
A diamond’s cut grade is important because when a diamond is cut with the proper proportions, the maximum amount of light (or sparkle) is returned out of the top of the diamond. Once you’ve selected your cut, color, and clarity grade, it’s easy to determine the carat weight of a diamond that will fit within your budget.
Brinker’s Jewelers will help you find the right diamond and mounting to optimize a diamond’s unique characteristics and rare beauty. Stop by our store to see our selection of hand selected diamonds, or contact us by phone 812.476.0651 or email with any questions you may have.