When shopping for just about anything in this world, there are certain things you know or learn to look for to ensure you are getting the best product for your money. If you’re buying new clothes, for example, you check to see what types of fabric the item is made from, where it was made, and which designer it was made by. These are all factors that not only affect the price of the clothes, but often the quality of the clothes as well.
If you are shopping for a new diamond ring, on the other hand, it’s worth familiarising yourself with the Four C’s of diamond ring classification. These are the basic guidelines that are relied upon universally to rate the four key variations that can be found in diamonds and knowledge of these guidelines can come in useful when shopping for a new diamond ring.
The first of the Four C’s of diamond ring classification is the cut of the diamond. While you will often hear the shape of the stone in a diamond ring referred to as its cut, as in a Round Cut or Princess Cut diamond ring, that is not the same as the cut of the ring as it relates to the Four C’s.
The Four C’s cut of a diamond ring refers, instead, primarily to the way the stone in a diamond ring has been faceted and its general proportions. The way a diamond has been cut or faceted can significantly affect the overall look of the diamond itself. A properly faceted diamond ring will shine and sparkle with the smallest amount of light, as the individual cuts to the surface of the diamond will create the perfect reflections and refractions of light to give the diamond ring its beloved brilliance. A poorly faceted diamond ring, on the other hand, will seem rather dull and flat in comparison.
The second of the Four C’s refers to the colour of the stone in the diamond ring. As the name implies, this is the rating used to describe or classify the stone in the diamond ring on a scale from colourless to yellow. Naturally, the closer to colourless a diamond is, the higher the price tag associated with it. Diamonds are graded for their colour on an alphabetical scale that ranges from D to Z. A ‘D’ rated diamond is considered perfectly colourless, while E and F rated diamonds are described as colourless as well. Diamond rings with stones graded G through J will fall into the ‘near colourless’ category, while those rated K through M are categorised as ‘faint yellow’.
Just to clarify, when you see a diamond ring advertised with a fancy yellow diamond, this does not mean it bears a stone that is rated at the bottom of the scale. Diamonds given Four C ratings in the ‘yellow’ category are generally considered to be of lower quality. Fancy yellow diamonds, on the other hand, are created by abnormalities present during the diamond formation and their rarity actually makes them extremely valuable.
When we talk about the clarity of a diamond ring, as it relates to the Four C’s, we are describing the rating that outlines how flawless the stone itself is. As you’ve probably guessed, a flawless diamond ring is more valuable than a flawed one, however, there are a number of levels of clarity that can be given to a diamond ring to describe the exact level of inclusions or imperfections the diamond may have.
Six basic classifications are used in regards to a diamond’s clarity, with additional classifications within the six groupings to break the level of detail down even further. The first and most prized rating is flawless. This means no visible blemishes are on or in the diamond, even under magnification. The next step down on the rating scale is ‘internally flawless’, followed by three variations used to describe diamonds with small inclusions or flaws. The lowest rated diamonds are graded as ‘imperfect’.
The final of the Four C’s, and possibly the one that most consumers are readily familiar with, is the carat weight of a stone. While some people think that the carat weight of a stone refers simply to the size of the diamond, it is actually a rating based on the weight of the stone and is a fairly straightforward grading. A carat is equal to 0.2 grams. This means that a two carat diamond, for example, will weigh 0.4 grams and a ½ carat diamond would weigh 0.1 grams. Some jewellers may also refer to the weight of a diamond by referring to ‘points’. A carat is the equivalent of 100 points, therefore, a half carat diamond may also be described as a 50 point diamond.
If you want to start familiarising yourself with diamonds, pop over to the Purely Diamond store and have a browse. And don’t forget, we’re only too happy to help guide you into choosing the right diamond for you or that someone special you are planning on buying a diamond for.