Clear Cut Classroom: The 4 C's
Welcome to The Clear Cut Classroom where we take deep dives into all things diamonds (and jewelry)! This week we’re talking diamond basics: the infamous 4 C’s! Before beginning any diamond journey, it’s important to get an understanding of what they are: color, clarity, cut and carat. Here’s our breakdown to get you ready for your diamond ride!
Watch the full episode below:
💎 Carat Weight: How much the diamond physically weighs!
Most people associate carat weight with how large the diamond looks! But, the dimensions can also play a factor in how big the diamond appears, so be sure to take a look at those.
💎Color: How white the diamond is!
The color scale starts at D which is completely colorless, which is perfectly white and bright! Then, the scale goes all the way down to Z. With each step down, there will be incrementally more warmth in the stone (meaning a yellow-brown tone). DEF are considered colorless, and J is near colorless. For modern stones, we typically stay in this range to make sure your diamond faces up bright and white. Antique stones allow us a little more wiggle room so we can go slightly lower.
💎 Clarity: The natural inclusions found inside and on the surface of the diamond!
It’s graded by the number, position and intensity of the inclusions. It starts at Flawless (FL), Internally Flawless (IF), Very Very Slightly Included 1 and 2 (VVS1 and VVS2), Very Slightly Included 1 and 2 (VS1 and VS2), Slightly Included 1 (SI1), Slightly Included 2 (SI2), Included 1, 2, and 3 (I1, I2, I3). We usually stay within SI2 and up range, making sure that none of the inclusions are visible to the naked eye. If you are looking for a diamond with step cuts (like an emerald cut), you want to prioritize clarity a bit more than you would for a brilliant cut.
💎 Cut: How well proportioned and how well cut the diamond is!
Cut grades start at Excellent, then Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. You only have a cut grade for round brilliant diamonds because they have the most standardized proportions. I recommend staying in the Excellent and at the lowest, the Very Good range. For other shapes like the emerald, cushion and radiants (anything that is a fancy shape), you have a polish and symmetry grade instead of a cut grade, but the range is the same: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. For fancy shapes, we recommend staying within the Excellent to Good range. Antique cuts tend to be in the lower quality grades, but that is what gives them their unique charm!
Those are the 4 C’s: Carat, Color, Clarity and Cut! Let us know what topic you want us to cover next in the comments below!