ABOUT THE FOUR C's:
THE FOUR C's|
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A DIAMOND
Diamond. The very word conjures up romantic imagery. The ideal symbol of love, full of fire, brilliance, and longevity. But when it comes to finding the right diamond, many people don't know where to begin. The staff at IORIO Fine Jewellery know the essentials to buying a diamond and what's more, they are happy to pass this information on to you.
A diamond's worth is based on four characteristics: carat, colour, cut, and clarity. Commonly referred to as the Four C's.
CARAT -- A measurement of weight and therefore determines the size of the stone. The word "carat" originated from ancient times when merchants would weigh precious stones against carob seeds. These seeds are well known for their uniformity and consistent weight. Traditionally diamonds and gemstones were weighed against the carob seeds until a system was set in place where one carat was fixed at being 0.2 grams. A carat is divided into 100 points. If a diamond weighs one half of a carat, it can be referred to being 50 points or 0.50 carats. The "point system" is generally not used to describe weights over one carat. The most common diamond carat for an engagement ring is one carat or, one hundred points.
COLOUR -- Diamonds come in a variety of colours, however the best ones have no colour in them whatsoever. The absolutely colourless stones have a D rating, descending through each letter of the alphabet to Z, designating a fully yellow, brown, or grey diamond. A diamond graded A-J colour is best suited for jewellery because it will better reflect the rainbow of colours.
CUT -- Diamonds are shaped into many different styles depending on the original form of the uncut diamond. Although commonly confused for being a factor in this characteristic, the shape does not play a role in judging a diamond's cut. The cut is actually a measure of how well the "facets" were cut on the stone. The most common shape, the round brilliant diamond, has 58 facets or sides to it. If these sides are cut at too shallow an angle, making it a flatter-than-normal shape, the light will escape through the bottom of the stone and not give off much shine. Similarly, when cut too deep, making a taller and skinnier shape, the light bounces out the side and the shine is lost. But when a diamond is cut to proper proportions and thereby classified a "well cut," the light is bounced between facets and then dispersed through the top of the stone and the fire and brilliance is easily seen.
CLARITY -- Almost all diamonds have tiny imperfections usually only discernable by magnification. A tiny carbon molecule trapped inside of a diamond is known as an "inclusion" whereas a surface marking is called a "blemish." Diamonds are judged on both of these imperfections to determine their clarity. The highest clarity grade, "Flawless," contains no inclusions or blemishes at all and therefore is the most sought after. When looking for the right diamond, it is recommended to have a clarity grade of SI2 (Slightly Included) or better because the imperfections are minor and difficult to see even under magnification.
The main concern of many diamond buyers is to get the best quality diamond for the lowest reasonable price. IORIO Fine Jewellery will find the best diamond to match your needs and desires.