As a rule, the 4 C’s are used to determine the value of a diamond. It is important to understand how the cut, clarity, color and carat of a gemstone affects the value of diamond jewelry in order to make the best selection when purchasing items.
The diamond cut determines the shape in which a diamond has been cut and how the cut contributes to the radiance of the diamond. Of all the different types of cuts, the Round cut is the most popular and wanted as it is preferable to bring out the brilliance in most diamonds. Only a few diamonds may benefit from a different cut.
The Princess cut is also a very popular variety, followed by Oval, Marquise and Pear shapes. Asscher, Emerald and cushion cuts are less popular and less valuable. The least popular are Heart and Radiant cuts unless either of these shapes contributes in a greater means the to brilliance.
There are very few diamonds in the world that are considered to be entirely flawless in relation to the GIA diamond clarity chart which is the main means of evaluating diamond clarity. This is due to the fact that most diamonds have what is referred to as inclusions which are imperfections in the diamond or blemishes on the surface. There are 11 points that are identified on this chart with evaluation being determined by a skilled grader at 10 times magnification:
– Flawless – no inclusions
– Internally Flawless – no internal flaws but blemishes exist on the surface.
– VVS1 and VVS2 – very, very slight inclusions are invisible to the naked eye but visible under 10x magnification from the pavilion or crown respectively.
– VS1 and VS2 – very slight inclusions may be visible to some experts without magnification under the right conditions.
– SI1 and SI2 – slightly included diamonds that are noticeable under magnification and may be visible to the naked eye.
– I1, I2 and I3 – included diamonds are the lowest grade and always have flaws that are visible to the naked eye.
Diamond color grades range from colorless (white diamonds) to light color. Colors can be yellow, blue or pink. A white diamond that has a small amount of color will be less valuable. The more color in a diamond, the lower the quality will be. Light color diamonds are considered to be the lowest grade on the color scale and quality jewelers will rarely stock these stones.
4. Carat Weight
The weight of a diamond is classified in terms of carats. The greater the weight, the more valuable a diamond. A smaller stone that weighs more than a larger stone will have greater value than the bigger diamond. It is weight rather than size that is important in diamond grading. However, in general, larger diamonds will have a greater carat weight.
It is not any of these factors alone that determine the value of a stone, but rather a combination of the 4 C’s that are important when buying diamond jewelry.