It’s possible that the diamond you are ready to sell has been in your family for years. You know everything about it – the history of the diamond, how certain light seems to bend around the diamond, how it appears to sparkle even brighter when you wear your favorite dress, and so forth. While you may be an expert on your specific diamond, you may not be an expert on the universal standard of diamond evaluation, commonly referred to as the 4Cs of diamonds.
History of the 4 Cs Diamond Grading Standard
It wasn’t until the middle of the twentieth century that a standard for diamond grading was conceived. As the diamond market started to rapidly grow, it was apparent that there was a need for a method of assessment that diamond experts could all use and agree upon to evaluate a diamond. In 1935, the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) recognized this need, and created the 4c’s. The 4c standard is still used to this day on a global level.
What are the 4 Cs of diamonds?
In basic terms, the 4c system evaluates the four most essential factors of diamond makeup. These parameters are:
Why are the 4 Cs important when I sell my diamonds?
Each of the 4 C factors will play a significant role in your evaluation when you sell your diamonds. Understanding these factors on a basic level will help you to value your diamond appropriately, and ensure you receive the best possible deal. Below you will see a detailed explanation of each C to help you appreciate the diamond you’re selling as an expert would.
Color: A diamond is graded to determine its relative absence of color, based on the GIA color Scale which ranges from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). Diamonds range in every color, but a diamond with “no color at all,” is considered the most valuable. Diamonds that are colorless allow light to penetrate through the diamond, which creates a rainbow-light affect.
Clarity: A diamond is assigned a clarity grade based on the number and placement of internal features (inclusions), and surface characteristics (blemishes) that are visible under 10x magnification. To no surprise, the fewer blemishes or inclusions your diamond has, the more valuable it’s considered. Inclusions and blemishes interfere with the way light is able to move through a diamond.
Clarity grades range as follows: Flawless, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2, I3.
Cut: It’s a common misconception that the “cut” of a diamond refers to the shape of the diamond (Emerald shape, Heart shape, Round shape, Princess shape, etc.). Rather, this C refers to how the proportions and finish of a diamond affect its overall appearance and quality. The cut of a diamond is essential because it will depict how the diamond receives light. A diamond described as a good “make” will reflect the light, rather than allow it to pass through the stone. Deep or shallow stones lose light passing through the bottom or side.
Cut is graded on a scale from Excellent to Poor and incorporates and diamond’s brightness, fire, scintillation, weight ratio, durability, polish, and symmetry.
Carat Weight: The standard unit of weight for diamonds and other gemstones, carat weight is measured on an electronic scale, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a carat. While two diamonds can be of equal-carat weight, it should be noted that one might be evaluated at a higher value due to its cut, color, and clarity.
The Diamond Trade believes that evaluating a diamond is an art form, and as with every craft, cannot be learned over night. Using the 4 C standard along with our professional expertise, The Diamond Trade will help to educate you on the 4 Cs, and will offer you an accurate quote accordingly.