THE 4CS OF DIAMONDS
THE 4Cs OF DIAMONDS
Of the 4C’s, cut is the aspect most directly influenced by man. The cut is often mistaken for the shape of a diamond. However, cut actually refers to how precisely the rough stone was shaped, and polished in order to preserve symmetry. The more perfectly proportionate and symmetrical a diamond is the better it will capture light which is then refracted and delivered back to our eyes in a scintillating rainbow of colors that we call, sparkle.
Understanding the parts that make up a diamond is as important as knowing the 4 C's. Think of these elements as engine parts that power the stone. A fine car requires an efficient, powerful engine to propel it forward and this is also true for a diamond. The light-emitting engine that we call the "cut", gives each diamond a unique blueprint of its beauty.
The precision of a diamond's cut is determined by a grade that appears on its accompanying gemological laboratory certificate. The G.I.A. (Gemological Institute of America) denotes cut quality in a scale ranging from 'Excellent' to 'Poor.' With each improving grade a stone gains sparkle and value.
It's important to note how these different grades will determine the cost of a diamond. If you choose a diamond with a better cut grade, you'll notice that it has more sparkle. If you're looking for a larger diamond within your budget, consider selecting a diamond with a slightly lower cut grade, which will deliver amazing sparkle at a more affordable price.
Excellent polish and symmetry.
Lots of sparkle.
Great polish and
A good amount of sparkle. Sufficient polish and symmetry.
Will not sparkle very much. Unsatisfactory polish and symmetry.
A measure comparing the surface area of the table and the diamond’s overall diameter (measured from one side of the girdle to the other). This ratio is of upmost importance when determining cut grade. A table percentage that is too small means a taller crown and an overly round appearance. If the ratio is too large the crown is shorter which causes a flattened look. In either case light escapes a stone before it reaches your eye which means a far less scintillating stone.
The ratio of a diamond’s depth and its overall diameter. Stones with optimal light performance fall between depth percentages of 54-66%.
Term used to define the surface condition of a diamond’s facets. Polish features are located on the surface and do not penetrate into the diamond under 10X magnification. Although a diamond’s hardness can produce incredible luster, a diamond crystal does possess a natural grain. This grain, similar in some aspects to wood, can produce natural variations during the polishing process. The goal is to produce an even, highly polished facet that will not affect the light performance of the diamond.