The 4 Cs: Which is the most important?

Buying a diamond can be a nerve-racking experience. If you want my expert advice on buying the best diamond just drop me a note and tell me what you are looking for and how much you want to spend and I will get back to you with my personal recommendations for a beautiful stone that fits in your budget. This is a FREE service, doesn’t cost you a dime extra, (in fact I am sure that it almost every case I can save you lots of money) and there is absolutely no commitment.

A quick diamond Guide

The 4 Cs are the key characteristics of diamonds: carat, cut, color and clarity. When you know exactly how they are evaluated, you make better decisions in the purchase of your diamond. In order to help you with this decision I put together this quick diamond guide. The 4 Cs allow you to judge the quality of a diamond, compare it with others, and assess how much it is worth, or it’s fair market price value. Ask to see the certification that comes with each diamond you look at. Diamond certification is the written proof – from an independent gemological laboratory such as IGA or GIA — of a diamond’s attributes. It shows the precise grading for each of the 4 Cs – carat weight, cut, color,and clarity – and, therefore, the diamond value. When she, her family, friends, and everyone you know looks at her diamond – what they’ll notice most are carat weight, or size, and more importantly – how brilliant and flashy the diamond is – which is determined largely by cut.

I recently came across this video by GIA which provides a decent look into the diamond grading process.  Its a little dated and heavy on the promotional material but still worth watching. What I really liked about it was how you see that diamond color is not a measured scientific grading – you actually see the gemologist moving the sample diamond back and forth comparing it to other diamonds in order to determine the grading. I talk more about this and on my Guide to Diamond Pricing page which I highly suggest you read before deciding what is the best diamond to buy.

Size or quality – which is more important?

Determining which of the 4 Cs is the most important is, in part, is a matter of taste . If size is key , then carat weight will count most to you, but remember that size is not related to the beauty of the stone. A smaller diamond that is more masterfully cut and features greater clarity and better color will be more beautiful and brilliant than a larger stoneof the same price that does not meet the same standards for cut, clarity and color. In other words, a big diamond is not necessarily a beautiful diamond. But if size is really important to you, look for a diamond that offers the largest visual appearance and more brilliance than conventionally cut round diamonds of comparable color and clarity.

The 4 Cs – Why cut is so important

Diamond experts will undoubtedly tell you that cut is the most important attribute of a diamond. Cut is dependent on the craftsmanship applied in cutting the facets of the stone. The artisan attempts to cut a diamond to make the best use of light. Here’s the technical explanation: When a diamond is cut to good proportions , light is refracted from one facet to another, then dispersed through the top of the diamond. When a diamond is cut too deep, some light escapes through the opposite side of the diamond. If the diamond is cut too shallow, light escapes through the bottom of the stone before it can be reflected. In addition, the facets must be placed with precise symmetry for maximum brilliance. Here’s the bottom line: Brilliance is the wow factor in any diamond, and what makes one diamond more beautiful than another. It’s the arch in a person’s eyebrow as they are nearly blinded by the flash of light coming from your diamond. Of course, a diamond may be cut well, but have poor color and clarity. The point is, to be exceptionally beautiful, a diamond must be of high quality in all 4 Cs. But without the cutting craftsmanship of a master artisan, a rough stone will never release its maximum brilliance and beauty no matter how good its color and clarity. So pay extra attention to cut. Because the quality of the diamond is so important, you should buy the diamond first.

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Comments

  1. Britt says:

    I have found the perfect setting, but I’m having a hard time finding the right diamond that fits the setting’s criteria as well as my budget. Ideally, I would like to keep it [diamond] under $1500, but the problem I’m encountering is that the setting says that it can be set with a round and a carat range from .75. I’m assuming that any carat less than won’t fit? Or is this just a way to get me to buy big? She really wants it to be eye-catching and “blingy.” HELP! Thanks.

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