We like to think that the jewelry we purchase are a good buy. Quality is an important factor for us jewelry shoppers, but how could we make sure we are getting quality when buying diamonds? First introduced in the mid-20th century, “the 4 C’s” is universally acknowledged as the main way to determine the quality of a diamond. Our quick breakdown on how to buy diamonds using the 4 c’s is here to help you get the best bang for your buck.
When choosing your diamond, it is important to consider the carat. While most people think carat refers to size or how large the diamond is, it actually measures the diamond’s weight. You can make an easy mental note for this first “C”, the bigger the carat = the better. Diamonds that weigh 24 carats and above are considered top-class diamonds. Another note to keep in mind is that two diamonds can have the same carat weight but differ in value because of the remaining “C’s”.
A grading scale is used to determine a diamond’s value based on its color. The diamond color scale ranges alphabetically from D to Z. Diamond colors can also range from white to even black diamonds. Colored diamonds are eye-catching, but white or “colorless” diamonds generally have a higher value compared to others. These higher quality grades are the D-grades, which are considered colorless and the purest diamonds. Diamonds sold in local jewelry stores are typically “almost colorless” with a grade between G and J. Anything with a grade after J is considered a “colored” diamond as the diamond’s color can be detected by the naked eye.
Clarity is the third “C” to keep in keep in mind when shopping for a diamond. Diamonds aren’t perfect. Just like any precious gem, diamonds also have flaws and no matter how bright and shiny it may look, the blemishes still remain. These imperfections, more commonly known as a diamond’s clarity, are often graded to determine if the rock is top quality. A diamond’s grading scale is a bit tough to remember but a rule of thumb is to choose grades between VVSI-SI1. These grades have no visible inclusions to the naked eye. A flawless diamonds are awarded an FL grade and would be the most expensive.
The forth “C”, a diamond’s cut, determines its beauty and style. There are different types of diamond cuts which includes: princess cuts, cushion cuts, oval cuts, square cuts and even heart-shaped cuts. The most classic styles include princess, emerald and square cuts. A diamond’s cut plays an important role in its beauty because light bounces and reflects from the diamond and gives it that shine that most purchasers are looking for. If a diamond is not cut proportionally, the diamond may appear dull and cheap. Based on our experience, the most brilliant cut is a round cut as light can bounce from all angles, when cut appropriately. However, we encourage to shop for your preferred style as each cut has its own allure.