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Know Your Diamonds

The 4 C's

You may have heard of the 4 c’s when describing diamonds. In the 1940s, GIA (Gemological Institute of America) established the “4Cs” and the International Diamond Grading System™ – to this day, the worldwide standard for evaluating diamond quality.

Cut

The sparkle and brilliance of a diamond depends more on its cut than anything else.

A diamond can be made in various cuts including Princess, Round, Brilliant, Emerald, Pear, Marquise, Radiant.

Clarity

The absence of inclusions and blemishes makes a diamond rare and affects value.

The GIA Clarity Scale contains 11 grades, with most diamonds falling into the VS (very slightly included) or SI (slightly included) categories. In determining a clarity grade, the GIA system considers the size, nature, position, color or relief, and quantity of clarity characteristics visible under 10x magnification.

  • Flawless (FL) - No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification
  • Internally Flawless (IF) - No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10× magnification
  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) - Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10× magnification
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) - Inclusions are minor and range from difficult to somewhat easy for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) - Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader under 10x magnification
  • Included (I1, I2, and I3) - Inclusions are obvious under 10× magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance

Colour

Diamonds in the D-to-Z color range are valued by how closely they approach colorlessness – the less color, the higher their value.

Carat Weight

Diamonds and gemstones are weighed in metric carats: one carat is equal to 0.2 grams, about the weight of a paperclip.

We could talk about diamonds all day so we’ll leave it there but if you would like to read more in depth visit the GIA website.