The 4 C’s
The 4 C’s
Diamonds are graded internationally to a set of standards commonly known as the 4C’s. The 4C’s consist of Carat Weight, Colour, Clarity and Cut. Typically, an untrained eye sees only carat weight and cut.
Kim Bartlett Master Jewellers have added a further two C’s being Confidence and Certification to ensure that you have absolute confidence and satisfaction when making an informed diamond purchase.
The 4C’s provide a way to objectively compare and evaluate diamonds, but numbers alone can’t describe a diamond’s mysterious and captivating beauty – for that, you’ll have to visit to see one for yourself.
Carat, abbreviated ‘ct,’ is a measure of weight, not size. One carat is equal to one fifth of a gram, and is based on the weight of a carob bean from ancient Egypt. Each carat is divided into 100 parts (points). For example, a .75 carat diamond is the same as a 75-point diamond or a 3/4-carat stone.
While larger stones are relatively rare, cut, colour, and clarity will affect the quality of a diamond even more than weight. A perfectly cut, near flawless smaller stone is more valuable than a poorly cut, coloured, or flawed larger one. However, because a large stone offers more surfaces to reflect and refract light, a large well-cut and near colourless stone is highly prized.
Many people consider diamonds to be colourless. In fact, diamonds come in every colour of the rainbow, as well as black. There are varying degrees of intensity of each colour. However, the closer to colourless, the more rare and therefore more valuable the diamond.
While many diamonds appear colourless, they may actually have subtle yellow or brown tones. A colour grading scale is used to measure the amount of tint in the stone. The colour grading scale quantifies the subtle differences in colour with a letter value – D through the rest of the alphabet. Diamonds rated “D” on the colour scale are the most colourless.
The exception to the colourless standard is the ‘fancy colour diamonds,’ which comes in well-defined colours including yellow, green, red, pink and blue. These are extremely rare and often highly prized.
Virtually all diamonds possess natural imperfections. These natural phenomena, called inclusions, can usually only be seen under the power of 10x magnification. They may look like tiny crystals, clouds, or feathers. Inclusions may be internal or external and they can affect the brilliance of the stone, interfering with light refraction and lessening the diamond’s brilliance. Clarity grades range from flawless to inclusions visible by the naked eye. The greater the clarity the more valuable the diamond. Diamonds rated IF are rare and highly prized for their purity.
While nature determines a diamond’s clarity and colour, cut is determined by the artistry and skill of the craftsman. Cut more than any other characteristic, gives the diamond its sparkle. The better the cut, the more sparkle a diamond will have.
Don’t confuse cut with the diamond’s shape, but rather the Cut refers to how the diamond is proportioned. When a gem is cut to good proportions, light reflects from one mirror-like facet to another, creating the refraction and reflection that gives a well-cut diamond brilliance and fire.
Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow will be less brilliant and appear life less in comparison to a well-cut diamonds. All other characteristics being equal, the difference in value between well-cut and poorly cut diamonds is drastic, up to 30% or 40%.
Purchasing a diamond should be a memorable and pleasant experience. Kim Bartlett Master Jewellers have introduced the 5th C – Confidence, which we consider to be the most important to YOU. The 5th C – Confidence provides you with the assurance you need, to make an informed diamond purchase.
With Kim Bartlett Master Jewellers you have the confidence on knowing you are dealing with:
- A quality product
- A reputable dealer
- Knowledgeable and qualified staff
- Quality guaranteed by Certification
- Internationally competitive diamonds
It is crucial when choosing a diamond to review the Diamond Certificate, also known as a Diamond Grading Report. This report documents the internationally recognised characteristics of a diamond, its carat weight, colour, clarity and cut. Diamond Certificates or Diamond Grading Reports verify that a diamond is genuine and is your guarantee of diamond quality.
In addition to the 4C’s, the reports can detail: A unique certificate number, diamond measurements, table size, total depth, crown angle, crown height, pavilion angle, pavilion depth, culet, girdle thickness, cut proportion, cut symmetry, polish rating and fluorescence.
We recommend diamonds that are graded by the following internationally recognised and independent Laboratories:
- GIA (Gemmological Institute of America)
- DCLA (Diamond Certification Laboratory of Australia)
- HRD (Hoge Raad Voor Diamant; Antwerp Diamond High Council)
- AGS (American Gem Society)
These Diamond Grading Laboratories are renowned for their cutting edge technology, the most advanced testing equipment and for having the strictest grading and testing standards.
A Diamond Certificate or Diamond Grading Report is essential when purchasing a diamond.