The Four Cs of Diamonds
Diamond CutAlthough terms like "princess cut" and "cushion cut" are often used to describe diamonds, these are actually references to the diamond's shape. Cut, in the case of the 4 C's, refers to proper angling of a diamond's facets to ideally reflect light and bring brilliance to the stone. Because light and sparkle are the most important parts of a diamond's appearance, this is the most important of the four C's. A good diamond that is badly cut is essentially ruined, while a less valuable diamond cut extremely well can become more attractive and valuable.
Diamonds are graded on a color scale from D-Z. Because of our high standards, deBebians sells only diamonds graded from D-J. There are certain ranges within the GIA color grading scale. For example, a diamond graded D-F is considered to be colorless. Diamonds graded from G-H are considered to be near colorless.
Generally speaking, the naked eye cannot tell the difference between one or two color grades on a loose diamond. Once a diamond is mounted into a setting the eye cannot tell the difference between three color grades. This means you can buy a F, G, or H color diamond and not really be able to detect much of a difference.
The body color of a diamond is one of the 4 C's that is detectable with the naked eye. A colorless diamond is colorless due to its ability to absorb rays of light equally. These diamonds are rare and expensive. Diamonds that are in the D-F range are considered colorless and carry a higher premium. Diamonds in the G-J range will face-up white and are sometimes a much better value than colorless diamonds. Diamonds that are K color or below will face-up with a slight hint of yellow.
Fluorescence and its impact on diamond color: Fluorescence is a naturally occurring phenomenon in diamonds and it usually masks the overall body color of a diamond. Fluorescence is graded on a scale of none, faint, medium, strong and very strong. Generally fluorescence will mask the body color of a diamond to make the stone appear whiter. In other words, if you are seeking a diamond of a slightly lower color grade, looking for one with some fluorescence will make the diamond appear whiter.
Most diamonds have inclusions. Therefore diamonds are graded on a scale from flawless (FL) to included (I3) to set them apart from one another. The less inclusions a diamond has, the rarer that particular diamond is, and the more valuable it is. deBebians sells only diamonds from IF to SI2. GIA and AGS have set standards for what classifies a diamond to have a particular grade. Please review our chart below that will better help explain each diamond grade's typical characteristics.
|FL/IF||Flawless or internally flawless. These diamonds have no inclusions and are extremely rare!|
|VVS1/VVS2||Very, very slightly included. These diamonds require a 60x magnification to clearly see inclusions. The inclusions in these diamonds are hard for even a trained grader to see under 10x magnification.|
|VS1/VS2||Very slightly included. These diamonds require 30x magnification to clearly see inclusions. These diamonds will be eye-clean. Compare these diamond prices to those in the VVS category and you'll probably see that these offer a really good value.|
|SI1/SI2||Slightly included. Generally requires 10x magnification to clearly see inclusions. Sometimes larger SI diamonds are not completely eye clean. Feel free to call us and our GIA Graduate Gemologists can examine SI diamonds to see if they are eye-clean. SI diamonds offer some of the best values.|
|I1/I2/I3||Included. These diamonds will more than likely have eye-visible inclusions. deBebians does not sell loose diamonds in these clarity grades.|
A good way to determine what clarity grade to select is to consider your budget. We recommend diamonds that are eye-clean — meaning you cannot see any of the inclusions by just looking at the diamond. This will include diamonds from IF usually down to the SI category. Please call us if you have any questions regarding a clarity grade. Our expert GIA Graduate Gemologists will be able to guide you in your search for that perfect diamond you are seeking.
Diamond Carat Weight
Carat weight is probably the easiest of the 4 C's to understand. Diamond weight is measured in carats. There are 100 points in 1 carat (or 1 ct., when abbreviated). This means that a three quarter carat diamond can be referred to as "a 75-pointer" or "75 points". Keep in mind that carat weight is only a measure of weight but not necessarily size (i.e. its measurements or the size it shows when facing up). The actual cut of a diamond will play a big role in the overall size of the diamond. Also remember that carat weight is sometimes directly related to price. One three-carat diamond is always more expensive than several diamonds which add up to three carats.