Just as Zagat ratings can help you sort through gourmet restaurants, diamond grades can ensure you choose a quality and beautiful stone within your set budget. To the untrained eye, most diamonds seem sparkling and gorgeous, but each has a distinct cut, color, clarity and carat – the 4 “C”s that make up its ultimate grade.
Diamond 4Cs: cut, color, clarity & carat
Each “C” is graded on a scale for quality, which determines the ultimate price point. This grade, which is represented as a string of letters and numbers, is a valuable tool when shopping for diamond jewelry.
- Cut – A diamond’s symmetry, proportions, polish and how it interacts with light are perhaps the most important facets to its overall beauty and value. Many jewelry experts would argue that the cut of a diamond is the most significant of all the C’s, as a precisely cut stone will refract light better, creating intense sparkles as the stone moves beneath light. Focusing on cut, rather than carat or clarity may help you select a stone that satisfies your criteria for aesthetics and value. Diamond cuts are graded on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 considered “Ideal” and 10 being “Poor.”
- Color – While colored diamonds, known as “fancy diamonds” have become a huge trend as of late, pure white diamonds have been traditionally favored as a symbol of elegance and glamour. True colorless diamonds (D grade) are extremely rare and therefore costly. The color scale has 23 notes, beginning with D and progressing to Z as the stones show more yellow, gray or brown hues. Diamonds that are graded as an H or I still look white to the common observer, but are much more affordable. Yellow tints may be slightly more noticeable in grades J and beyond.
- Clarity – All diamonds, save for a select few, have natural blemishes or flaws known as inclusions. Skilled diamond cutters will attempt to conceal these flaws with extensive polishing or fancy cuts, but those inclusions that remain will be graded from: F (flawless) all the way down to I1, I2 and I3 (included – three levels). Keep in mind that if you don’t see any blemishes without using a jeweler’s loupe, a higher grade may not be worth it. Better to splurge on a stone with a better quality cut.
- Carat – A carat measures the diamond’s weight rather than size. The letters “ctw” stands for carat total weight, which is the least subjective of the 4 Cs in terms of a diamond’s inherent quality. Consider that a 1-carat diamond will cost more than double that of one half its weight, even if the cut, color, and clarity grades are equivalent. For this reason, an increase in value is not directly correlated to an increase in size.
Fine diamond jewelry in Bergen County
Now that you have a basic grasp of the 4 Cs of diamonds, you can shop confidently for jewelry that meets your individual preferences and price considerations. And remember that finding beautiful, quality diamonds is simple with the experts at F. Silverman in Bergen County, where we feature only high quality diamonds of the highest caliber.
We are conveniently situated in Woodcliff Lake, NJ and feature the latest styles of wedding bands and diamond engagement rings from the industry’s top designers.