When it comes to fine diamonds, there are many aspects of appraisal that many people do not realize. The grading of a diamond depends on many different factors. It is not all about carat weight – although, you will find that the largest diamonds in the world are indeed the most valuable ones. The four ‘C’s of diamond grading and value can give you an incredible insight on the appraisal process and help you understand exactly what it is you are paying for when you are shopping for your own diamond rings, studs, and other classically glamorous diamond fine jewelry pieces.
The first of the four “C”s that we will discuss is clarity. Clarity is going to determine whether or not the diamond has any noticeable flaws, physically or chemically, that will detract from the overall value of the diamond. This will include any cloudiness that can be noted when looking into the diamond, any small cuts or scratches, and inclusions. The visibility of any imperfections will also be a factor – whether or not it is visually noticeable with the naked eye or only with the assistance of high powered microscopes.
The second of the four “C”s that we will be looking at today is cut. The cut of a diamond determines the shape and number of facets. This creates different ways of throwing back the light and creating that unique diamond shimmer that we all know and love.
Carat weight, the overall weight of the diamond, is going to give you an idea of the value, but it is important to note that a big and extremely flawed diamond is not going to yield as much as a smaller, more perfect one. Weight denotes just that – weight – the amount of diamond we are working with. Usually, diamonds are cut down pretty significantly from the time when they are mined, often into a series of smaller gemstones.
Lastly, color definitely plays a role in the appraisal of a diamond. A colorless diamond is rare and will yield a higher value than a tinted diamond. The most common tints are brown, yellow and pink. Other colors, such as vibrant reds and blues, are only achieved by means of chemically treating the diamond. Artificial coloring will often decrease the value of a diamond, given that this industry is oriented around flawless, natural and pure diamond specimens.
When it comes to understanding fine jewelry, diamonds are a great place to start learning!