You may have heard a jeweler or other diamond dealer mention the four C’s before when referring to diamonds. These four aspects of a diamond are used to ultimately determine the worth of a diamond and the way that they are set is important. The four C’s stand for cut, clarity, color, and carat weight of any one particular diamond. These measurements are given as a sort of lifetime grade for the stone and this is how the diamond seller determines the price. So can you trust these measurements? And how do they affect the price of a diamond? Read below to find out.
Color and clarity of a diamond are usually the first two aspects to be measured. The less color a stone has the more valuable it is considered to be. Also, the more clarity a stone has the more valuable it is considered to be. These two measures together then dictate how the cut is to be determined. The cut of a diamond is important because it can mask or highlight the other aspects. Every diamond has a unique inner color and unique intricacies that look almost like blemishes. The more blemishes, the lower the clarity. A diamond that has virtually no color and is completely clear is most rare and would likely be the most expensive diamond on the planet. However, such a rare precious stone could be completely ruined if it were cut poorly. A cut in the wrong place and of the wrong nature could make a completely clear diamond seem cloudy or a colorless diamond have a slight hue. For this reason, cut is also used to determine the overall grade. Finally, carat weight of a diamond is also important. Carats are the universally recognized unit to weigh precious stones and usually a heavier stone is more expensive. But once again, a poor cut could be made on a very heavy stone and it could actually lower the value rather than increase it. The combination of the four C’s on any stone is truly unique, which is why it is determined by the GIA. GIA stands for Gemological Institute of America and it is an independent organization that sets the standards of measurement for diamonds around the world. They also do research on these stones and conduct education on their findings so that the standards are well understood. A diamond that is GIA certified has been graded by a certified technician and is essentially given a universal stamp of value. This GIA certified grade is then used by the diamond seller to list a price. So, knowing and understanding a GIA grade for a stone lets you know whether you are paying a good price for a diamond or not.
In knowing what the four C’s – cut, color, clarity, carat – stand for and what the ultimate grade of a diamond means, you are being a good advocate for yourself as a diamond buyer. And, as Captain Planet always says, knowing is half the battle.