When shopping for a diamond there are a few quality checks in place to assist you in making the right decision and ensuring that you are getting the right quality at the right price.
This quality system is called the 4 C’s. Many moons ago, I worked in H Samuels and trained as one of their diamond specialists. This is where I was introduced to the 4 C’s and this is my understanding of what everything means.
The 4 C’s stand for:
When you look at a stone you will see that the cut can have various dimensions and layers. The cut is very important in making sure that light bounces effectively. Most of the cut happens underneath and keeps flat on the top. In a very basic way, if you hold it against the light, you should see the sparkles dancing, this shows that it is well cut!
The cut also works with the shape of the stone. There are various different shapes, round and princess are probably the most popular.
When we look at colour we are ideally looking for a good clear diamond as this will allow the light to pass through properly and complement the cut. Colour is graded by being colourless right up to yellow.
Clarity is all about the flaws or as they called it in H Samuels…..’Footprints of nature’. These are the little imperfections that the stones possess. They are like little tiny black dots. Being realistic, most stones being retailed to the general public in Ireland have imperfections. It is a very rare to find a stone without flaws. The imperfections are what can reduce the light bouncing effectively. There is a grading system that jewellers use for the level of imperfection within a stone. The top grade is an F1 which means that it is (in the words of Beyonce) ‘Flawless’.
This is how the diamond is weighed. Its weighed in a measure called a Carat. The higher the carat, the higher the price! 2 diamonds of equal weight can have different clarity, colour and cut so carat isn’t necessarily a benchmark of consistency of the stone. One carat measures as .20grams. Tiffany’s measures diamonds by 1/1000th of a carat.
When you buy a ring, you should get the jeweller to go through each of these areas and show you each C and how it affects the price. You should also be given a certificate for the diamond with all of these items specified for your records.
If all else fails, hold the ring under light and if the light bouncing from it looks amazing and you are happy with how it looks on your finger, then its the right ring for you!
Best of luck!
P.S Once you get your gorgeous new ring, make sure to put it on your home or contents insurance!
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