What are the 4 Cs of Diamonds?

The 4 C's of Diamonds: Ecksand's Diamond Guide

When it comes to diamonds, you will often hear people talk about the 4 Cs. But what exactly does that mean? The 4 Cs refer to: Cut, Clarity, Colour, and Carat, each playing a role in the diamond's beauty and brilliance. Together, they interact as a comprehensive whole within the diamond, making them important aspects to consider when purchasing a diamond!

What makes the Ecksand cut?

Diamond cut is arguably the most significant of the 4 C's, probably because it indicates how well-proportioned a diamond is. When thinking of how much to spend on an engagement ring, make sure you leave enough room in the budget to get a ring that is symmetrically cut. The proportions of the diamond decide which way the light will travel through it and how this light will be reflected back into the viewer’s eye. The cut grade will also affect the appearance of the diamond's other C's — Clarity, Carat, and Colour. For example, an excellent cut diamond will glitter as it captures light from every angle, whereas a poor cut diamond would have a dull, or hazy appearance.

It's important to note that only round brilliant cut diamonds have cut parameters established by the GIA, ranging from Excellent to Poor. Ecksand grades Fancy shaped diamonds (or non-round diamonds) on their polish and symmetry. Our conflict-free diamonds are held to the highest standard, which is why you'll only find excellent cut diamonds at Ecksand.

Diamond chart showing the Diamond cut grades

What is diamond clarity?

To understand a diamond's Clarity we must first understand how diamonds are created. Deep within the earth, natural diamonds are born out of the exposure of carbon to tremendous heat and pressure. This process results in a variety of internal inclusions and external blemishes, most of which are undetectable to the naked eye. To evaluate a diamond's clarity, a diamond expert must determine the number, size, nature, and position of these inclusions and blemishes as well as how they affect the overall appearance.

The GIA grades diamonds using a Clarity Scale ranging from Flawless to Included. Keep in mind that no diamond is perfectly pure. But the closer it comes to purity, the better its clarity.

Diamond chart showing the Diamond clarity grades

What is diamond colour?

Understanding what a diamond's Colour means will help you choose the right diamond. Intriguingly, the diamond colour evaluation is actually based on the absence of colour. For a diamond to have no hue – almost like a drop of pure water – it would have to be chemically pure and structurally perfect, and consequently, a higher value. The GIA's colour scale, ranging from D to Z, measures the degree of the absence of colour by comparing the diamond with master stones of established colour value, under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions. Like clarity, many of these colour distinctions are almost invisible to the untrained eye. Selecting the correct diamond colour for you is still important, as certain colour grades pair better with specific gold colours, which in turn would elevate the diamond's brilliant colourlessness or hide its subtle tint. For example, a lower colour grade diamond pairs exceptionally well with yellow gold which hides its subtle yellowish hue, whereas a higher colour grade would thrive paired with white gold where it can glimmer, undisturbed.

It's critical to note that naturally coloured diamonds – such as Ecksand's Toi Et Moi Yellow Diamond Engagement Ring or Ecksand's Oval Black Diamond ring – are considered Fancy-colour diamonds, and do not fall within the diamond colour grading system.

Diamond chart showing the Diamond colour grades

What is a diamond carat?

The carat is the standard unit of weight for diamonds and other gemstones. The modern metric carat, equal to 0.2 grams, takes its name from the carob seed. Because these small seeds had a fairly uniform weight, early gem traders used them as counterweights in their balance scales. Typically, a carat is a good estimation of the diamond's apparent size, however, two diamonds of equal weight can have very different carat values depending on the other Four C’s: clarity, colour and cut.

Diamond chart showing the Diamond carat grades

The GIA standard of describing diamonds is a globally accepted method for assessing the quality of any diamond, communicated in one universal language. The establishment of the Colour, Clarity, Cut, and Carat grades allowed diamond customers to know exactly what goes on their jewelry.



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