Saturday, October 17, 2009

School of Diamond's 4Cs

Before you made a decision to pursue MBA or other degree program, didn't you do a lot of research on schools, programs they offer, school fees, and etc.?

Before you made a stock investment, didn't you start to learn background of the company, its financial standing, and its growth potential (or at least the company name)?

So now that you are going to purchase an engagement ring. (For most guys) It is going to be one of your major investments in life, why not educate yourself before going out to shop for THE RING? Armed with the basic knowledge of a diamond engagement ring - you not only gain a better understanding of diamond to help you make the right choice, but also you are helping the jewelry associate to find you the ideal diamond ring that fits your budget perfectly.

Lets take a quick look at the well-known 4Cs grading standard by Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

The four Cs stand for COLOR, CLARITY, CUT, and CARAT.

Diamond 4Cs Chart

- It is commonly rated on a scale designed by GIA, ranging from colorless (D, E, F) to light yellow (S to Z grade).
- Diamonds with natural colors other than the range stated above (such as bright yellow, pink, blue, and green) are considered as fancy stones.

Buying TIPS:
Due to rarity, the almost colorless diamond is usually very pricey and not everyone can afford one. Guys...please do not feel discourage for not being able to buy the colorless diamond because the right setting will make the stone looks whiter and bigger than its actual look.

Here are stone-setting suggestions found at
A. Colorless and near-colorless diamonds usually pair with platinum and white gold setting.
B. Slight yellow-tinted diamonds will appear whiter in a yellow gold setting.

- It means how clear (or how free of imperfections*) the diamond on the outside and inside under the naked eye and with a 10-power magnifying glass.
* Imperfections subdivided into internal flaws ("inclusions") and external flaws ("blemishes").
- Many flaws include cracks, scratches, and bubbles, are invisible to the naked eye and only can be seen under the jeweler's loupe.

GIA Diamond Clarity Grading System consists of five clarity classifications with eleven grades, ranging from flawless (F or FL) to obvious inclusions (I3). To view the scale, click here.

Buying TIPS:
No one is perfect, including the stone that comes naturally on earth. So why would you want a flawless stone when you can get a cheaper one with slight inclusions that are invisible to human's eye? Only one exception for buyers who intend to resell the diamond in future. They will have to invest on a colorless and flawless diamond.

3. CUT
- It refers to the diamond's shape and quality.
- It determines brilliance (how light is reflected), dispersion (rainbow-like flashes), and scintillation (flashes of light in motion) of the diamond.
- This is the only aspect of the diamond where its quality is the result of human decisions and craftsmanship (cutting skills).

There are three types of faceted cuts:
A. Brilliant cuts
- In round or curved geometrical shape.
- It creates the most sparkle.
- Ideal: Round with 58-facet.

B. Step-cuts
- It shaped like stairs on the side view of a diamond.
- Ideal: Emerald.

C. Mixed cuts
- It is the combination of brilliant and step-cuts.
- Ideal: Princess

Buying TIPS:
Follow your heart and look for the shape that represent your style and personality.

- It means weight of a diamond.
- A carat equals 100 points. One point equivalent to 0.01 carat (ct.) or 1/100 ct.
- A carat is about 200 miligrams.
- The higher the carat weights, the larger the diameter of the diamond (so does the price!)

Buying TIPS:
Diamond with same carat weight are priced differently, depending on its color, clarity, and cut. In terms of weight, a 1 ct. diamond will cost much more than two 1/2 ct. diamonds combined. For jewelry with more than a single stone, the total weight of all diamonds in the piece will be combined and described as Total Carat Weight (TW). Therefore, getting a three-stone ring with total weight of 1 ct. will be much cheaper than a solitaire 1 ct. diamond ring.

What matter the most to these people?

Choose a smaller diamond with near-colorless to faint yellow and slight inclusions diamond. Never sacrifice a poorly cut diamond for a large stone.

Pay attention to color and clarity of the stone.

Check out the cut that you like the most. It represents your style and personality.

Hope this brief Diamond 4Cs 101 helps you make the right choice when choosing the ideal diamond ring that fits your budget.

We will find out the diamond shape personality next, stay tune!

1. The Wedding Book by Mindy Weiss and Lisbeth Levine
2. Diamond Education, Zales
3. About the 4Cs, Gemological Institute of America (GIA)

Photo Credit:
1. All about diamonds, National Bridal Service

1 comment:

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