The 4 C's (cut,
carat weight) (Click to
Diamonds are Graded - and Valued - on the basis of what is commonly
referred to as "The 4 C's"
- Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight.
Decide on Color.
COLOR - A WHITER SHADE OF PALE
The color of diamonds varies from "Colorless" (most rare and precious) to many shades of yellow (less rare). Slight tints of yellow make a
diamond less rare, but some people prefer the personality it gives a stone of good make and clarity.
If you want perfection regardless of cost ----- go for "D" color.
If you want excellent quality and beauty ----- go for "E" or "F" colors (still colorless to any eye).
If you want a larger stone for your money without sacrificing appearance ----- go for "G", "H", "I", or "J" colors (near
colorless, especially when the diamond is set into 14K white gold or platinum prongs).
If you like very faint yellow tints ----- go for colors like "K", "L", or "M" (you can see the slight tint next to a more colorless diamond).
of a diamond is as important as the cut. The closer it is to being absolutely
colorless, the more valuable it will be. International standards have
been established for grading diamonds according to these extremely subtle
differences. The only real way of determining the exact color of a diamond
is to place it next to another diamond which has already been graded.
Diamonds are Color Graded by an accredited Gemological Laboratory. They
are graded on a Letter Scale from "D" to "Z" by the
Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and on a Numerical Scale from "0"
to "10" by the American Gem Society (AGS).
E, and F -
No color detectable to the unaided eye.
H, I, and J -
Nearly colorless, but a trained Gemologist can detect a very, very
slight yellow tint, in the "I-J" colors, when examining them loose (unmounted), and turned
through Z -
Yellow, Gray, or Brown color visible to the unaided eye, loose and
turned upside down. Choosing a G
Color Diamond, rather than a D
Color Diamond will help you stick to your budget without compromising
appearance. The same is true if you select a K
Color Diamond; when a K
Color Diamond is set into a six prong white gold head, these two diamond
colors will "Face Up" white, i.e., appear white in color
when viewed from the "Top" of the diamond.
Colorless Diamonds -
are extremely rare and very valuable. They are at the top of the Diamond
Quality Pyramid. The closer a diamond is to being colorless, the more
rare and more valuable it is. A single change in Color Grade can significantly
affect a diamond's value.
B, and C Diamonds -
are often asked "What happened to the A,
colors"? The answer is simple; when gemologists began using this
scale, they reserved the A,
for more colorless diamonds yet to be graded - none have been found
graded lower than a
color, particularly those graded K
have a very faint yellow tint that is detectable to the untrained
eye when viewed loose (unmounted) and turned upside down. When set
in four- or six-prong heads, though, these K
color diamonds "face up" white.
If you are a purist,
you may require a diamond with a grade of "colorless" D,
F. For the best value in a color grade,
look to the "Near colorless" category, the G,
H, I, and
J grades, and if the diamond you select
is going to be set into a white gold head, either a four-or six-prong,
you can save even more money by choosing a K
which will still "face up" white when mounted.
The chart below
shows, in detail, the two Color Grading scales (from GIA and AGS)
from totally colorless to light yellow. The differences between one
grade and another are very subtle, as can be seen by the number of
grades within any one category.
table below compares the prices of diamonds, all the exact same size,
(The size selected was 1.00 CT [1 carat] Round Brilliant Cut), with
a Clarity Grade of "SI2"
(Our best-selling, most popular clarity grade), with a Cutting Grade
of "Premium - 2A or 2B"
(Our best-selling, most popular cutting grade) - with the various
1 Carat - SI2 - 2A/2B
(For the Purist)
(For Top Quality Jewelry)
(For the Value Conscious)
The 4 C's (cut,
carat weight) (Click to