The Four C’s of Diamonds

The authenticity of each diamond is based on the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) standard. These four categorizations are used to classify the rarity of diamonds: cut, color, clarity, and carat.

Cut – influenced by the human hand, the cut of a diamond represents the proportions and finish of a diamond, as well as the shape and style of a polished gem. A diamond cut with the correct proportions and angles, also called “Well Cut,” will refract the prism of light more efficiently, resulting in vibrant sparkle and brilliance. Less optimal cuts of diamonds result in less fire and sparkle. In a “Deep Cut” diamond, some light escapes through the side of the diamond. In a “Shallow Cut” diamond, light escapes through the bottom of the diamond.

All of Sona Jewelers’ diamonds are cut to reveal optimal brilliance and fire; therefore, you are always assured the ultimate in beauty!

Color – the best color is no color at all, so light passes through it easily. When a diamond is colorless, it acts like a prism, letting light pass through it effortlessly. When light is broken down, it is transformed into a rainbow of color. Typically, the closer a diamond is to colorless, the more valuable and expensive it becomes.

Diamond color is determined on an alphabetical scale from D-Z, such as…

D-F = colorless

G-J = nearly colorless

K-M = faintly colored

N-R = very light color

S-Z = light color

The good news for diamond buyers is that to the naked eye, most diamonds with a GIA color grade of I or above appear nearly colorless.

Clarity – determined by the amount of flaws in the diamond. Because diamonds are created by nature, from millions of years of intense heat and pressure, imperfections (or “inclusions”) are often formed in the process.

A diamond that has no inclusions may be graded as FL (or “flawless”) as it is of the highest clarity and quality. The following illustrates the various clarity grades available:

IF-FL = internally flawless or flawless; containing no visible inclusions

VVS1-VVS2 = very, very slightly included; even under 10x magnification, very few inclusions can be seen

VS1-VS2 = very slightly included; unable to see inclusions with the naked eye

SI1-SI2 = slightly included; with visible inclusions under 10x magnification

I1-I2-I3 = included; inclusions can be seen with the naked eye

Carat – the higher the carat weight, the higher the diamond’s price and rarity. Diamonds are measured in metric carats, which are based on a unit of mass, not a measurement of size. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams and five carats is equivalent to one gram. A 1.00-carat diamond, therefore, is a diamond that weights 0.20 grams. Most diamonds in the world weight less than one carat. Since larger diamonds are more rare and occur less frequently in nature, those of a heavier carat are more valuable.