Diamond Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The 4Cs of Diamonds You Should Remember?
You’ve probably heard about the 4Cs of a diamond, and you may even know that it stands for diamond cut, color, clarity and carat weight. Below we take a closer look into the individual 4Cs. Cut Of all the 4Cs, diamond cut has the greatest effect on a diamond’s beauty.
In determining the quality of the cut, the diamond grader evaluates the cutter’s skill in the fashioning of the diamond. The more precise the diamond is cut, the more captivating the diamond is to the eye.
What is Diamond Cut?
The cut of a diamond refers to how well the diamond’s facets interact with light, the Proportions of the diamond, and the overall finish of the diamond.
It is not to be confused with the shape, (like emerald or round,) or facet arrangement, (like brilliant, or step cut), but is instead a reference to the craftsmanship of the diamond and how it factors into the diamond’s brilliance.
How is Cut Graded?
The American Gem Society (AGS) grades cut on a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 being “Ideal” and 10 being “Poor.” AGS has a proprietary numeric and verbal descriptors for cut.
The numeric descriptors for the Diamond Cut Grade follow the American Gem Society’s standards for how well a diamond is cut. The verbal descriptors are AGS Ideal, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor.
What is Diamond Color?
The Color of a diamond actually refers to the lack of color in a diamond, with perfectly colorless diamonds considered the highest quality with the highest value, and brown or yellow diamonds being the lowest quality.
What is Diamond Clarity?
Clarity is the state of being clear or transparent. Diamond clarity is the presence or absence of characteristics called inclusions in the diamond.
When grading the clarity of a diamond, the lab determines the relative visibility of the inclusions in a diamond and their impact on the overall visual appearance.
So, what are these inclusions that affect clarity? In short, inclusions are the internal or external flaws of the diamond. The size and severity of these flaws determines the grade.
Since many inclusions and blemishes are very small, and can be difficult to see with the naked eye, they are graded at 10x magnification. Grading at 10x is an industry standard to determine the final clarity grade of the diamond.
Diamond graders plot the inclusions they see in the diamond on a diagram which is included on diamond grading reports.
Clarity grade is determined on a scale of decreasing clarity from the highest clarity (Flawless or FL) to the lowest clarity (Included 3, or I3).
Clarity characteristics in diamonds are classified into two types: inclusions which are internal, confined to the inside of the diamond, and blemishes, which are external characteristics that are on the surface of the diamond.
AGS Rock Stars note: Blemishes typically have less impact on the clarity of a diamond than inclusions.
Inclusions usually form in diamonds as a result of the tremendous heat and pressure deep in the earth, where diamonds form, or are caused by their violent journey to the surface of the earth caused by volcanic eruptions. These events can cause irregularities in the atomic structure of the diamond.
Blemishes are the surface features on a polished diamond that are usually a result of the polishing process, or wear and tear on the diamond.
Diamond graders use their expertise to analyze the size, nature, number, location, and relief of the inclusions and blemishes to decide what clarity grade is most appropriate for your diamond.
What is Diamond Carat Weight?
Carat is the unit of measurement for the physical weight of diamonds. One carat equals 0.200 grams or 1/5 gram and is subdivided into 100 points. For comparison, in units more familiar in the United States, one carat equals 0.007 ounce avoirdupois. Which would require over 2,265 carats to equal 1 pound!
What is Moissanite?
Moissanite is the name given to a naturally occurring and laboratory-grown mineral made up of silicon carbide. Its occurrence in nature is extremely rare and has only been found in upper mantle rock and meteorites.
Discoveries have shown Moissanite occurs naturally as inclusions in diamonds, xenoliths, kimberlite, and lamproite.
Today—because of its rarity—Moissanite is lab grown with minimal environmental impact. Because of its durability, Moissanite can be found in a variety of cuts, which give jewelry designers a plethora of options for settings.
American Gem Society