The 4 Cs of Diamond Quality
THE FIRST C: CUT
The Cut is a diamond’s most important characteristic and has the greatest influence on a diamond’s beauty.
Cut is often misunderstood as the shape of a diamond but it actually refers to the pattern, proportions and finish. Cut is graded on a scale from excellent to poor and considers the diamond’s brightness, fire, scintillation, weight ratio, polish and symmetry.
A diamond should not be cut too shallow or too deep in order to ensure the maximum light return or sparkle inherent in each stone. Most importantly, the quality of the cut can mask other diamond characteristics. Color, clarity, even carat weight are mostly determined by mother nature. Cut is designed by man to maximize brilliance and sparkle.
THE SECOND C: CARAT WEIGHT
The size of a diamond as measured by its carat weight has great bearing on its desirability and value.
Larger gemstones, especially diamonds, are relatively rare and are of greater value, though a larger diamond can be worth less than a smaller one depending on other factors, such as cut, clarity and color.
THE THIRD C: COLOR
Diamond color describes the amount of color the diamond contains and ranges from colorless to light yellow.
The evaluation of diamond color is based on the absence of color.
THE FOURTH C: CLARITY
Clarity describes the purity of the diamond.
Most diamonds contain tiny natural marks called inclusions. The number of inclusions, their size, their color, their nature and location all affect the diamond’s clarity grade.
What is a certificate?
A certification is an independent quality report on a specific diamond. It is issued by a diamond grading laboratory with no affiliation to any retail outlet. This gives the customer a completely objective opinion on the diamond’s quality. The certification includes the exact measurements, proportions, color grade, clarity grade, cut grade and carat weight of the diamond. It also includes specifics that most jewelers do not have the equipment or the knowledge to determine, such as the diamond’s fluorescence, polish, and symmetry. Each certificate is numbered, dated, and illustrates the internal and external characteristics of a diamond.
As a direct diamond importer, we certify our diamonds with the leading diamond laboratories in the world:
- GIA (The Gemological Institute of America) – established in 1931 and is recognized as the world’s foremost authority in diamond grading.
- EGL USA (European Gemological Laboratory) – main office opened in 1977 in the diamond district in New York.
- IGI (International Gemological Institute) – established in 1975 , IGI is the world’s largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute for diamonds, colored gemstones and jewelry.
The primary difference between the above laboratories is their grading standards; in general, the GIA is stricter than the EGL and the IGI. There are also other labs that certify diamonds and their grading standards may vary.
How is a Certificate different from a jewelry appraisal?
At first, a certificate and an appraisal may seem like a similar document – however, they are vastly different. An appraisal is a document created for the customer by a jewelry store. There are no industry established guidelines when creating an appraisal, and for that reason the appraisal is based solely on the professional opinion of the jeweler.
A certification, however, is regarded as the undisputed, independent quality report of the diamond that has been determined by a laboratory that does not benefit financially from the sale of the diamond. At Global Diamonds Inc. we offer both certified and non-certified diamonds – all provided to you with a complimentary appraisal for your records and insurance purposes.