Diamonds: A Guide To The 4 Cs
Choosing a diamond for an engagement ring or bespoke piece of jewellery can be a little daunting and there is a lot of confusing information out there. This quick guide will give you a simple understanding of how a diamond is valued/graded so you can choose that all important stone with confidence.
Diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring material known to man, the name originates from the Greek word Adamus meaning unconquerable. Created deep within the earth over 1 to 3 billion years ago each diamond is unique and there are many factors to consider when valuing each one. To determine a stones quality jewellers use what is known as the 4Cs, an internationally recognised grading system that accurately measures Cut, Carat, Colour and Clarity.
Here is our low down on the 4Cs.
Of all the 4 Cs the Cut can have the greatest influence on a stones quality. The cut refers to the shape of the diamond but is graded on how well proportioned the stone is. It is the job of a skilled stone cutter called a lapidary to take a rough mined diamond and precisely shape and polish it into a beautiful gemstone.
How symmetrical the stone is cut determines how well its facets interact with the light. As light travels into the stone it is bounced from facet to facet and reflected back out of the stone which creates the flashes and sparkles diamonds are famous for.
The most popular shape is the round brilliant cut which has 58 facets and is designed for maximum sparkle, other shapes such as ascher or emerald are cut to play with the light differently and allow you to see further into the stone.