Look beyond 4Cs for high-quality diamonds
We understand diamonds because of their brilliance and beauty. It is the four main parameters, also called the 4Cs that are responsible for how a diamond looks. Within these four attributes alone, there are several variations due to which no two diamonds can be the same. These characteristics are either natural or man-made. A combination of these attributes can give you high-quality diamonds or even very basic ones. And no matter the changes in each of these parameters, every diamond is beautiful in its own way!
Before we understand what lies beyond the 4Cs of a diamond, let’s look at what the four characteristics are. Out of the clarity, colour, cut and carat, the first two are the natural attributes of the diamond. There is hardly anything a diamond cutter can do to change them. However, the diamond cutter can give the diamond an appropriate cut and size.
A short note on the 4Cs
The cut and weight of a solitaire mainly affect its pricing. With diamonds, carat refers to the weight of the diamond whereas, with gold, carat refers to the metal purity. A slight difference in the cut grade or the carat weight can increase or decrease the price of a diamond. The same goes for solitaire diamonds as well. In fact, the carat weight is so sensitive that there’s a price difference between a 1.00-carat diamond and a 0.99-carat diamond.
The natural characteristics such as the colour and the clarity cannot be controlled by a diamond cutter beyond a certain extent. Diamond clarity comprises blemishes, which are external flaws and inclusions, which are internal flaws. With great skill and care, it is possible to polish out the blemishes but not the inclusions. Doing so could damage the stone’s quality and beauty.
When it comes to pricing, the presence of inclusions may bring down diamond pricing. However, unless they’re quite deep and visible, they do not really affect the quality. The degree of colour in a diamond also reduces pricing. Diamonds with colour have a slight yellow tinge. While a coloured diamond is not exactly cheap, it is certainly less expensive than a colourless diamond. High-quality diamonds are quite expensive because they are colourless and have the best cut and clarity.
More than 4Cs for high-quality diamonds
There are more than these four characteristics that are responsible for a diamond’s quality and pricing. A diamond’s overtone is one of its natural characteristics which can affect its quality. Diamond colour is not the same as an overtone, which is a completely different characteristic. Most diamonds have a natural colour is acceptable. However, when the stone has a brown, green or milky shade, it is called an overtone.
If you are an experienced diamond buyer, you’ll know that the overtones affect the beauty of the solitaire.
Another one of the attributes is light performance. A diamond’s fire, brilliance and scintillation together constitute the light performance. Very high-quality diamonds have the best light performance.
When a diamond is exposed to light, the flashes of colour that you see are called diamond fire. A diamond’s brilliance refers to the light that enters the stone and is reflected back. The solitaire’s cut will directly affect its brilliance. If it has an excellent cut, then the symmetry and the perfection of the angles help reflect the light better. Scintillation refers to the alternating and balanced flashes of light and dark when the diamond moves. This is the diamond’s sparkle.
Lastly, one more attribute that should always consider is the fluorescence in a diamond. Sometimes, it is hardly visible to the naked eye and so most buyers choose to ignore it. But at times, the fluorescence gives the diamond an unclear or clouded appearance. This also affects the diamond quality and subsequently, the pricing.
While choosing high-quality diamonds, always look beyond the 4Cs. Though they are mainly responsible for the quality and the pricing, there are other parameters too. Most of us may not be aware but these parameters, too, play a role in determining the diamond quality and pricing.