The 4C’s stand for Carat, Colour, Clarity and Cut. The 4C’s are also used by other gemological institutions for grading both mined and laboratory grown diamonds, for example; the International Gemological Institution, or IGI, with which our lab grown diamonds are certified and graded.
Diamonds are not weighed in grams, and are instead measured in carats, or ct. It is important to note, this should not be confused with karat, which is a measurement of gold purity!
1 carat of diamond = 0.2 grams, 0.50 carat = 0.1 gram, 5 carats = 1 gram
More About Carat
A larger carat weight means a bigger diamond. However, it is important to note that a 2 carat diamond is not necessarily twice the size of a 1 carat diamond. Diamonds with a similar carat weight may have different measurements, which might affect the appearance of the diamond. Diamonds which have a fancy cut might also appear as larger, for example a marquise cut will look much bigger than a round brilliant cut - even if both diamonds have the same carat weight.
Carat does not necessarily affect the value of a diamond, but larger diamonds are much more rare and desirable and therefore cost more. With lab grown diamonds, it is possible to purchase a larger carat weight with more desirable qualities, at a much more affordable price.
White diamonds come in a whole variety of shades, ranging from completely colourless to having a visible yellow/brown tint. The diamond colour scale is measured alphabetically from D to Z. In Europe, names might be used to describe the colour ranging from River to Yellow.
More About Colour
Diamonds are graded under controlled lighting in precise conditions. This is because the colour differences may be very subtle, but these distinctions make a big difference in the overall diamond quality and price.
Fancy coloured diamonds are assessed using a slightly different system. Coloured diamonds come in shades of yellow, orange, brown, pink, blue, green, red, purple or black. Coloured diamonds are graded using 3 different points; the hue (the actual colour), the tone (lightness or darkness of the colour), and the saturation (how strong or weak the colour is).
Clarity measures the amount of inclusions or blemishes in the diamond. When diamonds are formed, it is common for other materials to become trapped inside of the diamond. These internal characteristics or impurities are called inclusions. It is also possible that diamonds have external characteristics or impurities, called blemishes.
Inclusions and blemished can impact the way the light is reflected, and they might impact the overall appearance of the diamond, even if they are invisible to the naked eye. Diamond clarity is graded by looking at the size, number, position and type of inclusions or blemishes.
More About Clarity
Diamond cut refers to how much a diamond’s facets interact with light. The proportions, symmetry and polish are important factors which affect the overall beauty and value of a diamond.
Cut grades range; Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. The cut grade of a diamond represents the quality of the diamond as well as the ultimate sparkle.
More About Cut
- Excellent: This is the highest cut grade. The diamond is well proportioned and the light is distributed evenly throughout the diamond.
- Very Good: The majority of light is still reflected through the top (crown) of the diamond.
- Good: A good amount of light is still reflected, but it will not appear as brilliant as a higher cut grade.
- Fair: These diamonds do not have the correct proportions, which causes a loss of light out of the bottom of the diamond. The diamond might appear darker than higher cut grades.
- Poor: This is the lowest cut grade. These diamonds often appear dull and dark.
The classic shape of diamond cutting is the round brilliant cut. Any other cut is referred to as a fancy cut or fancy shape. There are many different shapes available. Fancy shapes do have a slightly different cut grading system. This is because the different shapes may affect how light interacts with the diamond.
However, the same principles of proportion, symmetry and polish are used to grade the cut of fancy shaped diamonds. Each fancy shape has their own ideal proportions to consider when grading the cut.