Understanding the 4 C’s will help you navigate the “diamond maze” and make the right decision that fits your budget and design goals. Read this below to know just enough about the 4C’s of white diamonds.
Not to get confused with the overall shape of diamond (round, pear, oval etc), but the quality of the facets and how well these facets interact with the light. Possibly the most important of the 4C’s. When a diamond is graded as ‘Excellent’ it means a high degree or brightness (internal and external white light), fire (scattering of the colours of the rainbow), and scintillation (the amount of sparkle a diamond produces). Diamond cuts are classed into 5 levels: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.
There are 11 specific grades of clarity which asses the size, nature, location and number of imperfections in a diamond. Generally speaking, diamonds graded SI1 and above are most desirable for engagement ring diamonds. Diamonds graded SI1 and above do have inclusions but they aren’t visible to the naked eye.
These classifications are:
Flawless (FL) & Internally Flawless (IF) – no inclusions visible.
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) & Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) – Inclusions are present, but are minor and are eye clean.
Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) – Inclusions are noticeable only with the assistance of magnification
Included (I1, I2, and I3) – Inclusions are easily seen under magnification and can be seen with the naked eye.
Diamonds are graded based on the absence of colour. with the highest grade being ‘D’ (colourless) through to ‘Z’ (light yellow). Colours D-F are classed as colourless and the rarest and most finest. Colours G-J are near colourless and K onwards are classed as slightly tinted and includes different colour shades such as champagne, cognac and even grey. To guarantee a high quality and bright white diamond we at SHEFJ source D, E and F grades.
Many people focus on this first, as they believe that the bigger the diamond the better. Focusing first on the previous 3 C’s is the best way to go to ensure the biggest bang (or sparkle) for buck. A high-quality diamond, even though slightly smaller will be more pleasing to the eye.
Fluorescence is the visible glow emitted when a diamond is exposed to invisible ultraviolet rays. This can make a diamond appear cloudy, hazy or oily in daylight. This is where at SHEFJ we suggest only using diamonds with no fluorescence.
Fluorescence is graded in 5 levels: None, Faint, Medium, Strong, Very Strong.