The Five C's
Each of the Five C’s - Carat, Clarity, Color, Cut, and Confidence: determine the value of a diamond. By educating yourself on the combination of the Five C’s, you can determine which diamond is best suited for you.
CARAT - The term used to measure a diamonds weight.
CLARITY - The better a diamonds Clarity, the more valuable it is.
COLOR - When least is best.
CUT - The more precise the cut the more brilliant the diamond.
CONFIDENCE - “If you don’t know diamonds, know your Jeweler”. Confidence in your diamond expert is the Fifth “C”.
Carat is often confused with size even though it is actually a measure of weight. One Carat can also be divided into 100 points. A .50 point diamond is the same as 50 points or a ½ carat diamond. Does a 1.00 carat diamond cost exactly twice as much as a ½ carat diamond? NO! Since larger diamonds are found less frequently in nature, they are at the rarest level of diamond size. A 1.00 carat diamond will cost more than twice a ½ carat, (Assuming color, cut, and clarity remain constant)
Clarity describes the clearness or purity of a diamond. This is determined by the number, size, nature, location and color of the internal inclusions (identifying characteristics) and external blemishes. The diamond is more valuable when it has fewer inclusions. A 10x magnifying loupe or microscope is used with GIA’s clarity grading system. The diamond is graded on a scale ranging from Flawless (FL or IF) to Imperfect (I). Some inclusions can be hidden by a mounting, thus having little effect on the beauty of a diamond. An inclusion in the middle or top of a diamond can impact the dispersion of light, making the diamond less brilliant.
Color describes the amount of color the diamond contains. This can range from colorless to yellow with slight tints of yellow or brown. Colors can also range from intense yellow to brown, blue, green, pink, and red. These fancy vivid colors are very rare therefore more valuable. Diamonds are graded on a scale established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) which ranges from D (colorless) to Z (brownish). Ask your Jeweler to show you a variety of color grades next to each other to help you determine your color preference.
Cut refers to the proportions, finish, symmetry, and polish of the diamond. A well cut or faceted diamond regardless of its shape scintillates with fire and light – offering the greatest brilliance with a diamond that is cut to good proportions. Light will reflect from one mirror-like facet to another and disperse through to the top of the stone, resulting in a display of brilliance and fire. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose light that leaks through the side or bottom. As a result, poorly cut diamonds will be less brilliant, beautiful, and valuable than a well cut stone.
A reputable Jeweler is the first step to an informed diamond purchase. To find a Jeweler you can trust, ask your family and friends for a recommendation. Your Jeweler should be knowledgeable and trained about diamonds and help you feel comfortable in making your important purchase.