About 4C

Origin of the Diamond 4Cs
Every diamond is a miracle of time and place and chance. Like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. Until the middle of the twentieth century, there was no agreed-upon standard by which diamonds could be judged. Diamond LAB created the first, and now globally accepted standard for describing diamonds: Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight. Today, the 4Cs of Diamond Quality is the universal method for assessing the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world. The creation of the Diamond 4Cs meant two very important things: diamond quality could be communicated in a universal language, and diamond customers could now know exactly what they were about to purchase.
Color
The diamond color evaluation of most gem-quality diamonds is based on the absence of color. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue, like a drop of pure water, and consequently, a higher value. Diamond LAB's D-to-Z diamond color-grading system measures the degree of colorlessness by comparing a stone under controlled lighting and precise viewing conditions to masterstones stones of established color value.
Clarity
The Diamond LAB Diamond Clarity Scale has 6 categories, some of which are divided, for a total of 11 specific grades.
Flawless (FL) No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification
Internally Flawless (IF) No inclusions visible under 10x magnification
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) Inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) Inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification, but can be characterized as minor
Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification
Included (I1, I2, and I3) Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance
Many inclusions and blemishes are too tiny to be seen by anyone other than a trained diamond grader. To the naked eye, a VS1 and an SI2 diamond may look exactly the same, but these diamonds are quite different in terms of overall quality. This is why expert and accurate assessment of diamond clarity is extremely important.
FL
IF
VVS1, VVS2
VS1, VS2
SI1, SI2
I1, I2, I3
Cut
Cut grade is assigned by the Diamond LAB using the following scale:
Excellent Maximum fire and brilliance. Reflects nearly all of the light that enters the diamond, creating exceptional sparkle and life.
Very Good Properly reflects most of the light that enters the diamond, producing superior fire and brilliance. Under normal lighting conditions, appears very similar to Excellent Cut, but for a lower price.
Good Reflects a majority of the light that enters the diamond, for an above average appearance. An excellent value compared to higher cut grades.
Fair Allows much of the light entering the diamond to escape from the sides or bottom, reducing perceived fire and brilliance. More acceptable in diamonds of less than .75 carats, where differences in sparkle are more difficult to perceive.
Poor Allows most of the light entering the diamond to escape from the sides or bottom. The diamond may appear noticeably dull and lifeless, even to an untrained eye.
Carat
Diamonds are measured in carats, which take into account the weight, rather than the size. Outsized carat weights are rarer and more precious. Carats are split into points where 100 points are equal to one carat.
  • ½ carat diamond – 50 point or 0.50 carat diamond
  • ¼ carat diamond – 25 point or 0.25 carat diamond

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