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Houston is home to some of the nation’s greatest, most expansive diamond outlets. When searching for the perfect gift, learning the four C’s of diamond grading are important. The four C system was created 60 years ago—and its dynamics both streamline and fortify diamond quality discernment.
So, you’re about to purchase magnificent stones. Before making a decision, understanding the true definitions behind the four C’s is vital. Carat, color, clarity and cut define the grading system, and they’re featured by these guidelines:
Carat is a diamond’s weight measurement. While a 1-carat diamond is weighed at 200 milligrams, higher carats contain higher weights. When searching for the “right” diamond, carat can provide size and density insights. Smaller carats are cheaper, and larger carats are more expensive.
Color is defined by a letter basis. Within this system, a “D” is considered a colorless, rare diamond. “E” and “F” ratings, meanwhile, are of excellent grade. “G” and “H” grades are similar to “F” rated diamonds. However, letters beyond this point may contain yellow hues, and are generally lower priced due to their lack of pristine coloration.
Clarity determines a diamond’s overall flaws. These flaws, called inclusions, often appear as cloudy surfaces, spots and cavities. An “SI” clarity grade depicts “slightly included” flaws. “VS” stands for “very slightly included” flaws and “VVS” depicts a “very, very slightly included” flaw base.
Cut measures a diamond’s overall workmanship. A diamond’s cut enhances its luminosity and sparkle, and it can decrease visible flaws. A “rare” cut is ideal, though most diamonds are considered “fair”, “good” or “very good”.
So, you understand the above grading scales. When purchasing a valuable stone, however, considering their individual attributions—while important—isn’t as effective as understanding a diamond’s overall facilitation of each quality.
In most situations, quality of a diamond’s cut should never be forgone. A mediocre cut destroys a stone’s integrity, and it can make a diamond appear lifeless.
Following cut, color balance is important. A balanced coloration gives a stone its sheen, and this difference is incredibly noticeable by others.
Clarity and carat weight may be left up to individual preference, and they’re considered “subtle” diamond identifiers. When you’re out purchasing a valuable stone, consider these qualities last. Overall, personal preference should be a top priority. It is your purchase, after all. However, cut and color are a diamond’s highest cost driver, and they often determine a “high quality” or “low quality” stone.