The Four C's: Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat

Every quality diamond of a carat or more is one of nature's rarest and most exquisite phenomena. Each is a visible reflection of you. Unique in all the world, possessing four vital qualities that set it apart forever. They are called the 4C's: Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat (weight).

It is the 4C characteristics that determine the value of a diamond--and to an astonishing degree the beauty and value of your jewelry. We are experts where diamonds are concerned. We can help you make the acquisition of a quality diamond.

Cut: Many Gemologists consider cut to be the most important of the 4C's (Carat, Clarity, Colour and Cut). If a diamond is not cut to good proportions, reflected light will be lost through the side or bottom resulting in a dull and less brilliant appearance. When a diamond is cut from good to ideal proportions, light will reflect within the diamond crystal and disperse through the top resulting in a display of brilliance and fire. We recommends diamonds that have a good or very good cut as the best value.

Ideal Cut perfect proportions that result in nearly all light reflecting through the top of the diamond.
Very Good Cut near perfect proportions that reflects almost as much light as an idea cut, but at a better value.
Good Cut good proportions that reflect most light, but still a good value.
Fair Cut fair proportions but some light will be lost through the bottom and side resulting in less brilliance.
Poor Cut poor proportions resulting in a dull lifeless diamond.

Colour: Diamonds are graded by colour using a letter from D to Z. D, E and F are colourless; very rare and more expensive. G, H, I and J are nearly colourless, but a trained jeweler can detect a barely perceptible tint of colour. At Davidson Designs we can help demonstrate these minor variations by showing you different colour diamonds side by side. We recommend a colour grade of I or higher. The near-colourless range of G -I represents excellent value.

Clarity: Virtually all diamonds contain inclusions, yet many are invisible to the unaided eye. These microscopic features may look like clouds, feathers, black or white specks, or fine lines when viewed with the aid of a 10X jeweler's loupe or microscope. The larger the inclusions or number of inclusions; the lower the grade and value of the diamond. The finest clarity grade is flawless (FL) and internally flawless (IF) and goes down to heavily included (I3). All diamonds ranging from flawless (FL) to slightly included (SI2) have inclusions that can only be viewed under 10X magnification. We recommend a clarity grade of SI2 or higher with no inclusions visible by the unaided eye.

For trained graders using 10X magnification and proper lighting.

FI Flawless, no blemishes or inclusions.
IF Internally flawless, no inclusions and only insignificant blemishes.
VVS1, & VVS2 Very, very slightly included, minute inclusions that are difficult to see.
VS1, & VS2 Very slightly included, minor inclusions ranging from difficult to somewhat easy to see.
SI1 & SI2 Slightly included, noticeable inclusions that are easy (SI1) or very easy (SI2) to see.
I1, I2, & I3 Imperfect, obvious inclusions that usually are eye-visible face up; in I3, distinctions are based on the combined effect on durability, transparency, and brilliance.

Carat: is the measurement of a diamonds size. 1 carat is equal to 100 points. A .50 carat diamond is the same as a 1/2 carat or a 50 point diamond. Diamond rarity and therefore price increases with the size of the diamond. A 1 carat diamond is always worth more than two .50 carat diamonds of the same quality.