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DIAMONDS 4CS ULTIMATE GUIDE

It is really important to educate yourself before making your diamond purchase. Learn about the 4 C’s (cut, colour, clarity, and carat) and how they affect the lustre, sparkle, quality, and price of a diamond.

CARAT

People usually get confused between Carat and Size. Carat refers to the weight of a diamond, while the size refers to the measurement of the stone in millimetres.

If you have a 1ct diamond that is cut very deep, the size of the diamond may look like an 0.80ct stone, while it can still weigh 1ct. If you have a 1ct diamond that is cut very shallow, the size of the diamond may look like a 1.25ct stone, while potentially weighing 1ct due to its shallowness. A well-cut diamond will look like a 1ct and also weigh 1ct.

When diamonds are cut too shallow or too deep, the diamond will not look brilliant and in some cases appear dark or empty in the centre.

CLARITY

The clarity of a diamond is based on how many or how few imperfections (known as inclusions) there are in the stone as well as where these inclusions occur.
According to GIA, diamond clarity is labelled by the following chart:

Flawless (FL), Internally Flawless (IF)

Flawless (FL) and Internally Flawless (IF) diamonds have no visible inclusions inside the stone when looking at the stone through a 10x magnification. IF diamonds may have some surface marks (blemishes) under 10x magnification.

Very Very Slight Inclusions (VVS1 & VVS2)

VVS1 and VVS2 clarity diamonds have very tiny inclusions that are extremely difficult to see under 10x magnification, even to gemmologists and diamond experts. Some inclusions that may be in a VVS diamond could be pinpoints, needles, or internal graining.

Very Slight Inclusions (VS1 & VS2)

VS1 and VS2 clarity diamonds have slightly larger inclusions than the VVS range. These are difficult (VS1) to somewhat easy (VS2) to see under 10x magnification. Some inclusions that might be in VS diamonds are crystals, cavities, or clouds.

Slight Inclusions (SI1 & SI2)

SI1 and SI2 clarity diamonds have larger inclusions than the VS range. To the trained eye, these inclusions are easily visible under 10x magnification. Some inclusions that might be on an SI diamond are chips, knots, and feathers.

Included (I1, I2 & I3)

I1-I3 clarity diamonds have much more pronounced inclusions. These inclusions are easily seen with the naked eye. These large inclusions may also affect the brilliance of the diamond.

Novita’s Recommendation:

VS2, SI1, and SI2


COLOUR


Diamond Colour refers to how colourless the stone is. The clearer (white) the stone is, the more valuable it becomes. As we move down the scale, the diamonds start to have more colour in them such as slight tints of yellow or brown, which decreases the value of the diamond. The GIA diamond chart grades diamonds from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow or brown). GIA groups diamonds into several categories.

D,E,F (colourless)
D-F grade diamonds are grouped as colourless. When these diamonds are in a setting, they will all look the same to an untrained eye. To tell the difference, these stones must be loose and compared to each other on a white background.

G,H, I, J (near colourless)
G-J grade diamonds are grouped as near colourless. When in a setting, they will appear more or less white, however when loose and compared to colourless diamonds, a tint in the stones will be noticeable.

To the untrained eye, diamonds with a 1 or 2 colour difference may look very similar.

Novita’s opinion: As D-F colour diamonds look almost identical to the untrained eye, there usually isn’t a great need to get a D coloured diamond over an E or F. We believe it’s more important to look at the cut and shape.

I-J colour diamonds have a slight tint of yellow in them and are a good “budget stone”. With these colours you can get a much larger stone for a similar price to a small D-F coloured diamond.
Novita’s Recommendation: We recommend looking at stones that are E-H coloured.


CUT


The Cut of a diamond is the most important of the four C’s. Cut has the biggest effect on a diamond’s appearance and the amount of sparkle, fire, and brilliance that it will have. If a diamond is not well proportioned, it may be too deep or too shallow, then the light that enters the stone will leak out of the bottom of the diamond instead of bouncing back up, making it lose that diamond brilliance. Diamonds that are well-cut have light entering, reflecting off all the facets of the diamond and coming straight back up, giving the diamond a scintillating appearance. Even a diamond of extremely high quality can still look dull if it lacks a high-quality cut grade.

Novita’s Recommendation: Have a stone that has Excellent to Ideal Cut.