Most people have heard of the four C’s, even learned them, and maybe long since forgotten what they are. If you’ve ever shopped for a diamond or accompanied a friend or family member to a Jewelry store, you’ve no doubt listened to some level of an explanation as to what the four C’s are. If I had a dollar for every time I had the privledge of going over the four C's with a client...well, you know the rest;)Before we get down to the nitty gritty, it is this Jeweler’s opinion that it’s important to know just where they came from. It was in the early 1950’s that The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) came up with what is now an international and universal language for everyone (cutters, dealers, jewelers and consumers) to discuss and understand the rarity characteristics of a Diamond. Not only is GIA the world’s foremost authority on Diamonds and Gemstones, but they are a non-profit and independent institute that serves both the industry and the consumer. They are also My Alma Mater! Woot!
So here we go, let’s start with Color….
1.) Color is the degree to which a diamond is free from body color. The two most common colors of a Diamond are yellow or brown caused by nitrogen that was present when the Diamond was formed. The GIA color scale starts at D and goes to Z, with D being completely colorless. Some jewelers will tell you that color in a diamond is bad, and that it affects the quality or beauty of a Diamond. Color only determines rarity. What most jewelers won’t tell you is that most people can’t tell the difference between up to four color grades. They also won’t tell you that Diamonds are graded face down for color against a “master set” of stones that already have a predetermined color grade. Sparkle side up, it is impossible to grade a diamond for color! All their fire, sparkle and brilliance hide the body color of the stone. Diamonds are also graded for color under daylight equivalent during the morning hours, because our eyes fatigue as the day goes on. Diamond color grading is not easy! The higher the color grade, the more the price goes up! And, at the end of the day, color is a matter of personal preference. I’ve included a few charts, please note that Fancy Color Diamonds are not included in this scale. Fancy yellow and brown Diamonds aren’t either. They have their own scale, that is essentially below Z.
Any questions so far? Send them in!Halfway through this blog post I decided to split it up into four postings. Although the four C’s are a fairly simple concept, and they are designed to be, it is also an expansive subject that deserves a proper explanation. So stay tuned for clarity!
I hope everyone had a great weekend! ~Lisa