The 4 C’s
A diamond's beauty, rarity, and price depend on a combination of four factors known as the 4Cs, which includes cut, clarity, carat, and color.
The 4Cs are used throughout the world to classify the value and rarity of diamonds. Diamonds with the combination of the highest 4C ratings are more rare and, consequently, more expensive.
When choosing a diamond, one must decide which factors or combinations are most important to the individual.
Diamonds have a unique ability to efficiently manipulate light. This unique quality can only be realized with an extremely high level of accuracy during the cutting and polishing process. Where nature dictates the level of color and clarity, humans manipulate the cut. While cutting diamond rough, cutters must not only consider the proportions of a diamond, but also the craftsmanship of overall symmetry and polish as well.
A diamond’s brilliance comes from light entering the crown and reflecting from one facet to another and returning back out the crown. A diamond that is cut too shallow or too deep will not reflect light properly and the diamond will not be as brilliant as a diamond with an excellent cut.
The lesser the number of inclusions or blemishes a diamond has, the higher clarity grade it will receive. A diamond with no inclusions using 10x magnification will be considered flawless and is very rare and more costly.
An inclusion is a clarity characteristic either totally enclosed in a polished diamond, reaching or extending into it from the surface, or one that is caused by treatments or the cutting process.
A blemish or external clarity characteristic is on the surface of the diamond only and can be caused by wear, the cutting process, or may be a result of the diamond's crystal structure. Blemishes play a lesser role than inclusions do when determining the clarity grade, but may affect the polish grade.
The term “color” in white diamonds actually refers to the lack of color present. Diamonds composed of pure carbon are colorless and extremely rare and costly. Most diamonds contain nitrogen, boron, or hydrogen all of which impact color. A majority of white diamonds sold on the market today will contain traces of nitrogen, which causes slight shades of yellow or brown. Small, subtle differences in color can make a substantial difference in a diamond's value The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) implemented the color grading system in the 1950s which is still used in the industry today. Diamonds are graded on a scale beginning with the letter D (colorless) and ending with Z (light yellow or brown).
One additional factor in grading the color of a diamond is fluorescence. Fluorescence is the emission of visible light by a diamond when it is exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Approximately 10% of all diamonds on the market today exhibit fluorescence. Today, fluorescence on a diamond certificate is divided into five different categories: none, faint, medium, strong, and very strong. Fluorescence can be both a negative and a positive. In the strong and very strong range a diamond may appear oily or cloudy which will greatly reduce the attractiveness and value of the diamond. However, diamonds of I color and lower can actually look whiter with some fluorescence which; enhances their value. Better quality diamonds with fluorescence generally sell at a discount to similar ones without. The reason for this is not that it is less beautiful, but that the general public is under the opinion that fluorescence is a negative.
Carat weight specifically refers to a diamond's weight. The higher the carat weight of a diamond the larger it will appear in view. Diamond prices jump at half and full carat weight, therefore a diamond weighing 1.00 ct would cost significantly more than a diamond weighing .99 ct. Although there is only a .01 pt difference the price made a jump as it crossed the full carat boundary.
Diamonds are cut and offered in a variety of shapes. Some of the more common shapes include: Round, Princess, Emerald, Cushion, Oval, Marquise, and Asscher. Rounds are the most demanded shape in the world and therefore carry a premium versus other shapes known as “Fancies.” For example, a 1.50 ct Round with the exact same specifications as a 1.50 ct Emerald Cut would not be the same price. Although almost exact in their DNA the round would be higher in price due to its demand in the market place.
Jordan Klein purchases all diamonds from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with the United Nations resolutions. Based on personal knowledge and / or written guarantees provided by our suppliers, we insure that our diamonds are conflict free.