Diamonds. They shimmer, they sparkle, and they’ve captured our attention since their brilliance first caught humankind’s eyes. But how do first-time buyers navigate all the diamond culture jargon?
The 4 C’s
You’ve no doubt come across the term “the 4 C’s” in your search for the perfect engagement ring, but what do they mean in everyday terms? The 4 C’s is a term coined and popularised by GIA, the Gemological Institute of America. The term exists as a way to determine the overall quality of a diamond.
The cut, colour, clarity and carat weight all tell you how much of a statement your rock will make. In colloquial terms, a diamond that scores perfectly on all 4 C’s is like winning a jackpot on NetBet or catching the ‘elusive butterfly of love’ – It’s what everyone wants.
A single carat is a metric measurement that is equal to 200 milligrams. One carat can be split up into 100 points. Because of this, the weight of a diamond can be determined precisely to a hundredth decimal place. Diamonds smaller than 1-carat are measured in points, so a .50 carat diamond is also referred to as a 50 point diamond, or ½ carat.
Diamonds have two significant cuts: brilliant and step cuts. Brilliant cuts are rounded and often have more facets. Step-cuts have facets that are positioned parallel to one another and have a flatter appearance. The cut of a diamond determines how well it disperses light. A diamond with more facets reflects light better and thus shimmers and sparkles more.
The perfect white diamond is clear in colour and holds a colour grade of D. The colour scale goes all the way to Z, with a Z grade diamond having a noticeable yellow or brown tint. The less colour a white diamond has, the rarer it is and the more value it carries. A pure yellow diamond carries a far higher value than a white diamond, while a yellow tint diminishes the value of a white diamond.
A diamond’s brilliance also depends on its clarity. Features such as feathers, knots, clouds and cavities are all imperfections that diminish the value of a diamond. Diamonds with flawless clarity are far more expensive than those with internal or external exclusions.
It’s no secret that diamonds are expensive. However, as it turns out, getting down on one knee doesn’t have to break the bank:
Fun fact, the right cut with more facets can do wonders to hide both inclusions and colour tints. While an emerald cut has more prominent facets and therefore more visibility to the inside of the stone, a 2-carat oval diamond has more facets and may distort internal inclusions.
A diamond with a slight yellow tint will appear whiter against a gold band or setting because the gold offsets a certain grade of yellow in the stone. Inversely, the same diamond will have a more noticeable tint when set in platinum.
You don’t need to go for a flawless white stone. The difference between crisp white and slight tints is almost impossible for the naked eye to spot. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but with the right knowledge, they can be friends with your bank balance as well.