About the 4C’sDiamond Education
About the 4C’s
At Krystyna’s Jewelry, we understand purchasing a diamond can be one of the most important and memorable decisions of your life. We also know it can be intimidating, but we promise to make it fun and easy! As direct diamond importers, we have an extraordinary selection of diamonds for you to choose from. Our GIA Graduate Gemologist will educate you, allow you to view diamonds side-by-side, and SHOW you the difference in color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. By understanding these characteristics, you’ll be able to shop with confidence and know your diamond will be cherished forever, and know it was purchased at a great value!
Diamond cut is more than just the outside shape of the diamond, it is also the “make” or how well the diamond was faceted and polished. Shapes include Round, Princess, Emerald, Asscher, Marquise, Oval, Radiant, Pear, Heart, and Cushion. We also have our very own Katrina Cut® Diamond that you won’t find anywhere else in the world!
The Katrina Cut® Diamond is available exclusively at Krystyna’s Jewelry.
Light bounces from each of its 78 facets creating a light show of brilliance and fire for unparalleled beauty.
The cut (make) of the diamond is arguably the most important “C” because the cut allows light to reflect from facet to facet giving the diamond its fiery brilliance.Obtaining excellent brilliance requires extreme accuracy by an expert diamond cutter who can reveal the diamonds true beauty. The make of a diamond includes the factors of table percentage, pavilion depth percentage, total depth percentage, crown height, girdle thickness, polish, and symmetry. Let’s explore the “Anatomy of a Diamond”:
Crown: Top portion of the diamond extending from table to girdle
Girdle: Intersection of the crown and pavilion which determines the diameter of the diamond
Pavilion: Lower portion of the diamond extending from girdle to culet
Culet: Bottom tip of the diamond
Total Depth: Measurement from the table to culet
The diamond’s cut quality is determined by its power to reflect light and is characterized as ideal, excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor. Ideal and excellent cuts release the inner brilliance & liveliness of the diamond to create maximum sparkle. If a diamond is cut too shallow or too deep, light entering the diamond will be lost through the sides and bottom making it appear dull or dark.
Remember that brilliance is the reflection of light that enters the diamond and bounces from facet to facet and returns to your eye as white light. “Fire” is often used to describe the quick flashes of different colors as light breaks into its rainbow colors as light passes through the diamond. Seeing all the colors of the rainbow in fast, bright flashes lets you know your diamond is an ideal, excellent, or very good cut.
Diamonds come in all colors of the rainbow, some of them very rare and highly prized (pinks, blues, and yellows), but the most desired is white or colorless. With white diamonds, you are actually looking for the lack of color, thus true whiteness. Even the hint of yellow body color in a white diamond makes it less rare and less expensive. Diamond color starts at “D” in the alphabet and continues through “Z’, with each letter designating a slightly darker, warmer tint. Diamonds after “Z’ are considered “Fancy”. After cut, color is considered most important because the human eye detects the brilliance (sparkle or light performance) first, then color second.
|Color Grade||Description||On Unaided Eye Inspection|
|Colorless||The differences between D, E, and F diamonds are considered only as to their transparency. They can be detected only by a trained gemologist with side by side comparisons under normal lighting conditions. They are rarely detected by the untrained eye.|
|Near Colorless||Diamonds in the G – J range are more common than colorless so they are a great value. They will still look clear and transparent, but a trace of tint may be noticeable when compared side by side to better grades. An I – J diamond can cost 40-50% less than a D color diamond. G color diamonds are my favorite for great color and value!|
|Faint yellow||Starting with K color, the tint will be noticeable to the naked eye, even when not side by side with higher color diamonds. This range represents diamonds with a warm color and may appeal to some people, but most find these to have too much color. At Krystyna’s Jewelry, we do not carry K or lower colors.|
|Very Light yellow||Diamonds in the N – R range have an easily noticeable yellow or brown tint and are much, much less expensive than higher grades. We do not carry these diamonds and do not recommend them.|
|Light yellow||Diamonds in the S – Z range are considered light yellow, but they easily show color and are typically considered too yellow or brown for a white diamond. Most people find them unattractive as their tint interferes with a diamond’s brilliance. They are not pretty enough to be considered fancy.|
|Fancy||Fancy diamonds are highly prized and valuable. The rarest and most expensive are pinks and purples. They can also come in red, blue, green, and yellow. Fancy diamond costs depend on the rarity and vividness of the color.|
It is important to remember that color is graded in a controlled environment and compared to a known “master set” of diamonds at a 45 degree angle through the thickest part of the diamond. This orientation is used to minimize the brilliance and fire of the diamond and make the detection of body color easier. When a diamond is mounted, its color is more difficult to determine as itsenvironment (the prongs and the setting) interact with the diamond. Even a gemologist cannot tell the difference from an F to G or G to H once the diamond is mounted. It is also very possible to have a G color diamond looks as colorless as an E color once mounted. Carat weight is also a factor in diamond color. The larger the diamond, the more light it will absorb, so it is easier to perceive color. This is the same as a carafe of white wine being darker than a glass of white wine.
Diamonds are formed deep in the Earth, approximately 90 miles down, under extreme pressure and temperature. It is estimated that that diamonds take between 1 billion and 3.3 billion years to form. It is certainly the oldest item you will ever own!
Since diamonds are naturally created, each is signed with unique characteristics referred to as blemishes or inclusions. The characteristics are similar to human fingerprints, where no two are exactly alike. Clarity is the degree to which these characteristics are present as graded with 10X magnification under ideal circumstances. Most diamond characteristics are not visible with the diamond facing up and without magnification, referred to as “naked eye”. Significant inclusions can affect brilliance by interfering with the path of light going through the diamond.
There are 11 grades in the diamond clarity scale as set by GIA, the industry standard for diamond grading. The clarity grade is based on the number, size, position, color, and reflectivity of the characteristics or inclusions. Flawless diamonds do not have any inclusions or blemishes. They are extremely rare and very expensive. SI, or slightly included, diamonds are usually the best value. Their characteristics are not often seen with the unaided eye through the top of the diamond. The more inclusions a diamond has, the less rare it is. If the diamond is excellent or very good cut, colorless or near colorless, and is slightly included or higher clarity, the characteristics will have not have much of an impact on the brilliance and beauty of the diamond. Below is a clear explanation of clarity.
|FL||Flawless: No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.||Diamonds graded FL are extremely rare and expensive. Only 1 in 5000 jewelry quality diamonds are rated FL.|
|IF||Internally Flawless: No inclusions, only external blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.||IF diamonds do not have any internal inclusions. They will have slight external surface blemishes that are difficult to find, even for a skilled grader using 10X magnification. Less than 3% of jewelry quality diamonds are rated IF.|
|Very, Very Slightly Included: Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification.||Inclusions in VVS1 diamonds are typically only visible from the pavilion of the diamond while inclusions in VVS2 diamonds may be visible in the crown. In both VVS diamonds the inclusions are difficult to identify even for a skilled grader using 10x magnification. Inclusions in VVS1 and VVS2 diamonds are invisible to the naked eye|
|Very Slightly Included: Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification, but are considered minor.||In VS1 and VS2 diamonds, the Inclusions are easily visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification. The inclusions are near impossible to see with an unaided eye. Approximately 1 in 100 untrained observers will detect VS1 inclusions without magnification through the crown of the diamond. Upon close inspection, an untrained observer may find inclusions in a VS2 diamond without magnification.|
|Slightly Included: Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader using 10x magnification.||In SI2 diamonds, the inclusions are typically visible with the naked eye upon close inspection, especially through the pavilion. SI1 and SI2 diamonds will have obvious inclusions under 10x magnification|
|Included: Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance.||I1 diamonds have inclusions that are visible to the naked eye. I2 and I3 diamonds have prominent, easily visible inclusions that cause the diamond to look dull, hazy, or dark. I2 and I3 diamond may have issues with stability. Krystyna’s Jewelry does not sell I2 or I3 diamonds.|
Diamonds are sold by carat, a unit of weight measement, although most people think carat means size. A one carat diamond is 100 points, just as a ¾ carat diamond is 75 points. Think of it in terms of dollars and pennies. One dollar is the same as 100 pennies. Diamonds come in all carat weights, but the heavier or larger the diamond, the more rare it is. Two diamonds with equal weight can have very different costs based on the other “C” factors (cut, clarity, and color). To some people, the size of the diamond is the most important factor. To others, it is the cut and color. Most women can tell you the size or shape of what they want, and most men will remember the color, clarity and cost!
As the weight of the diamond increases, the price increases exponentially. This is due to the rarity of the larger sizes. Fewer than one in one million mined rough diamonds will be large enough to yeild a polished 1 carat diamond. Although the prices increases rapidly, the actual size does not.
Two diamonds of the same carat weight and shape may still appear completely different in size because of cut proportions. A diamond that is cut too deep will carry weight in the bottom (pavilion) giving it a smaller diameter than a well cut diamond. A diamond that is cut too shallow will have a larger than average diameter, but it may look dull because light will leak from the sides. It is also possible to have a very thick girdle, where weight will be hidden in that area, also resulting in a smaller diameter measurement. A well cut diamond may have a slightly lower carat weight than a deeply cut diamond, yet the diameter may be greater, thus making the diamond appear larger in size.
It is also true that diamonds of different shapes but equal carat weight will appear very different in size. For example, a 1 carat round will appear larger than a 1 carat princess diamond, but smaller than a 1 carat marquise. This is because of the average proportions and surface area. The difference is actually an illusion created by the outside shape.
The 4C’s provide a way to compare and evaluate diamonds based on their cut, color, clarity and carat weight, but the numbers and letters cannot describe its true beauty. Just as each person is unique and special, so is every diamond. Knowing the numbers can help you decide between diamonds, but in the end, it is the beauty, mystery, and meaning that you are purchasing. The diamond you decide on is a symbol of love, commitment, strength, and devotion. It is a precious gift that will be cherished by your loved one, passed on, and cherished for generations. Think about it….what else can you wear as a daily reminder of a special occasion, enjoy its beauty, and eventually pass down to the next generation with an increased value?
As a family owned and operated jeweler, we care about more than the sale. We understand the significance of purchasing a diamond. We will guide you every step of the way, comparing cut, color, clarity, and carat weight – side by side – and will help you find the best diamond at a great value. At the same time, we will provide you with exceptional service, not only at the time of the sale, but for years to come!