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  - Richard Kessler

The 4 C's

Introduction


Cut

The cut of a diamond is the first and most important of the 4Cs. It defines the beauty of a diamond because it controls how the diamond handles light.

There are two factors that impact the cut of a diamond:

  1. The shape
  2. The quality of the cut

In other words, there can be vast differences in the quality of the cut between two round diamonds, or two ovals, etc.

Other Points to Consider About Cut:

  • An improperly proportioned diamond will never truly dazzle the eye the way a diamond should.
  • Most cutters are more concerned with saving as much weight from the rough crystal as possible, rather than producing the most beautiful diamond.
  • Consequently most diamonds, perhaps as many as 90% or more of the diamonds on the market, have had their beauty sacrificed for weight retention.
  • Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose light that spills through the side or bottom.
  • Poorly cut stones will be less brilliant and beautiful – and certainly less valuable – than well cut diamonds.

For more information on Cut, take a look at our videos on the 4C's.

There is much more to unlocking a diamond's potential than just proportions, so how can you be assured that the diamond you're considering has been cut properly? For the whole story visit any one of our Kessler® Diamond locations and let one of our friendly and knowledgeable sales associates show you what to look for in a diamond.


Clarity

Clarity refers to generally minute imperfections or birthmarks, which are inherit in all diamonds. We grade for clarity though a ten-power microscope, so even those rare diamonds graded as flawless are only flawless at ten-power. If we were to go to higher magnifications we would probably find imperfections in them as well.

Under 10X magnification, a diamond's grade is one of the following:

  • (FL/IF) – Flawless or Internally Flawless will have no inclusions visible
  • (VVS) – Very,Very Slight Inclusions ( VVS1 - VVS2) may have minute inclusions, extremely difficult to find
  • (VS) – Very Slight Inclusions (VS1 - VS2) has minor inclusions, difficult to find(SI) – Slight Inclusions (SI1 - SI2) may have noticeable inclusions, easy to find
  • (SI) – Slight Inclusions (SI1 - SI2) may have noticeable inclusions, easy to find
  • (I) – Imperfect (I1 – I3) has obvious inclusions, visible to the naked eye

Key Point

Out of the eleven possible grades, the first eight will look the same to the naked eye under normal conditions.

For more information on Clarity, take a look at our videos on the 4Cs.


Color

Color refers to the relative tint that the diamond material may possess.

When most diamonds form their coloring ranges from tints of yellow to brown.

A diamond's color is graded on a scale beginning with D, (absolutely colorless) and continuing through the alphabet to Z, (strongly tinted).

What most people don't understand about diamond color grading, is that this grading must be done prior to mounting the diamond, by viewing the stone in a face down position through the bottom. When the diamond is viewed from the top, (face up), there are many grades of color that are indistinguishable from each other.

For more information on Color, take a look at our videos on the 4Cs.

When you visit one of our Kessler® locations we will show you how difficult it is to determine color in a really well cut diamond, a fact that never fails to amaze our clients.


Carat Weight

Carat weight is simply a measure of weight and is how we determine the size of a diamond.

Larger diamonds are rarer than smaller ones making them more valuable and expensive than a smaller one of the same cut and clarity.

One carat is divided into 100 points, as an example, we refer to a half-carat as a fifty pointer based upon its exact weight to the one hundredth of a carat.

Think of the points in a carat the same as you would cents in a dollar.

For more information on Carat Weight, take a look at our videos on the 4C's.