The Four C's of diamond quality
Every diamond is one of a kind, and each has specific qualities that determine its value.
Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight. The Four C's of Diamond Quality - the universal method for assessing the quality of a diamond, created by GIA (Gemological Institute of America). Why is this important? The Four C's were created so diamond quality could be communicated in a universal language, and so you know exactly what you are purchasing.
Diamond color actually means lack of color. The diamond color evaluation is based on the absence of color. A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue, and consequently, a higher value. The grading system ranges from D-to-Z with D being colorless and Z being light yellow.
Diamond clarity refers to the absence of inclusions and blemishes. Natural diamonds are the result of carbon exposed to tremendous heat and pressure deep in the earth. This process can result in a variety of internal characteristics called ‘inclusions’ and external characteristics called ‘blemishes’. If you are trying to determine what is the best clarity for a diamond, remember that no diamond is perfectly pure. But the closer it comes to purity, the better its clarity. The GIA Diamond Clarity Scale has 6 categories, some of which are divided, for a total of 11 specific grades.
-Flawless (FL) No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification
-Internally Flawless (IF) No inclusions visible under 10x magnification
-Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) Inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
-Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) Inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification, but can be characterized as minor
-Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification
-Included (I1, I2, and I3) Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance