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Last updated on 20 September 2022 (Tue) 3:32:12 pm
Of all the 4Cs, diamond cut has the greatest effect on a diamond’s beauty. In determining the quality of the cut, the diamond grader evaluates the cutter’s skill in the fashioning of the diamond. The more precise the diamond is cut, the more captivating the diamond is to the eye.
The color of gem-quality diamonds occurs in many hues. In the range from colorless to light yellow or light brown. Colorless diamonds are the rarest. Other natural colors (blue, red, pink for example) are known as “fancy,” and their color grading is different than from white colorless diamonds.
Diamonds can have internal characteristics known as inclusions or external characteristics known as blemishes. Diamonds without inclusions or blemishes are rare; however, most characteristics can only be seen with magnification.
Learn more about diamond clarity and how it is determined.
The carat is the diamond’s physical weight measured in metric carats. One carat equals 1/5 gram and is subdivided into 100 points. Carat weight is the most objective grade of the 4Cs.
Learn more about diamond carat weight.
When you shop smart with an American Gem Society jeweler, you will feel confident in your decision. You know that the jeweler is qualified to describe the characteristics of your diamond, so you can make the informed choice that is right for you.
Ready to buy? We can help! Learn more about diamond buying.
A diamond’s beauty comes from both nature and nurture. Nature creates diamond rough of different colors and with different inclusions. Humans cut the rough, choosing which of the 4Cs (Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight) to prioritize. Should the cutter cut most of the inclusions away to get a high-clarity stone? Or should the cutter try to keep the diamond as large as possible? The quality of a diamond therefore depends on both the raw material and what cutters and polishers choose to do with the diamond. Of the 4Cs, only cut, color and clarity determine diamond quality. Carat doesn’t, because a tiny diamond can be as beautiful and well-crafted as a much larger diamond. And of the 4Cs, only cut is completely within human control for natural, untreated diamonds, because cut is determined by the quality of craftsmanship.
It’s easy to evaluate the shape quality of round brilliant diamonds. Round brilliant diamonds should be—well, round! Most round brilliant diamonds, especially those with Excellent or Very Good Cut grades, are very round, or at least so round that you can’t detect any variance with the unaided eye.
Fancy cut diamonds are where things get more complex. They don’t receive cut grades from GIA, because there is such a wide variety of shapes and cutting styles, each with its own length-to-width ratios and set of standards. Personal preference plays a big part, too. Here are 4 things to look out for in fancy shapes:
round brilliant diamond along with fancy shapes. Photo: GIA
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