At first glance two diamonds may appear to look similar, but each has its own individual characteristics that determine the value. These are known as the 4Cs. Diamonds with the most perfect combination of the 4Cs are quite simply the most rare, therefore the most valuable.
Take a few moments to read all about the the 4Cs we have noted below.
Four characteristics that determine the quality of a natural diamond:
Cut is the only diamond characteristic directly influenced by man: the other three are dictated by nature. A good round brilliant cut releases the life, fire and sparkle of a diamond through the arrangement and proportions of its 57 or 58 facets (Tiny planes that create angles to reflect light). When a diamond is cut to good proportions, light will reflect from one facet to another and disperse through the top of the stone, resulting in a display of brilliance and fire. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose light that spills through the side or bottom.
The shape (Cut) of a diamond is a matter of personal taste; the round brilliant cut is the most popular. Other popular shapes are Pear, Princess, Heart, Oval, Emerald, Marquise, Asscher, and Radiant cut.
While most diamonds appear white, many of them display hints of colour barely discernable to the naked eye. The closer a diamond approaches colourless, the more rare and the more valuable the stone.
Diamonds with a strong pure natural colour are extremely rare and are called 'Fancies' amongst them are Pink, Blue, Yellow, Green, Cognac and Orange.
A diamond's clarity is determined by the degree to which it is free from naturally occurring inclusions, often called 'Nature's Fingerprints'.
The number, type, colour, size and position of the internal birthmarks can affect a diamond's value. However, many are invisible to the naked eye requiring magnification under a standard 10x magnification loupe before they become apparent, the fewer inclusions, the rarer the stone.
Carat refers to weight, and therefore the size of a diamond. One carat is divided into 100 points. Therefore, a diamond weighing 0.50pts is equal to half a carat. Size is the most obvious factor in determining the value of a diamond, however, two diamonds of equal size can have very different values, depending on their cut, clarity and colour.