Each diamond is unique being a combination of various qualities. These qualities are universally described as the 5 C’s – Carat, Cut, Colour, Clarity and Confidence. Understanding the 5 C’s can help simplify choosing a diamond allowing you to focus on its beauty and ensuring it is the perfect fit for you or your loved one.
Carat (ct) refers to the weight of the diamond. A carat is equal to 200 milligrams or 0.2 grams. Diamonds weighing less than 1-carat are expressed as points. There are 100 points in a carat therefore, a half a carat is 50 points which would be written as 0.50ct.
Even if a diamond is twice as heavy as another stone, it doesn’t mean it will look twice as large as the other. For example; a half carat diamond is approximately 5 mm diameter, whereas 1.0 carat is approximately 6.5mm.
Larger diamonds are more rare however, two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values depending other factors of the diamond 4C's: Clarity, Colour and Cut.
It's important to remember that a diamond's value is determined using all of the 4C's, not just carat weight.
A diamonds brilliance and sparkle is very much determined by the cut. A well cut diamond with quality proportions, symmetry and polish allows light to enter through the table, with each facet placed and angled to maximise the amount of light shine through.
In a poorly cut diamond, the light that enters through the table reaches the facets and then leaks from the sides or bottom of the diamond rather than reflecting back to the eye. This results in a diamond looking dull rather than having dazzling fire and sparkle.
The more ‘white’ or less colour a diamond has, the higher the grade and the greater the value. Even though most diamonds look colourless, there are subtle differences in shade as you move down the scale starting at D.
Colourless diamonds appear icy white and as you move down the scale to Z, the diamond has more of a yellow tint. The colour can be so subtle between categories that it’s difficult to see by the naked eye unless you were comparing diamonds side by side.
Fancy colour diamonds, come in many different hues such as; yellow and pink. These diamonds are graded using a different system.
Due to the way in which diamonds are formed, deep within the earth with intense pressure and temperatures, completely flawless diamonds are rare. Most diamonds have individual characteristics or inclusions that make each diamond unique. Most of these are not visible to the naked eye and as long as an inclusion does not impact the reflection of light through the diamond, they will not detract from its appearance.
Diamonds are graded on an 11 point clarity scale according to the number, size, colour, position and visibility of every inclusion under 10x magnification.
Feeling assured of the quality and authenticity of your diamond is vital. You need to feel comfortable in making this important, and for many, ‘Once in a lifetime’ purchase. This can be established through a diamond grading certificate, and if you are making a substantial investment in any diamond you should insist on one.
The best and most reliable diamond grading certificates are sourced from independent and recognised grading laboratories. The independence of labs is preferred as this assures an unbiased and objective evaluation of your diamond. If the laboratory is not independent, then a conflict of interest may occur between the vendor and the certifier. The best labs also have advanced technology for accurate assessments, and can pick up any tiny characteristics in your stone, such as treatments or enhancements not detected elsewhere.
Without a reliable and professional grading report, you risk being sold a treated, poorly made or incorrectly graded diamond.
Receiving full certification such as those provided by Mazzucchelli’s, who use a range of labs is the best way to receive complete peace of mind with your purchase.