Jewellery

Colour, Clarity, Carat and Cut: Navigating the 4C’s with Bill Green and TSC!

It shimmers, it shines and is truly divine—the diamond is one of Mother Nature’s best works of art! It’s the perfect accessory as we know it, but did you know that some of the earliest diamonds were found in India around the fourth century BCE? Though they were thought (and still are) to be one of the most precious stones due to their durability and shine, they were also worn to ward off evil and protect the wearer in battle!

Today, diamonds are seen and used in a multitude of ways, and we wear them at just about every moment to add sparkle and joy to our lives! Their beauty holds no bounds as they still mesmerize us with their colour, clarity, carat weight, and cut—gemologists would describe these features as the 4C’s.

And to further explain the 4C’s, TSC has enlisted the help of Bill Green, who will guide us through the glitz and glamour of diamonds, and demystify the task of buying one.

Join us to find out why diamonds really are a girl’s best friend!

Let’s begin with the first of the 4C’s:

1. Colour:

When it comes to colour, you’re looking for white diamonds—a colourless diamond, so to say—and the less colour a diamond has, the higher the value. Although slight traces of colour do exist in all diamonds, there is the incredibly rare occasion that they don’t. Those rare diamonds are called D flawless—the D indicates the absence of colour. There is a colour-grading scale that was devised by the GIA [Gemological Institute of America] that all gemologists use to grade diamonds. 

So many people throw around the term flawless; however, very few things are flawless in the world, including diamonds. Which brings us to our second C—clarity.

2. Clarity:

Diamonds form over millions of years from the intense heat and pressure of the Earth, and what’s left behind is Mother Nature’s fingerprints. Those slight traces of carbon and other small minor inclusions that don’t crystallize are used for determining the clarity of a diamond. Geologists are trained using master standards for determining the clarity with a scale beginning at “FL,” for flawless, and moving into “VVS,” which has a very, very slight inclusions. It continues into “SI,” for slight inclusions, and at the far end of the scale is “I,” for inclusions. The fewer the inclusions, the better the clarity, and the higher the value.

The next C is carat weight—the actual weight of a diamond.

3. Carat Weight

Everyone’s heard of a one-carat diamond or a two-carat diamond, and the root of the word comes from… are you ready? The carob seed! That’s because of their uniformity in size; they were once used as a counterweight to weigh against diamonds. So, there are 100 points to a one-carat diamond, and a fraction of a carat can make a significant difference in price.

The specialist holds a precious stone in tweezers before weighing it on a jewelry scale

Now on to the final C—cut!

4. Cut

People often confused the word cut with shape, but it’s the cut that fuels the diamond’s fire, sparkle and brilliance. There are different components of a diamond: the top portion is called the crown, the centre line is the girdle, and then all the facets beneath the girdle are the pavilion. It’s this combination and symmetry of those facets that are represented when we hear the word cut in the 4C’s of diamonds. If a diamond is proportionally cut, light enters through the crown off of the facets internally and back out to the eye for that shimmering effect.

Now that we’ve talked about the 4C’s, there’s actually a fifth C—confidence! The confidence you can have in TSC, giving you quality assurance with an appraisal to provide you a guarantee of the value of that piece of jewellery.

Understanding the 4C’s will put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to purchasing a diamond. Once you understand these basics, you can choose what you’re looking for with complete confidence!

To shop TSC’s full diamond jewellery collection, visit TSC.ca.

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