The 4 C’s of Diamond Value
Clarity, colour, cut and carat weight all play an important role in determining the overall value of a diamond. These factors are considered a universal method in assessing the quality of the stone anywhere in the world. Below is a look into what each of them mean for your diamond.
Clarity refers to the overall condition of the diamond, given its origin beneath the Earth’s surface. Upon the initial stages of diamonds forming, a large degree of heat through volcanic activity is involved, meaning each diamond’s clarity will from unique to the next. Certain factors come into play when assessing the clarity of a precious stone including impurities, natural imperfections, fractures, clouds and crystals beneath the stones surface. Diamonds are assessed visually for clarity and are given a clarity rating based on an industry scale. The scale measures from Flawless (FL) to Heavily Included (I3), and each scale in between.
Diamonds are available in two different colour types, fancy-coloured and cape series. Cape series refers to higher quality diamond stones. Fancy-coloured refers to stones that have taken on hues of blues, purples, reds and pinks. Diamond colours can vary slightly due to minute impurities within the stone, meaning that they are left with subtle coloured tints. Colour grading carried out by diamond specialists is scaled from colourless ‘D’ to saturated ‘Z’, the colourless graded stones being at the top of the list for quality. Each country has its own unique colour grading standards slightly differing from the other, Australia’s colour grading is referred to as Diamond Certification Laboratory of Australia (DCLA).
The cut of the diamond refers to its balance and the fine finish of the stone. The precise shape and positioning of a diamond’s facets determines the stone’s general appearance and value. Each diamond’s proportions can be different, altering the balance of the stone. A finely finished diamond stone is scaled at a higher quality due to its ability to reflect and balance in proportion, enhancing its overall beauty. The origin and weight of a diamond affect the ability for it to be re-cut by a diamond buyer, meaning that its original cut is so important in determining its overall value. A poorly cut diamond will be valued at a much lower price due to the inability for it to be re-cut after purchased by a dealer.
‘Carat’ refers to the weight of a diamond. One carat equals to 0.20grams in weight. Weight being a very important factor in determining a diamond’s value, it is not an important factor when taken by itself, separate to clarity, colour or cut of the stone; weight relies on these other factors to determine the overall quality of the diamond. Evenly weighted diamonds have a higher quality, and therefore selling value than those with an uneven numerical weight. For example, a diamond weighing 1.99 carat will have a lower value than a diamond weighing 2.00 carat. A simple rule to remember when understanding carat weight is that two one-carat stones can vary widely in price when clarity, colour and cut are taken into consideration.
When understanding how quality is determined in valuing diamonds, it is important to remember that each individual factor combines to lend itself to the overall worth of the stone. While each is assessed using different tools, scales and resources; the clarity, colour, cut and carat weight are all of equal importance during the process of valuing a diamond.