The 4C’s to Grading Your Diamonds

big diamondHave you ever wondered how to grade your own diamond(s)? There are a few ways you can check the quality of your stone for yourself before you give your precious stone to a professional grader. Just remember your 4C’s: Cut, Color, Carat and Clarity. The GIA system is one of the most common grading methods to determine a diamonds, or any gemstone, value.


Occasionally confused with the diamonds size, it actually represents the weight of your gemstone and is one of the easiest ways to determine the value of your jewel. You can find your diamonds weight by getting your own scale and weighing it in grams. A single carat is approximately .2 grams. That being said, a 14 carat diamond would weigh 2.8 grams while a 24 carat diamond should weigh in at 4.8 grams. When you’re shopping for diamonds, go for one which weighs .9 karats instead of a 1 karat and save yourself a ton of money. They would appear to be the same stone to anyone else.


Diamond color is another important factor when grading your diamond. This is due to the fact that the color is what the eye catches when it glitters in the light. The less color your diamond has, the more it will be worth. The diamonds color falls into three categories: Colorless, Near-Colorless and Noticeable Color and is based on a letter scale of Z to D. The highest grade possible is D, followed by E, F, G, H, I and J. Letters after that have a more yellow tint and tend to be of lesser value.


Clarity is one of the hardest things to grade for the untrained eye. This includes little blemishes, such as scratches and a another factor called Inclusions. Inclusions are the hardest to find as most tend to be microscopic and don’t change the way the diamond looks. It’s more along the lines of valuing its integrity instead of its exterior. A diamonds clarity rating is based upon Flawless, Internally Flawless, VS1 (Very Very Slightly Included 1), SI1 (VS2, Slightly Included 1) and I1 – I3 (Included).


The Diamonds cut is by far the most complex and important of the 4Cs. It is what determines a diamonds sparkle, fire and brilliance. It is also what the eye notices first when a diamonds dazzling colors shine when a ray of light hits it at just the right angle. Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor are the grading scales used to determine a diamonds cut and proportion set. There are dozens of proportion sets and face-up appearances which affects a Diamonds cut. Think of your favorite 3D animated video game or movie character. The rounder and higher your characters polygon count is, the higher the production value it was. A similar process is used to determine your diamond cut! The more facets your diamond has, which determines the roundness and complex shape your diamond is, the more its worth!

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