Your loved one is one in a million, and naturally so are the diamonds you buy for them! But if no two diamonds are exactly alike, what is it that determines their price?
As you may have heard at some point, there are four C’s that are taken into account when assigning value to a diamond. A diamond report from a reputable organization such as the GIA (or Gemological Institute of America) provides the buyer with a record of these characteristics. This report is then used to determine the price of your diamond!
A Splash of Color
Color is the first C we’ll talk about today! At the GIA laboratories, there is a master set of stones assembled by their team of gemologists. From this set, your diamond is compared for color accuracy ranging from D (for colorless) to Z (light brown or yellow).
Truly colorless diamonds are quite rare, so most diamonds used in jewelry will have some hints of yellow and brown! The less color there is visible, the higher your diamond’s grade will be.
I Can See Clearly Now
The next C we will look at is clarity! Like we have fingerprints, diamonds also have unique characteristics that help us to tell them apart. For example, inclusions are slight irregularities that are a result of how the diamond was formed. These irregularities can actually help gemologists tell the difference between real diamonds and fake ones!
The GIA clarity scale ranges from Flawless to I3. A grade of Flawless tells us there were no inclusions or blemishes at 10x magnification! A grade of I3 tells us there were inclusions or blemishes you could see with your own eyes. Which means the easier they are to see, the lower the grade!
At this step, graders are also on the lookout for treatments of any kind that might have been used to improve the clarity of the diamond. If any are found they are included in the diamond report for you to see.
A Cut Above The Rest
There is more to this section than meets the eye. The cut of the diamond isn’t just about basic shape! How the diamond is cut also impacts how light interacts with it. Which makes a big difference when we are talking about sparkle and brilliance.
The GIA cut scale ranges from Excellent to Poor and takes into account many different factors! Researchers have developed a system that measures things such as culet size, girdle thickness, polish and symmetry to come up with the grade on your diamond’s report.
The Weight of It All
While the other C’s aren’t an exact science, this one is! One carat is equal to 200mg or ⅕ of a gram. Industry standard diamond scales are incredibly precise up to 1/1000th of a carat. The readings are then rounded to 2 decimal places for the diamond report.
Did you know that if all other factors are equal, a one carat stone is worth more than four ¼ carat stones put together? That is because the bigger the diamond, the more rare/expensive it is!
Does Grading Matter?
But at the end of the day, diamond reports are an educated opinion and by no means a guarantee. Because international standards do vary, grading tolerance is something to be taken into consideration as well.
What that means is that some of the C’s may be graded differently depending on if the diamond is weakly graded or strictly graded. This can be one of the reasons for differences in prices. And why buying a strictly graded diamond adds value!