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Diamond Education

THE 4 C’ one additional “C” – Certification


This is probably the most important when it comes to determining a diamond’s value and beauty. It shows the skill of the cutter who fashioned the diamond to bring out the brilliance and scintillation of the diamond to make it sparkle from across the room. Technology can be used to assess the diamond’s light performance and hence the quality of its cut. A diamond’s light performance depends on the cutter’s decision of angles and placement of the facets, as well as the skill to place those facets precisely. Getting a diamond to its full luster takes time and careful polishing. Like minute scratches that dull a glass surface, a poor polish can reduce the brightness and sparkle of a diamond. The quality of the cut also affects a diamond’s value, and can increase it by up to 50% more. The quality of a diamond’s cut can affect its value by as much as 50%, and when the cut of your diamond is an AGS Ideal, or GIA Excellent, the diamond will have more brilliance and scintillation (sparkle), making it more captivating to the eye.


Diamonds form in nature having a specific body color, ranging from completely colorless to those that have visible light yellow or light brown color.  Determining a diamond’s body color is achieved under controlled lighting conditions, by a trained gemologist, and by comparison with a master set of color graded diamonds.  The rarest diamonds are colorless, while there are also those having fancy body colors that are very desirable, with hues ranging from fancy yellow to fancy pink.  These fancy color diamonds have a color grading system all their own, many of which will be more rare and have a considerably higher value than colorless diamonds.


Clarity is one of the important value factors to consider when looking for your perfect diamond. Diamonds can have internal characteristics, also known as inclusions, as well as external characteristics that are known as blemishes. A flawless diamond, one that has neither inclusions nor blemishes, is very rare. When a grader looks at clarity, he uses magnification and specific lighting and determines the diamond’s clarity grade based on the particular characteristics he sees.


Carat is a unit of measurement that is used to determine a diamond’s weight.  One carat, written as 1.00 carats, is broken down into 100 “points”, such as cents in a dollar.  Therefore, a diamond weighing 25 points is referred to as a ¼ carat diamond; a diamond weighing 50 points is a ½ carat diamond, and so on.  Carat weight is certainly the easiest of the 4 C’s to determine, normally achieved on an electronic diamond scale, and is a major factor influencing a diamond’s value.


The fifth “C” is as important as any other value factor, when making such an important purchase.  As proud members of the American Gem Society, David’s Ltd Jewelers, as well as most respectable retailers and diamond dealers in the industry, does not recognize many of the independent diamond grading houses supplying diamond grading reports to the industry.   Most of these “labs” use the same GIA terms and nomenclature on their reports, but they do not necessarily utilize the same grading standards in assigning the GIA grades on the diamonds that they evaluate. This, sometimes blatant inconsistency in grading, generates an air of confusion and pricing discrepancies for the unsuspecting buying public.  When shopping for a diamond, you should demand the highest level of certification available and, at David’s Ltd. Jewelers, we will only offer you diamonds graded by GIA (the Gemological Institute of America) or AGS (the American Gem Society).