The 4C's classify the value of diamonds. Every diamond's beauty, rarity and price are determined by the combination of carat weight, cut, color and clarity.
The Carat Weight
Carat is a diamond's measure of weight, not size. One full carat is equal to 100 points. A 3/4 carat diamond is the same as 75 points, or .75ct. Since larger diamonds are found less frequently in nature, a 1 carat diamond will cost more than twice a 1/2 carat diamond, assuming all other characteristics remain the same. The cut of a diamond and the mounting ring into which it is set can make it appear larger than its actual weight. When you come to Wallach Jewelry Designs, we will help you find the perfect size diamond and mounting ring.
Though often confused with diamond shape, cut actually describes the proportions and angles of the facets of a diamond, and determines how brilliant a diamond will be. A well-cut diamond reflects light from one mirror-like facet to another and projects the light through the top of the stone. The result is a fiery and brilliant display. An ideal cut diamond is one that allows the maximum amount of light to return throught the top of the diamond. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in a lackluster appearance and diminished value.
Nature dictates the color, clarity and carat weight of a diamond, but it takes a master diamond cutter to reveal a diamond's true beauty. We, at Wallach Jewelry Designs will be happy to enlighten you further on the importance of the cut of a diamond.
White colored diamonds remain the most popular, though diamonds are found in a kaleidoscope of colors such as yellow, brown and black, and more rarely pink, blue and red. Diamonds are graded on a color scale implemented by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), which ranges from D, which is colorless, to Z. Color differences can be so subtle that diamond colors are graded under controlled lighting conditions and are compared to a master set of stones for accuracy. While truly colorless diamonds, graded D, are treasured for their rarity, diamond color is ultimately a personal choice. Let us at Wallach Jewelry Designs show you an array of diamonds to help you choose your diamond color.
D - Colorless
E-F - Colorless
G-J - Near Colorless
K-M - Faint Yellow
N-R - Very Light Yellow
S-Z - Light Yellow
After 'Z' on the color scale, diamonds are called fancy yellow, which are more rare and therefore more expensive.
Nature ensures that each diamond is as individual as the person who wears it. Naturally occurring inclusions such as minerals or fractures are identifying characteristics created while diamonds are formed in the earth. Jewelers use magnification to view diamonds at 10X their actual size so these tiny inclusions are more easily seen.
Inclusions are measured on a scale of perfection known as clarity, which was established by the GIA. The greater a diamond's clarity, the more rare and valuable it is. An inclusion in the middle or top of a diamond could impact the dispersion of light, making it less brilliant.
F - No inclusions or blemishes are visible to a skilled grader.
IF - No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader.
VVS1-VVS2 - Inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see.
VS1-VS2 - Inclusions are clearly visible but can be characterized as minor.
SI1-SI2 - Inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader.
I1-I3 - Inclusions are obvious and may affect transparency and brilliance.