Each diamond is unique and like a fingerprint, no two are exactly alike. In the 1940s and 1950s, GIA created the
first and now internationally accepted standard for describing diamonds: Colour, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight.
The 4Cs are today, the universal benchmark for truly evaluating the quality of any diamond in the world.
The 4Cs assist customers in having better product knowledge when buying any diamond jewellery and allows
accurate diamond description.
Diamond colour is based on the absence of colour. Diamonds
are made of carbon atoms but 98% of diamonds also have
trace elements of Nitrogen causing the diamond to appear
pale yellow. Structurally ideal and chemically clean diamonds
will have no hue thus increasing the value of the precious
The colour scale of diamonds is from D to Z with D colour
diamonds being colourless and increasing the presence of
colour to the letter Z. The differences between the colours in
the colour scale are invisible to the untrained eye which is
why a set of “master stones” are used.
No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2)
Inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification
(SI1 and SI2)
Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification
Internally Flawless (IF)
No inclusions – visible under 10x magnification
Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2)
Inclusions are clearly visible under 10x magnification, but can be characterized as minor
Included (I1, I2, and I3)
Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance
Natural diamonds are made from carbon atoms exposed to incredible heat and pressure. During this process, a multitude of internal characteristics or inclusions and external characteristics or blemishes are formed.
When estimating the clarity characteristics of diamonds six key factors are taken into consideration: Lustre, Size, Number, Relief, Nature and Position.
The clarity scale has 6 main categories and totalling 11 specific grades.
Diamonds have an incredible way of dispersing light which is
why they sparkle or scintillate so intensely. A diamond’s cut
grade is a geometrical representation of how the facets interact
with light to optimise the brightness of a stone. Accurate
artistry by the diamond cutters requires precise proportions,
symmetry and polish to provide the most fire and scintillation
in a diamond.
The cut is the most crucial factor and also the most complex
aspect when making and analysing the diamond. By
calculating the proportions of the main facets that
influence the appearance of a diamond a cut grade can be made in order
to support the three main visual characteristics of Brightness,
Fire and Scintillation. The cut grade ranges from Excellent to
Poor and takes many parameters into consideration when
evaluating with strong emphasis on diameter, total depth,
table size, crown angle, pavilion angle and girdle thickness
The carat weight system was started from carob seeds, which were used in the early years since the uniform weight of the seeds allowed for a strong counterweight for the scales. This developed the use if diamond carat which is defined as 200 milligrams in metric terms.
Each carat is subdivided into 100 points allowing dealers to refer to 0.80 carats as ‘eighty points’. Diamonds weighing more than one carat are referred in carats and decimal place such as 1.19 as ‘one point nineteen carats’. If all other factors are the same, the larger the diamond the more valuable it becomes due to its rarity.