Gemological Institute of America - Origin of the Diamond 4Cs
Every diamond is a miracle of time and place and chance. Like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. Until the middle of the twentieth century, there was no agreed-upon standard by which diamonds could be judged. GIA created the first, and now globally accepted standard for describing diamonds: colour, clarity, cut, and carat.
Today, the 4Cs of Diamond Quality is the universal method for assessing the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world. This basic knowledge will not only unlock the mystery of a diamond's quality, it will help you understand a diamond's value and price.
Diamond Color In most diamonds, the term actually refers to the absence of color. The less color in the stone, the more desirable and valuable it is. Some of these differences are not visible to the naked eye, but directly impact the overall quality and price of the stone.
Diamond Clarity measures the amount, size and placement of internal 'inclusions,' and external 'blemishes.' Grades run from 'Flawless,' with virtually no imperfections, to 'Included,' which contain a significant number of imperfections.
Diamond Cut does not refer to a diamond's shape, but to the proportion and arrangement of its facets and the quality of workmanship. The amount of brilliance, sparkle and fire in a diamond is determined by cut. Grades range from 'Excellent' to 'Poor.'
Diamond Carat refers to a diamond's weight. Generally speaking, the higher the carat weight, the more expensive the stone. Two diamonds of equal carat weight, however, can have very different quality and price when the other three Cs are considered. No matter how beautiful a diamond may look you simply cannot see its true quality. The 4Cs of diamond quality will provide you with the information you need to know the diamond's actual quality.
Information gathered from the Gemological Institute of America http://www.4cs.gia.edu/EN-US/index.htm
To learn about the Gemological Institute of America, coloured diamonds, other gemstones, or pearls visit http://www.gia.edu/ and if you have a young budding 'Gemmologist' check out http://gemkids.gia.edu/ where you and your child will learn fun facts!