14K Grace Owl Pendant
- 14K Gold
- 1 Inch Tall
The Four C’s cut, color, clarity, and carat are the criteria by which diamonds are graded. The system was developed by The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in 1931 and adopted by the entire industry in the late 1990s.
The Four C’s are based on a diamond’s rarity: the rarer the C (not necessarily the most sparkle) the more the C contributes to the diamond’s price. The Four C’s are completely independent of each other. For example, a diamond can have high color but a low clarity, or high clarity but a low cut, etc. So unless you know all of the Four C’s, it’s impossible to compare one diamond to another.
A full cut round diamond has 58 facets. Think of the facets as mirrors. Light enters the diamond, bounces across the various facets, and eventually leaves the stone. If a single facet is not positioned properly, light leaks out of the diamond and does not maximize brilliance. The better the diamond cut, the more expensive the diamond. The GIA cut grades are poor, fair, good, very good, and excellent.
The cut of the diamond also refers to the shape of the stone. Some shapes are known for being more of the classic and some more modern. The round is also the most sought after shape because it it known for having the most brilliance. The other shapes are referred to as fancy shape diamonds.
Minerals get trapped in the diamond when it’s forming. Often these trace elements will alter the color of the diamond. When nitrogen is trapped in the diamond, the diamond begins to turn yellow. The color scale is from D-Z. As you slide down the scale there is more nitrogen present, the diamond becomes more yellow, the diamond is less rare, and therefore costs less money.
Most often, we see traces of the natural growth process in the finished diamond. These are called inclusions. Inclusions are characteristics such as scratches that are confined to the surface of a diamond. Inclusions (trapped minerals, breaks, growth marks), however, are either totally confined to the inside of a diamond, or they start inside a diamond and break through its surface. The clarity scale ranges from Flawless to Included. The in-between grades assess how apparent the inclusions are when viewed under 10X magnification. The fewer inclusions, the rarer the diamond, the more expensive it can be.
Carat refers to the weight of a diamond. A carat diamond can be divided into 100 points, just as 1 dollar can be divided into 100 cents. Therefore, a 50 point diamond equals 1/2 ct and so on. The more a diamond weighs, the rarer the diamond, the more expensive.
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