The 4C's

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The 4 C’s


The 4 Cs (Clarity, Color, Cut and Carat Weight) are the main factors by which the diamond industry evaluates a diamond's physical attributes. It's very important to understand this basic terminology, as it is the mode by which diamond dealers rate diamonds comparatively, and the way in which diamonds are evaluated by laboratories which issue Diamond Grading Reports. Understanding the 4 Cs will enable you to grasp the details that are listed in your diamond's Grading Report, and give you the 4 most important words in the vocabulary of the diamond industry.

Diamond Shape

When talking about different cuts of diamonds it usually indicates different shapes of diamonds. You can choose from a variety of shapes of diamonds. The shape can have a greater impact on the sparkle of the diamond, which you will know if you are in the jewelry or diamond business.

The most popular cuts among diamonds are round, princess, cushion, marquise, heart, pear, oval, emerald, and trillion cuts. The shape will determine the extent of the sparkle of the diamond. The method of cutting into a particular shape used by the diamond cutter also is very vital. The diamond will surely lose its sparkle if it is poorly cut.

You must choose the shape that suits your taste while shopping for a diamond. You can also view different diamonds of the same shape to choose one with the best sparkle and cut that can truly glitter in all types of lighting.

Again, do not confuse diamond "cut" with "shape." Shape refers to the general outward appearance of the diamond, (such as round, emerald, or pear). When a diamond jeweler says "cut," that's a reference to the diamond's reflective qualities, not the shape or at least it should be, you might have found that even some "jewelers" don't appear to know the difference between "cut" and "shape".

Round Brilliant Cut
The most classic cut. The shape resembles that of a cone and is meant to maximize light return through the top of the diamond. A brilliant is a diamond, cut in a particular form with numerous facets so as to have especial brilliancy. The facets radiate outwards and are positioned so that the light coming through them interplays to enhance the diamond's brilliance, or sparkle. Rounds are the most popular shape that diamonds are cut into. It is also the most brilliant of all the cuts. You may have heard of a term called "Ideal Cut". This term refers to the attempt to cut a diamond into the best proportions to achieve maximum brilliance.

Princess Cut
The princess cut is a relatively new diamond cut and was designed for getting maximum brilliance from a square cut. Typically a four-sided square to slightly rectangular brilliant cut and the profile or side-on shape is similar to that of an inverted pyramid with four beveled sides. The princess cut diamond is more forgiving of diamond flaws and weaknesses than the less sparkling Emerald Cut Diamond or the Asscher Cut Diamond. We highly recommend you no less than G-H color and VS clarity of princess cut diamond for your engagement ring or wedding band.

Cushion Cut
First introduced into the jewelry market in 1830, the long-standing cushion diamond is rooted in mining history. Cut into a square or rectangular shape with rounded corners and sides, it's considered by many to be a softer version of the emerald cut. Possessing a character-rich antique look, the cushion-cut diamond is a favorite of those who prefer vintage-style rings and jewelry. Brilliant- or step-cut faceting infuses the cushion diamond with admirable sparkle. Every diamond shape has a length-to-width ratio, which determines how a diamond will appear when viewed from above. When selecting a square shaped cushion, look for a length-to-width ratio between 1 and 1.05. For those who prefer a rectangular shaped cushion, choose a length-to-width ratio of 1.15 or greater.

The Emerald Cut
It would be better to refer to octagonal diamonds, or the octagon cut, rather than the emerald cut. The reason for the slight misnomer is that not only are rough emeralds often found in and octagon shape, but they often retain more weight when cut as octagons, and also retain more color saturation in this shape. So, because octagonal is traditionally a common and good shape for emeralds, any other stone cut in a similar manner gets referred to as an emerald cut.

The Asscher Cut
In 1902 Joseph Asscher upholds his Father’s reputation for skill and innovation by designing the original Asscher Cut. This emblematic cut is the first signature cut to be patented. It can only be cut by the Asscher Diamond Company and sees strong sales internationally. The Asscher cut is a square cut characterized by a smaller table and larger step facet than an emerald cut. It features dramatic, cut corners. It usually has a high crown and a deeper pavilion than today's emerald cuts. Because of its high crown and small table, the Asscher cut has more light and fire than an emerald cut.

The Radiant Cut
The radiant cut can be considered to be an improved version of the princess cut, but combining its best features with those of the emerald cut. The radiant cut is a hybrid cut, a cross between a princess cut and an emerald cut. It combines the best features of the round brilliant cut, the square shape of the princess or square baguette cut, and the cut corners of the emerald cut. Like the princess cut, it is normally used for near-square stones rather than oblong ones.

The Marquise Cut
The marquise cut diamond is a variation of the round brilliant cut. It could be considered as a round brilliant cut that has been stretched out into an oval with pointed ends, although this is a rather unscientific description. The modern round brilliant cut is generally the best cut for diamonds, and justly remains the most popular. Modified brilliant cuts, such as the marquise shape can at best approach the brilliance and sparkle of a perfect round brilliant cut, but if they are badly proportioned, it is also easy for them to lose brilliance. In addition, marquise shapes can be too fat, too thin, or just right, although personal preference may color an individual's view of the precise outline.

The Pear Shape
The pear shape, also called teardrop, diamond is a variation of the round brilliant cut. It could be considered as a round brilliant cut at one end, and a marquise shape at the other end. The marquise cut is itself a modified brilliant cut. The modern round brilliant cut is generally the best cut for diamonds, and justly remains the most popular. Modified brilliant cuts, such as the pear shape can at best approach the brilliance and sparkle of a perfect round brilliant cut, but if they are badly proportioned, it is also easy for them to lose brilliance. In addition, pear shapes can be too fat, too thin, or just right, although personal preference may color an individual's view of the precise outline.

The Heart Shape
The heart shape is surely the romantic shape for a diamond. Basically it is a pear shape with a notch cut into the rounded end. Heart and pear shaped diamonds are variations of the round brilliant cut. The modern round brilliant cut is generally the best cut for diamonds, and justly remains the most popular. Modified brilliant cuts, such as the heart shape can at best approach the brilliance and sparkle of a perfect round brilliant cut, but if they are badly proportioned, it is also easy for them to lose brilliance. In addition, heart shapes can be too fat, too thin, or just right, although personal preference may color an individual's view of the precise outline.

The Oval Shape
The oval shaped diamond is a variation of the round brilliant cut. It could be considered as a round brilliant cut that has been squeezed so that it is narrower on one direction and longer in the other. The modern round brilliant cut is generally the best cut for diamonds, and justly remains the most popular. Modified brilliant cuts, such as the oval shape can at best approach the brilliance and sparkle of a perfect round brilliant cut, but if they are badly proportioned, it is also easy for them to lose brilliance. In addition, oval shapes can be too fat, too thin, or just right, although personal preference may color an individual's view of the precise outline.

The Triangle (Trilliant) Shape
There are many ways to draw a triangle, and there are many ways to craft a triangle cut diamond. There are also many names the triangle shaped diamonds appear under in the marketplace: trillion, trilliant, and trillium – all of which describe a diamond cut in a shape of a triangle. Trillion cut diamonds were first developed in Amsterdam, and often traditionally used as side stones to a larger solitaire on engagement rings. However, for the more adventurous spirit, the trillion cut diamond makes a perfect center stone as it can hold it's own with no problem. The trillion shape is a brilliant cut, which means that it catches the light well which is what gives it that sparkle and fire.

 
     



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