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The 4 Cs: A Quick Guide to Diamond Grading

The 4 Cs: A Quick Guide to Diamond Grading

Diamond grading has long been one of the most important aspects of jewelry valuation. In the past, it involved going to an expert jeweler, someone with one of those tiny spyglasses that allow them to look deep into the gem and point out all of its flaws and perfections. Nowadays, though, this process can be done much easier. With the help of the Internet, you can find out (roughly) the quality of your diamond, and how much it might be worth to a prospective buyer. What should you be looking for when you are checking out the quality of your diamonds?


Cut doesn’t refer to the diamond’s shape per se, but more the amount of cuts to create the shape of the diamond. The amount and placement of the cuts on the diamond affect everything from the diamonds brilliance and radiance to how the light plays off the corners of the diamond. Most master cut diamonds are made with 58 facets, or cuts, and the amount of cuts on the stone show how much skill the cutter has. More cuts can mean less diamond value based upon weight, but they can also mean more clarity and shine for the diamond, which can also give the diamond more value.


If you’re looking for a diamond with perfect clarity, you might want to look somewhere other than Earth. Because diamonds are formed deep below the earth’s surface along with other rocks and minerals, virtually all diamonds contain small imperfections that cut down on their clarity. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) created an 11-point chart to evaluate the amount of blemishes inside the diamond. It takes a skilled grader to find the smallest imperfections in a stone, and in a business where one small speck inside a stone could mean the difference between thousands of dollars, skill is an important thing to have.


Diamonds come in a wide variety of colors. Ranging from clear to yellow, even all the way to brown, the GIA also has an intricate grading system for color. Going through D-Z on their chart will show small, minute differences between diamond colors. D grade diamonds, being the clearest, are some of the most difficult to come by, and Z grade diamonds, which are the yellowest, are more common and less expensive.


Carat, the American variation of the word karat, is the international unit for measuring the weight of diamonds. There are two different weight measurements: the carat and the point. The carat equals .2 grams, so a diamond weighting four carats equals .8 grams. The second unit of measurement for diamonds is the point, which equals .01 of a carat. A diamond that weighs 50 points equals ½ carat, where a diamond weighing 100 points is equal to one carat.

The art of diamond grading has been made easier in recent years by Internet technology and certification courses, but it still takes an extremely  skilled eye to correctly grade a diamond. While you may be able to estimate a value for your gem, you will never really know until you take your diamond into a trained specialist. Luckily, here at Gold Unlimited, we are able to certify your diamonds and jewelry to the best of our abilities, and give you a much better estimate of how much your jewelry is worth. So why not stop by with that diamond jewelry is really worth, and maybe walk out with some cash in your pocket, too.

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