Before going shopping at jewelry stores in Pittsburgh, be sure you understand the 4Cs of diamonds
Whether you’re shopping for jewelry for the first time or just want to understand more about the quality of diamonds, understanding the 4Cs of diamonds ensures you’re selecting a gem you’ll cherish forever. So, what are the 4Cs of diamonds? When grading the quality of diamonds, carat, color, cut, and clarity are taken into consideration. Before you shop at any jewelry stores in Pittsburgh, you’ll first need to understand how each category is judged and how you can use the 4Cs to determine what gems fit your needs.
When it comes to diamonds, the 4Cs not only determine the quality of a diamond but also the price. Before the 20th century, there was no unified way to determine the quality and price of diamonds. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) established a system to grade the quality of diamonds, which is now accepted as the universal grading system.
While a diamond with a high grade in every criteria will cost the most, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the perfect gem for you. What matters most is what you think of the diamond and how well it fits within your budget. When shopping at a jewelry store in Pittsburgh, you can use the 4Cs as a tool to decide between gems to determine which gem is right for you.
Oftentimes, people mistake carats as the size of the gem, but carats actually measure the weight of a diamond. When diamonds are measured, that measurement will always be shown in points. One carat equals 100 points and weighs 1/5 grams. Using that metric, diamonds are then priced by multiplying the carat weight by the price per carat.
When examining the color of a diamond, the GIA technically looks for the lack of color. When diamonds are found naturally, the color of the diamond can range from a yellow hue to clear. The clearer the diamond, the higher the value of the diamond. GIA uses a scale from D-to-Z, D meaning the diamond is perfectly clear with no hue.
Out of the 4Cs, the cut of the diamond is the only factor that isn’t influenced by nature. This rank takes into account the quality of the cut and how well the diamond is faceted, proportioned, and polished. When thinking about the cut of a diamond, be sure not to confuse this with the shape of the diamond. The particular style of the diamond’s shape is completely up to your own personal preference. So, what goes into examining a diamond’s cut?
Taking these factors and more into consideration, gemologists assess the design and craftsmanship to give it a grade of either Excellent (EX), Very Good (VG), Good, or Fair (F).
The clarity element of the 4Cs is determined by the natural imperfections of the diamond. The fewer imperfections, the higher the clarity of the diamond. This is determined by taking a look at the diamond under a microscope at 10x magnification and naked eye visibility. Professional graders will look for the diamond’s blemishes and inclusions, which are essentially birthmarks of diamonds when they’re found naturally. Five factors play a role in evaluating the diamond’s blemishes and inclusions.
Using these factors, clarity of diamonds is ranked on a scale between Flawless or Internally Flawless (FL/IF) to Included (I1).
Now that you understand each element of the 4Cs, it’s time to figure out how to make those work within your budget. There’s no right or wrong gem based on the 4Cs, so selecting a gem is truly up to personal preference. That being said, the 4Cs will determine the price of a diamond. So, how can you prioritize the 4Cs to work within your budget when shopping at jewelry stores in Pittsburgh?
When shopping for rings at jewelry stores in Pittsburgh, the most important factor is finding a gem you will love forever. At Lisa Marie Kotchey Design, we will work with you to find the perfect gem that fits your budget and your preferences. Get in touch with us today to get started with crafting the perfect ring for you.