Fabulous Fashion: The Four C’s

“Kissing your hand may make you feel very good,

but a diamond lasts forever.”

~Anita Loos

author of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

The Four C’s

How could I have a Tiffany & Co. week on Oh Lovely Lolo and not talk about diamonds? The most important thing to know when picking out diamonds are “The Four C’s” which stand for: Carat, Cut, Color, and Clarity. Below are the definitions from the Tiffany & Co. website. Not one of the C’s is more important than the other, it all depends on personal preference. Read on to learn about the legendary 4 C’s!

Carat

The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. One carat equals 0.200 grams. The Tiffany Gemological Laboratory measures diamonds to 1/1000 of a carat.

Carat weight alone does not determine a diamond’s value. Two stones of equal weight can vary widely in price because of quality differences. In fact, a smaller diamond may actually be more beautiful than a larger stone with inferior cut, clarity, color or presence.

When considering diamonds of equal quality, the larger stone will have considerably more value. Usually, a two-carat diamond will be more than twice as valuable as a one-carat stone.

Every Tiffany diamond is cut to achieve the perfect balance of brilliance, dispersion and scintillation.


Cut

Cut refers to the facet proportions on the surface of a diamond. More than any other factor, the precision of these facets determines the beauty of the stone. However, there is a sacrifice.

When a stone is cut to maximize brilliance, dispersion and scintillation, it usually loses size. More of the stone must be cut away. Conversely, when cut for size, the diamond usually loses brilliance, dispersion and scintillation.

Tiffany diamonds are always cut for beauty, not size. The precise shape, placement and angle of each facet determine a diamond’s brilliance.


Color

Less is more. A diamond’s color grade is a key quality evaluation, but often misleading. This is because the ideal engagement diamond is characterized by a lack of color. That is to say, it is clear to the point of being colorless or nearly colorless.

The colored tinting found in most diamonds is caused by minute impurities within the stone. The untrained eye is incapable of making the color evaluations that can affect the value of a stone by thousands of dollars.

At the Tiffany Gemological Laboratory, the color of each diamond is determined by comparing it to authenticated “master diamonds.” Each stone is then color-graded to a precise scale from “D” (colorless) to “Z” (saturated).

Only diamonds “I” or better are accepted by Tiffany.

Clarity

Clarity measures the flawlessness of a diamond. A diamond’s clarity rating has a direct effect on a diamond’s beauty and price. Virtually all diamonds have imperfections called inclusions and blemishes.

A stone is said to be “flawless” if, under 10-power magnification, no external imperfections or internal flaws are visible. A truly flawless diamond is extremely rare and priced accordingly.

All gem-grade diamonds can receive a clarity rating based on an industry standard scale: FL (flawless) to I3 (heavily included).

Tiffany gemologists reject flaws that many other jewelers accept, including chips and laser drill holes.

Presence

Tiffany & Co. has additional and important diamond quality standards that reach well beyond the customary 4C’s. These measures, which Tiffany collectively calls “Presence,” include precision of cut, symmetry and polish. Individually and as a group, they influence a diamond’s brilliance, dispersion, scintillation and overall appearance.

“A diamond is a chunk of coal

that is made good under pressure.”

~Henry Kissinger

Information from: http://www.tiffany.com/
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