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The basics of the 4 c’s


The ‘shape’ and ‘style’ of a faceted gemstone.

Today’s most popular cuts are the round brilliant cut and the princess cut (also known as the square modified brilliant). Each with a total of 58 facets, they are designed to allow optimal “total internal reflection” which is important, because this means optimum sparkle! Before the round brilliant cut was developed in 1919 by Marcel Tolkowsky, common cut styles were the old mine, rose cuts and 8-cuts. These are still commonly seen in antique jewellery and even some modern jewellery today. 


The ‘weight’ of a gemstone.

Today, quite commonly, it is “size that matters”! The actual ‘visual’ size of a stone will vary even if they are the same type and weight. However, the carat is constantly measured by: 1.00ct = 0.20 gram / 5.00ct = 1.00 gram


The ‘whiteness’ of a diamond.

Diamonds come in many colours, but when considered “colourless” the scale D – Z is used. “D” is considered the whitest and “Z” the one to draw most colour. Any colour above “J” is considered to be white to the naked eye. Below “J” you may start to see a hint of colour. The most commonly known colour is “yellow” which is caused by the nitrogen content within the diamond. However browns and greys are also graded using this scale. Diamonds are graded against a known certified master set, meaning that boundaries are always consistent. “Fancy colours” (blue, pink, yellow etc) have their own grading structure using terms such as “Fancy Light, Fancy Intense, Fancy Deep” etc.


The description of inclusions and blemishes.

Clarity is quite often misunderstood by sales people and therefore by customers. Clarity grades are used to describe the diamonds internal inclusions and blemishes. These grades are based on several determining factors including size, colour and position. Despite the fact that clarity is always determined by using 10x magnification, above the “Included” grades (see below), the average human eye will not be able to see any imperfections to the naked eye.

Clarity Scale:

IF - Internally Flawless
VVS1, VVS2 - Very Very Slightly Included.
VS1, VS2 - Very Slightly Included.
SI1, SI2 - Slightly Included.
I1, I2, and I3 - Included.

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