4Cs of Diamonds
Hello Darlings, We've all heard it – diamonds are a girl’s best friend! As much as we adore this metastable allotrope of carbon, what exactly should we know about it? In a sense, a diamond remains a mystery to so many of us. However, every diamond is as precious and unique as a woman wearing it and each varies in character. So I set out on a mission to learn all about diamonds and what determines their quality.
Last week, I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Ji Song, co-owner and Chief Engagement Officer of Engage Diamond Studio who specialize in custom engagement rings and jewellery and are certified diamond specialists. I not only learned all about the much talked about 4Cs but the creative process that goes into creating a piece of custom jewellery. Nothing gives a piece of jewellery as much meaning as having it designed just for you and being able to witness that process and evolution was definitely a treat.
Engage Diamond Studio genuinely focuses on educating their clients in order to make an informed decision. While I was there, we focused on diamonds and the 4Cs, although I’m sure I could have spent days with Ji discussing all there is to know about other fine gemstones and metals. The 4Cs were established in the middle of the 20th century to describe a diamond’s colour, clarity, cut and carat. So in order for you to understand the quality of the stone, it is important to know the true meaning of each of those categories.
Carat is probably the most misunderstood description which is a measure of weight NOT size. One carat is 0.2 grams and five carats is 1 gram. A one carat ring of different cuts will vary in size. That’s right ladies; a carat has nothing to do with the size of the stone!
Clarityrefers to how clean a diamond is, meaning it will describe the imperfections or inclusions. The majority of diamonds have a wide variety of natural flaws which vary in visibility. Marks that are visible to the naked eye are in clarity of I1 or lower; meanwhile a stone with clarity of SI2 or higher will be hard to see with a naked eye.
The best way to judge the clarity is to inspect the diamond loose and under a binocular gemological microscope with a minimum magnification power of 10X. Don’t just look at the diamond through a jeweller’s loupe, the chances are you won’t spot much! I tested the difference myself and promise that it’s no minor detail.
Colour determines how clear the diamond is. The majority of diamonds have a natural yellowish hue as a result of structural atomic impurities. Essentially, the more yellow the stone, the less valuable it is. In order for you to clearly see the color, examine a loose stone under the light. Also, be sure to turn it upside down so that the bottom of the stone is facing upwards.
Cut is the most important factor and one that will determine the shine and sparkle. A diamond that is naturally great (good colour and clarity) can be ruined with a bad cut. Since diamonds are the hardest substance on Earth they are not easy to cut however, it is the cut that will determine how the light travels through the stone.
A ring that is deep cut will have the light escaping at the bottom and therefore appearing watery and will look smaller. A shallow cut is when the light sneaks out the sides making the stone look dull in the center almost like a fish eye. Essentially, making sure that the cut is ideal will ensure that the stone is at its best.
This was such an amazing experience that I would recommend anyone to take the time and actually learn about the 4Cs on location with a jeweller that you trust. Personally, I really did enjoy the very personal service approach at Engage Diamond Studio and would encourage anyone in the GTA looking for custom jewellery (or engagement rings for you loverbirds out there) to check them out. Their open showcase concept makes it fun to play around will all types of jewellery too. Just wandering around and trying on whatever interests you is quite refreshing in comparison to the majority of jewellers.
*in collaboration with Engage Diamond Studio. The views and opinions expressed are my own