The 4 C's
Colour, Clarity, Cut, and Carat - the 4 C's of diamonds to consider before purchasing an engagement ring. We are here to guide you with our expert knowledge
The 4C's of diamonds
Welcome to Steven Stone’s diamond education page. Here you will find all the information on diamond characteristics you need to know before purchasing. Our Diamond Education pages will help you understand all essential diamond features and exactly how they affect the quality and appearance of the stone. To find your perfect diamond, you need to consider its crucial characteristics known as the 4Cs. We would like to take you beyond the basics and guide you through all the characteristics affecting the appearance and value of diamonds.
The diamond’s cut is the most significant of all features. It refers to the stone’s shape viewed from above and affects its brilliance and light dispersion. Diamond cutting requires absolute precision and superb craftsmanship – perhaps one of the most important processes in the art of making diamond jewellery. Understanding how diamond cut works to capture and reflect light is key to selecting the perfect diamond engagement ring.
Our diamonds are colour graded in GIA laboratories, compared to round brilliant diamonds called master stones. The clearer the diamond, the higher the value. The whitest, most desirable and highest rated colour grade is D. The diamond’s colour impact could be lowered or concealed by other features, such as clarity and fluorescence.
Clarity comprises the stone’s imperfections, also known as inclusions. The less imperfections a diamond has, the higher the clarity grade. The highest grade of clarity is FL, which stands for flawless, followed by IF – internally flawless. A more affordable option than FL or IF diamonds are the Eye clean diamonds, which have no visible to the naked eye imperfections and are graded VVSI – SI1.
Diamonds are a form of the element carbon. Due to their molecular structure – every carbon atom is covalently bonded to four other atoms – they have extremely high durability and melting point and are amongst the hardest materials in nature. The stone’s creation process takes place up to 200km below the Earth’s surface and requires extremely high temperatures, immense pressure and billions of years. Once formed, volcanic eruptions bring diamond crystals closer to the surface. After mining, diamonds are sent off to be cut, polished and evaluated. Annually about 26,000 kilograms of diamonds are mined across the globe.
History of Diamonds
The history of diamonds dates back to 4th century B.C India, where the precious stones were used as trading commodities. Used as a symbol of eternal love in ancient Egypt, diamonds were brought to Europe by Alexander The Great, for their supposed magical and healing powers. Modern diamond market was established in 1888 in South Africa, by De Beers brothers – diamonds are now the most popular gemstone used in engagement rings.
Diamond certificates are issued by gemmologists after careful quality inspection and evaluation. Steven Stone sells only diamonds certified by GIA - the strictest body with ethical standards and the highest integrity of certification. Diamonds are assessed under controlled conditions, based on their characteristics such as colour, polish, dimensions and symmetry.
Conflict free diamonds policy
Since its establishment, Steven Stone has been providing its customers with fair trade, GIA certified diamonds only. We ensure all of our suppliers adhere to the Kimberley Process, which prevents conflict diamonds from reaching mainstream markets. Thanks to the Kimberley Process, diamond trade and purchases are now strictly regulated - money raised by diamond profits is used for the advantage of local communities and the benefit of the environment.
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