The Four Cs of Selling Your Diamond
Empire Pawn of Nassau Inc
Gold Jewelry, Engagement Ring, Antique Jewelry
If you’re planning to sell or take a loan on a diamond, it’s important to understand the “4Cs” in how it will be evaluated and appraised. The global jewelry industry standard can be confusing for many people, especially for first-time sellers. Which “C” is most important? What factors determine not just a diamond’s aesthetic beauty, but its market value?
So, What Is a Quality Diamond?
The general guideline for a diamond of quality is a carat size of .50 points (1/2 carat) or larger, color of D-H, and clarity of SI2 (slightly included 2) or better. For cut, it’s preferred to have a depth and table proportion of 56 to 62 percent, and good or better polish and symmetry.
The GIA International Diamond Grading System is the industry standard when an appraiser evaluates a diamond’s beauty and value. A report should be provided by an impartial expert, preferably one who is GIA-trained to prevent over- or under-grading a diamond’s value.
In the ’40s and ’50s, the Gemologists Institute of America (GIA), an educational and research non-profit organization founded in 1931, developed the “4Cs” and the GIA International Diamond Grading System™ to objectively compare and evaluate diamonds. Today, even if you buy or sell a diamond in another part of the world, the jeweler will likely use the same GIA grading systems.
Understanding The 4Cs
Color: Most diamonds run from colorless to near colorless, with slight hints of yellow or brown. “Color” is not how much color a diamond has, but the degree to which it’s colorless. The GIA set the industry standard with its D-Z scale (D is colorless and Z is the yellowest.) The exceptions to this rule are the more rare blue or pink diamonds which aren’t included in the GIA’s D-Z scale.
Clarity: Most diamonds have tiny crystals, feathers, or clouds within them, called “inclusions.” Surface imperfections are called “blemishes.” The rarest diamonds are flawless and have no internal inclusions or external blemishes. The GIA uses a Clarity Scale of 11 grades that is measured using 10X magnifications.
Carat: Signifies the weight — not the size — of the diamond. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams. Since heavier diamonds are rarer than smaller diamonds, the higher the carat weight, the higher the value.
Cut: The cut of a diamond refers to its proportions, symmetry and polish. When evaluating cut, two aspects are evaluated: its shape (round, marquise, square cut, etc.), and how well the cutting was executed. It must be geometrically precise, since it will affect a diamond’s fire (the flash of rainbow colors from within) and brilliance (its sparkle). The cut was historically the most subjective and difficult to standardize during appraisal, but due to advances in technology, the GIA introduced its Diamond Cut Grading System in 2005.
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