Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Which Diamond "C" Is The Most Important?

Photo: Getty Images - 101.7-carat - Worlds largest flawless diamond
Pure carbon, heat and pressure makes a diamond. The gem is the hardest natural mineral on earth. It takes 1-3 billion years for nature to create one and 6-10 weeks for a lab to do so. Although both are real diamonds with the same chemical composition, lab diamonds are substantially cheaper due to demand. The demand for diamonds made by nature is greater.*

Most of us know when buying diamonds there are 4 Cs to consider and they determine the value. But do you know how the 4 Cs fall in importance? I won't keep you in suspense for long! When buying diamonds the order of importance is the following:
Photo: Blue Nile

1) Cut -  The most important of the 4 Cs is the cut. Why? Because it has the biggest influence on the diamond's sparkle (its "brilliance" and "fire"). Even if a diamond has a perfect color and clarity, a poor cut -- one that is too "shallow" or "deep" -- will make a diamond look dull. In an "ideal" cut -- one in the right proportion -- "light is returned out of the top of the diamond" (source: Blue Nile Jewelers).
2) Color - The 2nd most important C is a diamond's color ... in reality its lack of color. The less color the higher the grade and cost of a diamond. 

3) Carat - The 3rd C in the hierarchy is the carat, which refers to the diamond's total weight, not it's size.
4) Clarity - Often the least important C is clarity since tiny imperfections are microscopic and can't be seen with the naked eye. Natural diamonds nearly always have flaws: blemishes (exterior) and inclusions (interior) but usually lumped together as inclusions. The number and size of inclusions will set the price as they can effect the beauty, brilliance (how well white light reflects) and fire (how well colored light reflects) of the diamond. Tiny imperfections that can only be seen by using a loupe may not effect the beauty of the diamond to the naked eye.
The value of diamonds gets complicated. Bigger diamonds are rarer in nature, therefore a 5 carat diamond will cost much more than 5 times the cost of a 1 carat diamond.

On a budget, you can get more carats for your money by choosing lower grades of color and clarity and still end up with beautiful diamonds. In order words, by being flexible with color and clarity, you can get a great effect without going broke.
Here's how I see it. Like sapphires, rubies, emeralds and other precious stones, diamonds are the work of nature over billions of years improved by the artistry of man. Although the element carbon is as common as dirt, people covet and will pay $1000s for it after heat and pressure have worked their magic by turning it into a diamond.

*Diamonds created by nature are marketed as unique; no two are alike. Lab grown diamonds can be mass produced in a factory, which lowers their price. Weather or not, it's a bad thing is debateable. Hey, I'll take an affordable lab grown 20 carat diamond. Hand it over! :)

You may also enjoy:
Rubies The Scarlet Stones
For The Love Of Sapphires  
Royal Engagement: Rings Let's Take A Look 
Find Something Gorgeous At Macy's Like Fine Jewelry


  1. Dearest Debbie,
    Well, I've been very lucky for having received some perfect quality diamond with Keshi pearls designed by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany, from my boss in Jakarta! They are of the highest values and we sure did sent them off for an evaluation. Got shocked by learning their value... but also felt honored!

    1. I think I'm familiar with the design as Tiffany continues to sell such a necklace, bracelet and earrings. If so, I hope you were gifted the entire set! Even a single piece reveals a truly lovely boss ... and rare as few lovely bosses are so generous. Enjoy them.:)

    2. No Debbie, those Elsa Peretti Earrings of South Sea Keshi pearls with diamonds never have been in a set with necklace and earrings... This was already a more than regal gift! 💝

    3. Very well, Mariette.

      Elsa Peretti has designed a set for Tiffany's, and it's on their website should you want to take a look to see it. If ever you post your earrings, do let me know. Lovely earrings, I'm sure.

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