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The diamond grading system was developed by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America). The four main properties or 4 C’s are Carat, Cut, Clarity and Colour. Each of these 4 C’s impact the rarity and ultimately the value of your diamond.
Diamonds are weighed in metric carats. One carat equals .20 of a gram. A carat is divided into a 100 points, so if you have a 25 point diamond that would be the same as a quarter carat. The greater the carat weight the rarer the diamond is and the more valuable it becomes.
Diamonds are formed under very unique circumstances and because of this the majority of them contain birthmarks otherwise known as inclusions. The size, colour and location of these inclusions determine the clarity of the diamond. The different clarity grades range from FL(flawless), VVS(Very very slight inclusions), VS(Very Slight inclusion), to SI(Slight inclusion) and I (Included).
Colour is graded on an alphabetical scale starting at D which represents colourless and continues with increasing colour to Z. Most diamonds sold in jewellery stores fit into this range however there are fancy coloured diamonds in yellows, pinks and blues just to name a few.
The cut of a diamond does not refer to shape but the symmetry, polish and proportion of a diamond. The cut of a diamond has a significant impact on the brilliance of the diamond.