4C’s

CLARITY:

Clarity refers to the presents or in finer quality diamonds, the absence of external (“Blemishes’) and internal (“Inclusions”) imperfections.   The size, number, position, nature (kind), and color of imperfections are the factors an experienced grader, usually a Gemologist will sum up as a whole, and place a grade.

The GIA system of clarity grading is the international standard used by leading diamond professionals and carries a respected tradition of integrity and authority.

The system of clarity grading terminology use by GIA in its Gem Trade Laboratories are categorized in eleven grades, and are described:  Flawless, Internally Flawless, and two categories each of Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 - VVS2), Very Slightly Included (VS1 - VS2), Slightly Included (SI1 - SI2), and three categories of Imperfect (I1 - I2 - I3).

All of our non-certified diamonds are accurately graded according to very strict GIA standards.  As a general rule, the higher the quality of the stone, the more likely we are to submit the stone to GIA for a diamond grading report.

CUT:

Cut refers to the placement of facets, and not the shape of a diamond, (Pear-cut, Emerald-cut, and Marquise-cut)

At Barnhart’s you can view your selection of loose diamonds in a proportion scope, and under a gemological microscope.

When discussing cut of a diamond, three factors should be addressed.  These factors are:  Brilliance, Dispersion (“Fire”), and Scintillation (“Sparkle”).  Of the 4-C’s, cut is the only one that is controlled by human’s and not nature.  The degree of craftsmanship on the part of the cutter, when placing facets on a diamond, sets one diamond apart from another.  This properly finished diamond is referred to as the Ideal-cut diamond.

Most diamonds are cut to retain weight, and because more of the original rough diamond must be sacrificed to achieve an ideal cut diamond only a small percentage of diamonds enter the market as Ideal-cut diamonds.

We also inventory diamonds that are discounted because of their lack of craftsmanship, clarity and color.

These diamonds may have been originally purchased locally at a retail jeweler, and have since, made their way into the secondary market and not purchased back by the retail jeweler.

COLOR:

Of all the factors affecting the grade of a diamonds, color is the most subjective.  Barnhart Jewelers uses Master Color Comparison Diamonds.   Master Color Comparison Diamonds have been certified by the Gem Trade Laboratory at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Diamonds are the only gemstone in which the absence of body color increases its value.  The vast majority of diamonds offered to the consumer, exhibit tints of light yellow (H - I - J - K)

The colorless end of the GIA scale starts with the letter “D“.  “D” being the highest grade diamond “Colorless” and progressively increasing in body color to “Z”.   It is a fact that only a very small percentage of diamonds are truly colorless, therefore this means that the majority of customers buy diamonds with a slight tint of yellow color.

It would be wise to avoid jewelry retailers who use terms and symbols to designate diamond color grades such as e.g., 0. 1, 2, 3, etc., or 0, I, II, etc.  Other firms use the alphabet or modifications of it, e.g. AA, A, B, C, etc.

CARAT: 

Weight.  The standard unit of weight for a diamond, a carat, equals 200 milligrams (1/5 g), and a point is one hundredth (1/100) of a carat. When you use points to advertise or label the weight of a diamond, you must also state the diamond’s weight as decimal parts of a carat, as in “25 points or .25 carat.”

Tolerance ranges must be reasonable.  For example, you can identify a diamond’s weight as ½ carat when the weight of your diamond ranges between 0.42 carat and 0.55 carat.  But this would not be acceptable if they never sold a diamond (advertised as ½ carat) with a actual carat weight of 0.55.

More than likely the ½ carat diamond you pick out of the ½ carat promotional group is not going to be the .55 carat diamond that allows the seller to sell a .42 carat diamond as a true ½ carat diamond.  This diamond is usually visually inferior or unpleasant when viewed side by side with a diamond, from the same group of promotionally advertised, fractionally described rings that of weight.