The 5 C’s of a diamond

Don’t worry you haven’t read the title wrong, yes we mean 5 C’s instead of the normal 4 C’s.  While the 4 C’s relate to the gemstone itself, the 5th C (certificate) is just as important.  So why are all of these so important when it comes to making a decision when buying diamond jewellery?  Well the 4 C’s of a diamond will have a big impact on the value and quality of your diamond while the diamond certificate is your guarantee of quality.


What are the 5 C’s of a diamond?

As previously mentioned, the 5 C’s are the 4’C’s of diamonds with the diamond certificate also included.  Traditionally the 4 C’s of a diamond where carat, clarity, colour and cut.  All of these have an impact on how your diamond will look, but perhaps more important, how valuable it is today and how valuable it will be in years to come.  The 4 C’s work together to influence the value and quality of your diamond and the certificate is a guarantee of this.  The diamond certificate is something that many consumers ignore, but if you are planning on splashing out on a diamond engagement ring or diamond jewellery in the near future, be sure to ask about the diamond certificate.

The 5 C's of a diamond

Why are the 5 C's so important?

The impact the 4 C’s carry on the quality of your diamond will play a big role in the price you pay for your jewellery and also how valuable it is.  Understanding carat, clarity, colour and cut will allow you to know something about your diamond and create a better understanding of the true value of the stone before deciding whether or not to make a purchase.


What is carat and why is it important?

Carat weight is a measurement of the size of a diamond.  Carat weight is measured in points so 100 points equals 1 carat.  Likewise, 50 points equals 0.5 carats.  Carat weight has perhaps the biggest bearing on the overall value of your diamond but this will still be impacted by clarity, colour and cut. 

Bigger isn’t always better with diamonds, as a diamond weighing 0.5 carats may be more valuable than one weighing 1.0 carats with clarity, colour and cut all having an impact.  It is also worth noting that one diamond weighing 1 carat is usually worth more than jewellery with two diamonds of 0.50 carats.  The chart below looks at carat weight.

carat weight of a diamond


Understanding the importance of diamond clarity

Diamond clarity measures how your stone reacts to light.  It looks at how light passes through your stone as diamonds can refract more light than any other gemstone.  Clarity is measured in a scale that ranges from flawless to stones that have visible inclusions.  Interior inclusions and exterior flaws will influence the clarity of your diamond and these are a result of the natural formation of diamonds. 

A flawless diamond is one that has no inclusions or flaws and allows light to pass through without interference.  These are much rarer and as a result much more expensive.  They are also the highest quality of stone.  Inclusions and flaws all impact on the value of your stone and the size and location of these will impact on the overall value of your stone.  The fewer inclusions your stone has, the more valuable it will be.

clarity of a diamond


Colour and your diamond

When we talk about diamond colour, it relates to the scale of colour of the stone.  This goes from colourless (clear) to a light yellow colour.  While you can get other coloured gemstones, diamonds will go from colourless to light yellow and this will have an impact on cost.  All things being equal, the closer your diamond is to being colourless, the more valuable and expensive it will be.  The scale for measuring the colour of a diamond goes from D to Z.

colour of a diamond


The importance of the cut of your diamond

The cut of a diamond allows it to make the best use of light, helping to provide the sparkle that so many of us desire when choosing a diamond ring or other diamond jewellery.  The cut of a diamond allows light to travel through the stone before being dispensed out of the top of the diamond.  Diamond cutters work for years to master the technique of cutting diamonds to make the best use of natural light and this again impacts on the overall value of your diamond jewellery.  The most popular diamond cuts include round, pear, emerald and princess.

the cut of a diamond


The growing importance of your diamond certificate

The final member of the 5 C’s is your diamond certificate and it has an increasingly important role to play in measuring the quality and value of your diamond.  Some jewellers will oversell the value and quality of a diamond, leaving the buyer paying more than it is actually worth.  Before purchasing your diamond engagement ring or any piece of diamond jewellery, be sure to ask about a diamond certificate as the guarantee for the value of the diamond.  If the jeweller has been fair in their valuation of the diamond this shouldn’t be an issue. 

Diamond certificates are provided by some of the most respected diamond labs in the world including GIA, HRD, IGI, AGS, CIBJO & Anchor Certificates so do look out for these labs on your certificate.  If your jeweller can’t provide you with a diamond certificate, it’s time to consider looking elsewhere.

Certificated diamonds


When buying any piece of diamond jewellery, be sure to familiarise yourself with the 4 C’s of a diamond and also become familiar with the leading diamond labs who will certify your diamond.  This will put you in a much better position when it comes to shopping around with jewellers.  If you would like more information on the importance and role of the 5 C’s mentioned above, please get in touch with our team of diamond experts here at Portfolio.

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