Every diamond is unique. Each reflects the story of its arduous journey from deep inside the earth to a cherished object of adornment. Yet all diamonds share certain features that allow us to compare and evaluate them. These features are called the 4Cs and represent Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat weight.
A certificate from the world’s most respected laboratories accompanies all fine quality diamonds from Bentley. The report will fully describe the stone and evaluate each of the diamond’s critical factors affecting it’s quality, beauty, and value.
Here's a list of some other important characteristics that should be factored into your diamond purchase:
The cut of a diamond is not its shape, but the precision and polishing that went into taking it from the rough to a finished gem. How well a diamond is cut will determine how brilliant it is. If the angles of a diamond are cut correctly you’ll see more sparkle in the diamond as it “breathes fire in your eyes.” Ideally, you want your diamond to be cut exactly proportional by a master cutter.
When evaluating the cut, you should observe the stone from the top and the sides. The table should be centered and symmetrical while the proportion of the gem should not be too shallow or deep.
This refers to the natural color of the diamond. Most diamonds contain naturally occurring tints of brown and yellow color but can still appear colorless. A colorless diamond is the rarest of diamonds and reflects the most light. Color grades are determined by comparing each diamond to a master scale. Each letter grade represents a range of color and is a measure of how noticeable the color is.
The GIA Color Scale extends from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or Brown). Color D, E, and F are considered to be in the exceptional color category.
Given that diamonds form under tremendous heat and pressure, internal and external characteristics are common. These characteristics help gemologists separate natural diamonds from synthetics and identify individual stones. There are two types of clarity characteristics: inclusions and blemishes. Inclusions are enclosed within a diamond while blemishes are confined to its surface. Almost all diamonds contain very tiny natural markings, or inclusions, but most are not visible to the naked eye.
The GIA Clarity Scale includes eleven clarity grades ranging from Flawless to I3. The beauty of a diamond is generally not affected when it falls in the FL to SI range.
Diamonds are weighed on a scale, measured in carats. One carat equals 1/5 of a gram in weight. For diamonds under a carat, each carat is divided into 100 points – similar to pennies in a dollar. 0.75ct. = 75 points, ½ ct. = 50 points.
Ultimately you must decide which characteristics are most important to you and what will fit in your budget. Below are the four factors in order of importance based on value and beauty.