For most people, buying a diamond is a new experience that can be quite bewildering. To make the process simpler, here is a brief guide of the basic elements. Remember that our gemmologists and jewellers are always happy to guide you through the process of selecting the best diamond for your budget. Click here to make an appointment for one of our gemmologists to help you find your perfect diamond.
Diamond Buying Guide the Four Cs
You have probably heard of the 4Cs as the fundamental method for assessing a diamond’s key attributes. Here is a brief explanation of these, with a particular focus on ‘Cut’ – which we consider to be the most over-looked feature of extremely high quality diamonds.
The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance. Put simply, the better a diamond is cut, the more brilliance (‘sparkle’) it will have.
Of the 4Cs, we consider cut to be the most important characteristic because it has the greatest influence on a diamond’s brilliance. Even a diamond with perfect clarity and colour grades will appear dull if it has been poorly cut.
We recommend choosing the highest cut grade within your budget and we favour GIA-Certified ‘Triple Excellent’ diamonds.
A diamond’s colour grade refers to the lack of colour. The more colourless the diamond, the higher quality grade it will receive. Colour grading commences at ‘D’ and goes all the way through to Z.
D, E and F colour diamonds are rare, and for lay-people, are difficult to distinguish between.
Almost all diamonds have tiny imperfections. Diamonds with few or no imperfections receive the highest clarity grades. Diamonds begin at Flawless and reduce in perfection through to ‘Included’. All of Van Bercken’s diamonds are ‘eye clean’ (imperfections visible only under 10x magnification) as a minimum although we specialise in diamonds that are VS1 or higher grades.
Carat is specifically a measure of a diamond’s weight, not its size. When ideally cut, a smaller diamond will appear larger than its carat weight suggests.
Shape describes a diamond’s form. All shapes (round, princess, radiant, etc.) have different attributes, although the Round Brilliant cut remains the most popular and enduring shape.
We heavily favour GIA-certified diamonds. GIA (the Gemological Institute of America) is the most credible diamond-certifying institution in the world.