Monday, 5 March 2012

Toddwaz' Take on the Four C's

We all develop our own ways to explain different things to our customers.  This weekend I worked on a succinct explanation of the 4 C's for a piece of software I'm working on.  I tried to write it the way I would speak to a retail customer.  I always try to start-out as dead-simple as possible, and then go deeper as the client requires.  Let me know if you have any words or phrases that make it simple for your clients.

The four C’s of Diamond Quality 

Carat (when spelled with a ‘C’) is a unit of weight equal to 1/5th of a gram.  Nature produces small diamonds in greater quantity than larger ones; therefore the higher the carat-weight of the diamond, the more rare it is.

The purest and rarest diamonds have no imperfections visible even under 10X magnification.  As these inclusions become increasingly large or numerous, the rarity and value decreases. 

FL/IF   – Flawless and Internally Flawless
VVS1   – Very Very Slight inclusions – visible with 10X binocular magnification
VS1     – Very Slight inclusions – difficult to spot with a 10X (monocular) loupe
SI1      – Slight Inclusions – easy to spot with 10X loupe, but invisible from above with the naked eye
I1        - Included – minor eye-visible inclusions.  Mostly transparent.
I2        - Obvious eye-visible inclusions.  Transparency partly obstructed
I3        - Very obvious eye-visible inclusions, little or no transparency and possible structural weakness

In order to separate the modern color scale from the old “A-B-C” quality scale, the GIA (American) color scale begins with the rarest and most colorless diamonds at “D”.  The equivalent color grades in the CIBJO (International) scale are shown below for further clarity.
D         - Exceptional Rare White+
E          - Exceptional Rare White
F          - Rare White +
G          - Rare White
H         - White
I - J      -Slightly Tinted White
K - L    -Tinted White
M         -Tinted Color 1
N-R      -Tinted Color 2
S-Z       -Tinted Color 3
Beyond “Z” are rare diamonds whose color is so magnificent that they are considered “fancy” colored diamonds.

This category actually refers to two different qualities of a gemstone.  The cut can refer to the shape and pattern of faceting.  Most diamonds are cut as round brilliants.  Secondary cuts are princess (or square brilliant), radiant-cut (octagonal brilliant), emerald cut (octagonal step-cut) pear, marquise or oval.  Thirdly are a wide variety of proprietary specialty cuts.
Cut can also refer to the effectiveness of the diamond cutter at revealing the maximum brilliance or dispersion of a diamond.  Crafting a diamond for optimal beauty often means cutting away more of the raw material, so a premium cut diamond will come at a higher cost.

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