Education

Learn the 4Cs of Diamonds

 

THE 4Cs OF DIAMONDS

What difference can the cut of a diamond make? It's a question that deserves a detailed answer. Each cut we make in the creation of a diamond unlocks the beauty in the form of sparkle. The final effect is magic. 

 

THE 4Cs:

 

1) CLARITY

The clarity grade is based on any tiny natural identifiers found within a diamond. 

 

Diamonds are graded for clarity based on the finish on the outside of the diamond, and the appearance of any natural internal organic identifiers produced by nature. Look closely inside any Bashford Jewelry diamond, chosen for its exceptional clarity, and you won't notice anything other than its beautiful sparkle.

Diamonds are one of nature's wonders, and a diamond with one of the highest clarity grades — like IF or FL — is even more incredible to see. If you are considering the balance of clarity to the other three Cs, consider that we've hand-selected diamonds that have no inclusions that are distinguishable without magnification, even in the diamonds with the lowest clarity grade we offer. This ensures that even if you choose a diamond with SI-clarity, you will be amazed by the sparkle, not distracted by visible inclusions.

If you want to find a diamond with the most exceptional sparkle, look for a diamond that's earned one of the highest grades clarity, like the ones you'll find here at Bashford.

 

2) CARAT

This is a measure of a diamond's weight and a reflection of its size.

Carat weight is exactly that — a weight measurement. But carat weight does not always clearly help you determine if one diamond looks larger than the next.

Consider that the carat weight of a diamond is the total weight, no matter how that weight is distributed. If a diamond is poorly cut and is tall and narrow, when viewed from the top that diamond will appear smaller than a diamond of equal weight. To eliminate this concern when shopping at Bashford , we do not offer any diamonds cut to maximize carat weight at the expense of sparkle.

 

Bashford's Tip

For the best value in carat weight, instead of choosing .50 carats, 1.0 carats, or 1.5 carats, etc., choose diamonds that weigh slightly less. You'll notice a significant price savings.

 

3) CUT

The cut grade indicates whether the diamond was cut to maximize sparkle and determines its brilliance. Put simply, the better a diamond is cut, the more sparkle it will have. One of the most defining characteristics of a diamond is its cut. While high grades of color, clarity, and carat weight also contribute to a diamond's appeal, it's the cut that determines the symmetry of the stone's facets, its overall proportions, and its ability to reflect light. An expertly cut diamond will achieve high levels of brilliance, sparkle, and durability. Even if a diamond is graded well in other areas, a poor cut can result in a dull, muted effect.

 

 

It's the cut of a diamond that determines how much light is reflected back to the wearer, directly impacting its brilliance and fire. Diamonds are generally categorized into three main types of cuts:

Shallow cut

Although a shallow cut diamond will create the illusion of a larger stone, it allows light to escape out the sides instead of reflecting off the top, creating a lack of brilliance and sparkle.

Ideal cut

If you're seeking a high quality diamond that beautifully reflects light, this is the cut for you. This premier cut style is well-proportioned and carefully angled to achieve a luminous appearance.

Deep cut

This type of cut poorly reflects light, resulting in a dull, muted appearance.

 

 

DIAMOND SHAPES

Diamond shape makes the biggest impact on the look of your engagement ring. Many shape names, such as round, pear, and oval, describe the stone's profile when viewed from above. Other diamond shapes like, Asscher and marquise, are named for a historical legacy, which may add symbolic significance to your engagement ring. As you browse, remember, finding the "right" shape is more about personal style than anything else.

 

ROUND CUT 
DIAMONDS

Round cut diamonds are a timelessly favored choice due to their brilliant sparkle. Round cuts allow for incredible light reflection that truly dazzles.

 

PRINCESS CUT 
DIAMONDS

A popular alternative to round cuts, Princess cuts deliver stunning sparkle with a contemporary shape. A square cut brings modern lines together with romantic flash and fire, for a breathtaking effect.

 

EMERALD CUT 
DIAMONDS

A large table means that the Emerald cut diamond brings a focus to clarity. Emerald cut diamonds deliver stunning sharpness in a gorgeous, stylish shape.

 

ASSCHER CUT 
DIAMONDS

An Asscher cut diamond is a variant of the Emerald cut. A large table and fewer facets emphasize the diamond’s clarity, while the 'X' square shape is a distinctive, contemporary style.

 

CUSHION CUT 
DIAMONDS

Cushion cut diamonds bring together the antique feel of an Old Mine cut with the modern shapes of Round and Oval. A romantic style, Cushion cuts bring softness to the brilliance of a diamond.

 

OVAL CUT 
DIAMONDS

Oval cut diamonds bring together qualities of the round and marquise cuts, for a rare and captivating look. An elongated symmetry makes the diamond a flattering choice for slender fingers, with brilliant sparkle.

 

MARQUISE CUT 
DIAMONDS

Marquise diamonds are a highly distinctive cut. A greater size per carat weight than other cuts means your diamond will appear larger. An elongated shape makes fingers appear slender, and its cut delivers stunning sparkle.

RADIANT CUT 
DIAMONDS

Radiant Cuts are a fresh and distinctive blend of the Round cut with a shape similar to an Emerald cut. Delivering stunning clarity and radiance, the Radiant cut is a contemporary offering of classic sparkle.

 

PEAR SHAPED 
DIAMONDS

At once a unique and classic shape, a Pear shaped diamond delivers intriguing design that sparkles. Reminiscent of a teardrop, its elongated shape lengthens fingers. A 58-facet cut creates a captivating radiance.

 

 

4) COLOR

This grade refers to the "whiteness" of a diamond, or its lack of color. A diamond's color grade actually refers to the lack of color. In other words, diamonds that are white, containing little or no color, receive higher quality grades than those with visible color.

 

Z-N Noticeable color. Faint color is noticeable. Even with the presence of color, these grades of diamonds can emit fire and beauty.
M-K Noticeable color. Faint color is noticeable. Even with the presence of color, these grades of diamonds can emit fire and beauty.
J-I Near-colorless. An exceptional value with slightly detectable warmth or tone.
H-G Near-colorless. Color difficult to detect unless compared side-by-side against diamonds of better grades. An excellent value.
F-E Colorless. Minute traces of color can be detected by an expert gemologist. A rare diamond.
D Absolutely colorless. The highest color grade. Extremely rare.