The Four C’s
A diamonds value and rarity are determined by four specific criteria, these are referred to as the ‘Four C’s’ of Diamonds: The criteria are Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat.
A diamonds cut determines the ‘fire’ and brilliance of a diamond – each of the stones facets and angles are cut in exact geometric symmetry. Diamonds are also cut into a variety of shapes such as the examples below.Wolf Bro’s only stocks diamonds cut to the highest international standards, so you can rest assured of quality.
This is where less is more. The clearer in colour a diamond, the more rare and valuable it is. Most diamonds look clear to the untrained eye, but a professional will pick up the yellow, grey and brown tones that are present in many diamonds.Other rare diamonds include shades of pink, blue, green and red. But the colour-less diamond still remains the most valuable and timeless of them all.
Clarity can be the most difficult to understand of the Four C’s – so we’ll make it as simple as possible to understand. Almost all diamonds contain minute traces of non-crystallised carbon – this is the element that diamonds are born from. These traces – only detectable by examining them under a special magnifying lens such as the loupe or microscope – are seldom visible to the naked eye.These inclusions can be viewed as the diamonds ‘fingerprints’ as they make each and every diamond unique – the less inclusions, the more rare and valuable the diamond.- A flawless diamond shows no inclusions (inside) or blemishes (outside) when scrutinized under 10x magnification.- An internally flawless diamond may have minor blemishes on the surface of the diamond. Very, very slightly included diamonds contain multiple inclusions – that even at 10x magnification are difficult to see.- A very slightly included diamond also has inclusions that are difficult to see.- Whereas a slightly included diamond will have ‘fingerprints’ that are more visible at 10x magnification.- An included diamond has very noticeable inclusions at 10x magnification that can even be seen with the naked eye most times.
A carat is the measure of a diamonds actual weight. One carat weighs approximately 0.2 grams. Obviously the heavier the carat, the greater the diamonds size. A diamonds value however, is better determined by its colour and clarity than by its weight – therefore a heavier diamond may not necessarily be more valuable than its lighter or smaller counterpart.The most rare diamonds are large stones, with high clarity and little to no colour.
There is one final characteristic of diamonds beside the Four C’s, and that is fluorescence.
You’re out with a friend at a party and she’s showing you her beautiful new engagement ring. The music is blaring and there are some coloured lights somewhere nearby. You both notice that her gorgeous new acquisition seems to be giving off a slight soft coloured glow. What’s going on?
Flouresnce is a form of luminescence. An emission of light where fluorescent substances absorb light from their environment and emit it as a bright glow. Diamonds, and a few other gemstones – such as amber, rubies and emeralds – have a natural fluorescence and therefore emit a soft coloured glow when they are placed under an ultraviolet light.
Not all diamonds are fluorescent, however. As diamonds are a naturally occurring stone, with great variations in their chemical composition, some have higher levels of fluorescence than others.
How does fluorescence affect the value of a diamond? The opinion on this differs amongst diamond dealers and gemologists. Whiter diamonds with a higher level of fluorescent tend to have a milky or cloudy appearance – now depending on the colour or grade of the diamond, some customers may view this as a unique and valuable property whilst others may think it is detracting from the stones actual clarity.
Fluorescence and value will greatly depend on the diamond itself with regards to its colour grade. The advice we always provide our clients with regards to fluorescence is to compare a diamond with fluorescence to other diamonds without, under differing light sources (UV and non-UV light). This way you will be able to see just how much fluorescence a specific diamond exhibits under differing lights and in comparison to other diamonds.
We are always willing to assist our clients further in any matters regarding our diamonds.
A diamond certificate is a document issued by an independent gemological laboratory describing a loose diamond or gemstone. A diamond certificate specifies the grade of the diamond which is what indicates the physical properties of the stone. This grade should always refer to the internationally accepted standards of the “4C’s” (cut, colour, clarity and carat). The grade cannot change over time, assuming the diamond does not chip or is in any way altered.
Some laboratories may also provide a grading opinion on a diamond even if it is set in a piece of jewellery.
The main benefit of a laboratory certificate is that it provides the purchaser with an unbiased, independent description of the stone in question.
We work extensively with diamonds from two highly reputable laboratories: the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the South African European Gemological Laboratory (EGL).
It is important to note that it is not always necessary to have a laboratory certificate; in many cases, a valuation certificate is sufficient.
An appraisal or a valuation can be performed on either a loose diamond, a diamond ring or any piece of jewellery. If the diamond or gemstone is not loose, i.e. it is set in gold or any other material, its physical properties are estimated using specific techniques.
The most important reason for having an appraisal is that it indicates the replacement value of the piece under consideration.
Obviously, this value can easily change considerably over any period of time (depending on the gold price, the popularity of the item’s style, and so on). Appraisals are most often used for insurance purposes.
All jewellery sold in our branches and on our website is sold with a valuation certificate. We are also more than happy to update your valuation certificates as required for your personal insurance.
In the late 1990s, the world became aware that rebel armies in parts of Central and Western Africa were illegally using the diamond trade to fund conflict against legitimate, internationally recognised governments. These diamonds became known as conflict diamonds, also referred to as blood diamonds.
In 2000, the World Diamond Council was formed to help eradicate trade in conflict diamonds. Joined forces of nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and the government the Kimberley Process was adopted, banning the sale of conflict diamonds.
Under the Kimberley Process, rough diamonds are sealed in tamper-resistant containers and certified conflict-free by a strict system comprising of forgery-resistant documents and serial numbers. This documentation is re-certified each time a rough diamond crosses an international border. To further safeguard the legitimate diamond supply, companies selling diamonds must provide a written statement to all retailers declaring that their diamonds are from conflict-free sources. Retailers are required to source their diamonds only from suppliers who have provided this assurance.
Whilst the issue surrounding conflict diamonds has led to some negative publicity, there is much the diamond industry does to contribute to the Southern African economy, including:
- 65% of the world’s diamondscome from African countries
- The $8.4 billion African diamond industry is one of the pillars of the African economy
- Approximately 5 million people have access to health care owing to diamond revenues
- The diamond industry directly or indirectly provides livelihoodsfor approximately 10 million people across the globe
- Revenues from the diamond industry help provide necessary counselling, testing, education, treatment programs, clinics and hospices for HIV/AIDSpatients
- The charity Jewellers for Children funds a community-based care program for orphaned childrenin South Africa
All diamonds we sell have been sourced from legitimate sources that are well known to us and support the Kimberley Process. We are happy to discuss this further with any of our customers.