Cushion Cut Diamonds - The 4 C’s
Understanding the 4 C’s is vital when it comes to diamond shopping. These four characteristics are the universal standard for determining the quality of a diamond and will help you find your perfect stone.
Cut - The cut of a diamond is more than just its shape. When it comes to the 4 C’s, the cut refers to how well the stone interacts with light, and therefore how bright it sparkles. All diamonds are graded based on their cut. For optimal brilliance, look for diamonds with good, very good, excellent, or ideal cut grades. For this shape, the higher the grade the cut is, the more brilliant the stone will appear. Keep in mind that the cut shouldn’t be too shallow nor too deep, a well-proportioned cut reflects light flawlessly. The ideal ratio for a square cushion cut diamond should be 1.05 or above and a rectangle cushion cut diamond should be 1.20 or above.
Color - This characteristic doesn’t refer to a diamond’s hue, but it’s lack of one. Traditionally, the most treasured diamonds are completely white or colorless. The diamond color scale begins at D and ends at Z, with grades D-F being colorless, grades G-J being near colorless, and grades K-Z gradually becoming more yellow.
Clarity - No diamond is completely flawless, but you can judge how close it is to perfection with a clarity grade. This characteristic details the amount of inclusions and blemishes a stone has. Clarity is graded on a scale from VVS1 to SI2, with the former having the least amount of flaws, and the latter having the most amount of flaws.
Carat - Not to be confused with karats (a measure for gold purity), a carat refers to the weight of a diamond. One carat is equal to 0.2 grams. Of all the 4 C’s, the carat has the biggest impact on the diamond’s value. It’s important to note that carats aren’t a perfect representation of diamond size. Many shapes, such as oval and marquise, create the illusion of looking bigger than they actually are. You can easily get an impressive diamond on a budget by simply choosing the right shape!