Our 5 C's
A diamond’s 4 C’s represent the four main components of its beauty and structure: Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat.
At AmericanSwiss, we value the 5 C's of Diamonds - our fifth being 'Confidence'. Our commitment to quality is as important to us as it is to you, our customer.
CUTDiamond Cut specifically refers to the quality of a diamond’s angles, proportions, symmetrical facets, brilliance, fire, scintillation and finishing details. These factors directly impact a diamond’s ability to sparkle, along with its overall aesthetic appeal. The cut of a diamond refers not to its shape, but to the balance of proportion, symmetry and polish achieved by the diamond cutter. The extent of how well the diamond is cut is directly related to the diamond’s overall beauty. When a diamond has been correctly cut, the diamond’s ability to reflect and refract light is greatly enhanced.
By understanding the way that light moves through diamond crystals, modern diamond cutters have established a specific set of proportions and angles that are known to harness the diamond’s internal brilliance and to show it in its best light.
Colour refers to the natural body colour of a diamond and not to the reflection of spectral colours that flash when a diamond moves. Most diamonds naturally exhibit slight hints of yellow, brown, or grey. This colour is caused by natural trace elements of nitrogen that were present when the diamond formed under the Earth’s crust. The less colour a diamond exhibits, the higher the rarity, and therefore the higher the value.
Diamonds with less colour allow more light to pass, releasing more brilliance and fire. A diamond acts as a prism by dividing light into a spectrum of colours and reflecting this light as colourful flashes called dispersion or fire. Similar to looking through coloured glass, colour in a diamond will diminish the spectrum of colour, or fire, emitted by acting as a filter. A diamond with a higher colour grade, i.e., one with less colour, demonstrates more colourful fire.
Clarity refers to how clean or clear the diamond is with respect to natural microscopic characteristics that were trapped within or on the diamond while it was forming. Internal characteristics are known as inclusions, and characteristics on the surface of the gem are known as blemishes. Inclusions may be crystals of a foreign material or structural imperfections such as tiny cracks, known as feathers, which can appear whitish or cloudy.
Often times the inclusions are microscopic diamonds that were absorbed by the larger crystal before the diamond was carried to the surface of the Earth. The quantity, size, colour, location, orientation, and visibility of inclusions all affect the final clarity grade of a diamond. Diamonds with no or few inclusions are considered particularly rare and highly valued.
Carat (ct.) refers to the unique unit of weight measurement used exclusively to weigh gems and diamonds. Carat weight is often confused with visual size even though it is actually a measurement of weight. Depending on the shape and type of gemstone being weighed, the weight will visually show itself differently.
Total carat weight (t.c.w.) is a phrase that represents the total weight of all diamonds or other gemstones in a piece of jewellery, when more than one gemstone is used. Diamond solitaire earrings, for example, are usually quoted in t.c.w., indicating the combined weight of the diamonds in both earrings. While Carat weight is an element to consider when buying a diamond, the overall appearance and brilliance should carry more importance.