THE 4CS


Every diamond is a unique miracle of nature, so there are almost as many ways to describe a diamond as there are diamonds. To standardize descriptions of every diamond’s characteristics, a language known as the 4Cs was developed. First introduced to consumers by the De Beers group of companies in 1939, this language is now universally spoken in the diamond world. Each of the 4Cs describes a diamond’s specific characteristics - its cut, color, clarity and carat weight. These characteristics can be helpful when learning about diamonds, but they are only four of the many, many criteria that can be used to evaluate a diamond. As a result, two diamonds with the same 4Cs criteria may be very different. Forevermark selects diamonds using criteria beyond the 4Cs to ensure that every diamond to carry the Forevermark name is truly beautiful.

All Forevermark diamonds have been cut to meet our strict standards for beauty.

Cut is the factor with the most influence on the sparkle of a polished diamond. Cut is expressed in terms of the brilliance, fire and scintillation of a diamond. To maximize sparkle, a diamond must be cut to very specific parameters of angle and dimension with a strict attention to the polished finish of the diamond.

Crafted by a select group of Diamantaires, each Forevermark diamond must be cut to a standard of Very Good or Excellent; you can be sure that each one is a work of art.

Too Shallow

Poor

Too Deep

Fair

Well Cut

Good

Very Good
 

A work of art

A well cut diamond will reflect light within itself, from one mirror-like facet to another. If a diamond is cut too deep or too shallow light will be lost through the side or bottom. This reduces its brilliance and, ultimately, its value.

A balance between brilliance, fire and scintillation

A well cut diamond also provides a balance between brilliance, fire and scintillation. Brilliance is the white light reflected from the internal and external surfaces of the diamond. Dispersion, or ‘fire’ as it is more commonly known, are the flashes of color that come from the diamond. Scintillation is the sparkle or flashes of light you see as the diamond moves.

The cut of a diamond can also affect its visual size. Two diamonds with the same carat weight can appear to be different sizes depending on the shallowness or shape of its cut.

The perfect shape

Cut refers to the shape of the diamond, too. Round, princess, oval, square, marquise, pear, radiant, emerald and cushion-shaped are some of the most familiar, but advancing technology continues to offer a larger variety of shapes and cuts from which to choose.

  • Round
  • Princess
  • Pear
  • Oval
  • Marquise
  • Emerald
  • Ideal
    Square
  • Heart
  • Cushion

A tip from our Craftsmen

When choosing a diamond, hold it up to the light and look at the way the light dances around – it should throw out a rainbow of colors and display the diamond’s natural brilliance. Ask your jeweler to show you many different cuts and shapes so you can try on a good selection to find the perfect one for you. You can feel confident that all Forevermark diamonds have been cut to meet our strict standards, so every one will be beautiful. 

Only diamonds with inclusions that do not interfere with the beauty of the diamond can become Forevermark.

Clarity is a measure of a diamond’s purity. Naturally occurring features (known as inclusions) provide a special fingerprint within the diamond. Usually invisible to the naked eye, these tiny features appeared while the diamonds were forming in the earth hundreds of millions or even billions of years ago. Clarity measures the diamond’s purity; it refers to how free a diamond is from these tiny blemishes and inclusions.

Forevermark diamonds are available from Flawless to SI2 (Slightly Included), providing any inclusions do not interfere with the beauty of the diamond, as determined by our experts at the Forevermark Diamond Institute.

Natural Beauty

The clarity grade a diamond is given is determined by the degree to which these natural features are visible at ten times magnification and the number, type, color, size and position of the features in the diamond.

Skin blemishes’ are surface features like scratches and nicks. ‘Inclusions’ are naturally occurring features in the diamond such as tiny fissures or feathers and include crystals that can be diamond or other minerals. Diamonds without any features at all are incredibly rare and so more expensive, but small inclusions do not affect the brilliance of a diamond.

Individual Brilliance

Diamonds equal in weight, color and cut will vary greatly in price depending on their clarity features. The internationally accepted system of grading divides clarity into five distinct groups:

Flawless - Internally Flawless

The rarest of rare diamonds, known as Flawless (FL) diamonds, are those with no internal features and no external features or blemishes visible at ten times magnification. An Internally Flawless (IF) diamond will also have no internal features, but may exhibit a minute scratch left over from polishing.

Very Very Slightly (VVS)

Very Very Slightly (VVS) included diamonds are those with minute inclusions so small that they are extremely difficult for even a skilled diamond grader to see at ten times magnification. A VVS1 diamond may have a single pinpoint, whereas a VVS2 may have a pinpoint and a tiny needle-like crystal of another mineral as its internal features.       

Very Slightly (VS)

Divided into VS1 and VS2, Very Slightly (VS) included diamonds have minor internal features deemed difficult for a skilled grader to detect at ten times magnification. A VS1 diamond may have a tiny cloud of inclusions, or a pinpoint or two, whereas a VS2 diamond could have, for example, a small included crystal. In extremely rare cases, large diamonds, or in significantly transparent fancy shapes like emerald cuts, a VS inclusion may be just barely visible to the unaided eye      

Slightly Included (SI)

Divided into SI1 and SI2, Slightly Included (SI) diamonds are those with features that are obvious at ten times magnification. Neither the diamond's transparency nor face up appearance may be affected by these inclusions. In some rare cases, large diamonds, or transparent fancy cuts, an SI clarity feature may be just visible to the unaided eye. 

Included (I-1, I-2, I-3)

Divided in I-1, I-2 and i-3, included diamonds are those with features that are visible to the unaided eye and may even affect the durability of the diamond. These diamonds are excluded from Forevermark.

 

A tip from our Craftsmen

Every Forevermark diamond must be individually evaluated at the Forevermark Diamond Institute, so any diamond that does not meet our strict criteria for beauty will not qualify to become Forevermark. Therefore, when choosing a Forevermark diamond, you can be assured it will be beautiful regardless of its clarity grade. However, Forevermark diamonds with a higher clarity grade are more rare, which is what makes them more expensive.

Whichever Forevermark diamond you choose, regardless of its color, you can be assured it will be beautiful.

Diamonds occur naturally in all colors of the rainbow. The rarest diamonds exhibit no color at all, apart from fancy colors. Polished diamonds are graded for minute variations in depth of color, from ‘colorless’ to ‘light color’. This is universally known as the D to Z color scale (D meaning ‘exceptional’ and Z meaning ‘tinted color’).

Forevermark inscribes diamonds from D to L color as well as all fancy colors.

D-F

Colourless

G-J

NEAR COLOURLESS

K-M

FAINT COLOURLESS

N-R

VERY LIGHT COLOUR

S-Z

LIGHT COLOUR

 

Pure radiance

In this scale, ‘colorless’ diamonds D, E, and F show so little difference that it takes an expert with sample diamonds of known grades to distinguish one from another. ‘Near colorless’ G, H, I begin to show faint tints of color only when compared with diamonds higher up the scale. J, K and L will show tints of color when compared against a pure white background. Color variations can be so slight that color grading is done by an expert under controlled lighting conditions using a master sample set for accuracy.

Highly treasured

Fancy colored diamonds are extremely rare and highly treasured natural wonders. They can be found in shades of green, blue, yellow, orange, pink or – rarest of all – red. The value of fancy colored diamonds is determined primarily by the intensity of the color which can significantly outweigh the effects of other 4Cs.

A tip from our Craftsmen

Color is a subjective preference. Each Forevermark diamond is evaluated for color by our experts, but whichever Forevermark diamond you choose, you can be assured it will be beautiful, regardless of its color.  Those Forevermark diamonds higher up the color scale are rarer than those lower on the scale, which will affect their price.

Consider the setting and the metal, as this can be used to accentuate or de-emphasize the color of the diamond. Make sure you try on the diamond jewelry as the color may look different when you are wearing it. If you are buying a loose diamond, carefully place the diamond on the top of your hand and compare it with a similar diamond that has already been mounted in jewelry.

Each Forevermark diamond must be at least 0.14 carats in size and meet our quality standards.

Carat is a measure of weight. One carat (1 ct) equals 0.20 grams and is divided into 100 points (so a 1/2 carat − or 0.50 carat − diamond can also be described as a 50 points diamond).

As diamonds increase in size, they become increasingly rare in nature. As rarity is an important component of value, a one carat diamond will be worth a great deal more than two 1/2 carat diamonds of equal color, clarity and cut.

Each Forevermark diamond must be at least 0.14 carats in size.

0.03 CARAT

2.0 mm

0.05 CARAT

2.5 mm

0.07 CARAT

2.7 mm

0.10 CARAT

3.0 mm

0.15 CARAT

3.4 mm

0.20 CARAT

3.8 mm

0.25 CARAT

4.1 mm

0.30 CARAT

4.5 mm

0.40 CARAT

4.8 mm

0.50 CARAT

5.2 mm

0.65 CARAT

5.6 mm

0.75 CARAT

5.9 mm

0.85 CARAT

6.2 mm

1.00 CARAT

6.5 mm

1.50 CARAT

7.35 mm

2.00 CARAT

8.2 mm

4.00 CARAT

10.2 mm

10.00 CARAT

14 mm

20.0 CARAT

17.6 mm

 

Every diamond is unique

It is important to remember that a diamond is not valued by carat weight alone. Two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values, depending on cut, clarity and color.

A tip from our Craftsmen

A diamond can appear larger (or smaller) than its actual weight, depending on its cut. Your diamond may actually have a higher carat weight than a bigger-looking diamond with a shallower cut.

Look at different designs and mountings as they can affect the appearance of the size of the diamond.

Our guide will help you buy a diamond with confidence. 
With everything you need to know about the 4Cs and more, it’s like taking our diamond experts with you when you shop.

Diamond care

Taking care of your diamond

Although your diamond is one of the hardest natural materials on earth, you still want to look after it with great care. 

Storing your diamond jewelry

Always store your diamond in its box when you are not wearing it. Diamonds are one of the hardest natural materials known to man, but that does not prevent them from being scratched. Diamonds can scratch other diamonds, so it is best to store them separately.

Insuring your diamond

Your diamond holds a lifetime of dreams, memories and promises. For your peace of mind, it is recommended that you insure your diamond. 

Be sure to register your Forevermark diamond for additional assurance.

 

Cleaning your diamond

A diamond’s brilliance depends on the amount of light that enters it and a clean diamond will have the same sparkle as the day you received it. Diamonds naturally pick up oil and grease, so for the greatest sparkle, you should clean your diamond regularly – daily if possible. This can be done simply by using a liquid jewelry cleaner from a jeweler or department store. Read the instructions carefully before use. For intense cleaning, an ultrasonic machine which emits high-frequency ultrasonic waves can be used to clean precious jewelry in just a few minutes. Read the instructions carefully before use as each machine varies slightly.

On occasion, we recommend that you have your diamond professionally cleaned by a jeweler.