Need to Know: The 4 Cs

Diamonds follow very strict guidelines, standardised across the world, to offer assistance to those buying them. Natasha Sherling Fine Jewellery is committed to responsible sourcing, and all our diamonds are certified. The Four Cs are famous in the world of jewellery - because they cover the basics of a diamond's appearance. Here, an overview:

Colour: For colourless diamonds, the scale is alphabetical, and starts at D (absolutely colourless) and goes all the way to Z, when stones are visibly yellow or grey. D,E,F are all considered colourless; G,H,I are near colourless; J,K,L are tinted - and the list goes on. We use diamonds ranging from D – I.

Cut: This refers to the proportions and symmetry of a stone - and is what makes it sparkle. As a gemmologist, Natasha Sherling considers the cut to be the most important factor in any diamond. Official certification terms start at 'Excellent' (the best), and go down through 'Very Good', 'Good', 'Fair' and 'Poor' (the stone will look lifeless, without light return). We use only diamonds graded as having an 'Excellent' or ‘Very Good’ cut.

Clarity: The majority of diamonds have inclusions, some more than others - and no two diamonds look the same on the inside; inclusions are like their fingerprint! Inclusions should not be eye-visible (able to view without magnification). Terminology begins with Flawless, and follows through Internally Flawless, Very Very Slightly Included (VVS), Very Slightly Included (VS), Slightly Included (SI) and Included (I). Natasha Sherling Fine Jewellery diamonds are graded from Flawless to SI1.

Carat: This is the size of a diamond. 1 carat is equivalent to .200g in weight - the same no matter the shape of the stone. Dimensions of course differ for varying shapes, but for example, a well-cut 1 carat round brilliant diamond should have a diameter of 6.5mm.