April Birthstone - Discover the Four Cs
“When love is in the air, distressing rain can become a wonderful avalanche of shimmering diamonds.” – Erik Pevernagie
An apt quote for the month of April, renowned for both its bright bursts of rainfall and brilliant birthstone — diamond.
Dazzling and decadent, diamonds are adored for their rarity and desirability. “Diamonds are the crowning glory in a piece of jewellery, whether it be one of AENEA’s elegant engagement rings, a daring diamond pendant or architectural earrings,” says AENEA founder and creative director Costan Eghiazarian.
Launched this month, AENEA has unveiled an edited collection of new diamond engagement rings in its Candy and Sarpa collections, timed perfectly for spring proposals and extra-special birthday gifts.
“April is the month when we celebrate diamond as a birthstone but it is also a popular time for engagements,” says Costan. “This makes it the ideal time to share the key characteristics of diamonds, known as the Four Cs.”
Cut, Carat Weight, Clarity, Colour represent these Four Cs. Each has its own definitions and standards, and together they determine the value of a diamond.
Often the first considerations when buying a diamond, ‘cut’ refers to its shape. Perhaps the most recognised diamond shape is the round brilliant cut — the classic round diamond featuring 57 surface facets that elicit superior sparkle. Other popular cuts used by AENEA include oval, pear and cushion cuts, shaped as their names suggests. Emerald cuts are glittering rectangular diamonds with faceted corners that give them eight sides, while marquise cuts (also known as ‘boat shape’ diamonds) are elongated ovals with pointed ends. Cut can also refer to the proportions of a diamond once it has been faceted into a final shape.
“The better a diamond has been cut, the more it will sparkle,” Costan explains. “Poorly cut diamonds can appear ‘flat’ to admirers, so cut is always an important factor for AENEA when hand- selecting the diamonds we use.”
Though ‘carat weight’ is often used to describe the physical size of a diamond, it in fact refers to the measurement of diamonds by weight. Traditionally, diamonds we weighed against carob beans, which over time evolved into the word ‘carat’. Today, a 1ct diamond weighs the equivalent of 0.2g, so a 2ct diamond will weigh about 0.4g, and so forth. However, as each diamond will be faceted to maximise its individual beauty, it is very rare to find two 1ct diamonds that match in proportions — some are a little wider, others a little deeper, yet all are unique.
“At AENEA, while carat weight is important in some designs, ultimately the overall personality of a diamond is what captures the heart,” Costan says. “Some adore large diamonds, others like them more modest. Elizabeth Taylor had two diamond rings that were a tenth of a carat each — very small — yet she adored them.”
The third C, as its name indicates, denotes how ‘clear’ a diamond is. Almost all diamonds feature tiny carbon or crystalline inclusions that occur naturally during their formation. These are the little characteristics that also help define the value of a stone; for example, included diamonds are more prevalent and therefore far more affordable than flawless diamonds. Measured on an 11-point scale, stones of SI clarity — meaning they contain ‘small inclusions’ — and above are most widely used for diamond jewellery and engagement rings. The scale improves further, reaching VVSI clarity, which stands for ‘very, very small inclusions’, all the way to F clarity, which stands for ‘flawless’.
“To the untrained eye most inclusions are barely discernible unless viewed under 10x magnification,” explains Costan. “But clarity is still important, so myself and the team at AENEA are sure to select only the finest grades of diamonds with clarity always considered.”
The final of the Four Cs, colour, explains the hue of a diamond. Using a letter scale, diamond clarity begins at D, representing ‘colourless’ diamonds, and running to Z, which denotes diamond of a light tinted yellow hue. The colour scale is also a determining factor in the value of a diamond, with stones below J/K on the colour scale notably more tinted (towards a yellow hue) than those before them, which makes them more affordable but for some not as elegant.
“We adore colourless diamonds and strive to select only those of D to G on the colour scale,” Costan reveals. “Our new Sarpa oval diamond ring features a 2ct D colour diamond that is simply radiant, especially clasped in bright platinum claws.”
AENEA’s knowledgeable jewellery experts can provide a helping hand for those considering purchasing diamond jewellery, but not sure where to start. Our Salzburg Atelier also provides a welcoming location to discuss a special purchase, whether you want to view diamonds in person or learn more about their scintillating characteristics. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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