Diamonds 101: The Four C’s
Determining the value of your diamond is the combination of the four C’s: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat
The cut of a diamond does not actually refer to the shape of the diamond, whether it is round, princess, oval, etc. It actually refers to how the diamond was cut from its raw shape. The way a diamond is cut affects the amount of light that is reflected through its facets and how much of that light returns back out through the top, thus affecting the amount of “sparkle” or brilliance of the diamond.
The cut also determines how big the table (top part of the diamond) appears. Two diamonds with the same carat weight (see “Carat” section below) might not always look the same. A deep cut has a smaller table while a shallow cut has a larger table.
Did you know that diamonds naturally come in every color of the rainbow? The diamonds used in jewelry, however, typically fall in the white range and are graded on a scale from D to Z – the less color the better. To the naked eye, most diamonds appear “colorless,” or white, but a majority of them actually contain hints of yellow or brown.
The clarity of a diamond refers to the amount of blemishes and marks that can be seen within a diamond. Sometimes the way a diamond is cut can determine the visibility of such flaws and affects the grade given on the diamond’s certificate, which is measured by a third party organization such as Gemological Institute of America (GIA). A diamond free of inclusions is very rare. Therefore, the closer a diamond is to flawless, the better.
A diamond’s weight is measured in carats and used with a point system of 100. So a diamond of 25 points is .25 carats. Not all diamonds with the same carat weight is of equal value, however. The value is measured by the combination of its cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.
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