Diamonds are graded for certification by
laboratories using grading criteria. Four of
these criteria are critical to understand when
making a diamond purchase or investment.
Known as the Four Cs these criteria are:
color, cut, clarity and carat.
Color is the result of the composition of a
diamond and it does not change. When a
jeweler is describing the color of a diamond
they are referring to the presence or absence
of color in white diamonds. Because a
diamond with no color allows maximum light
to pass through, colorless diamonds are
preferred for their sparkle.
Cut refers to a diamonds reflective quality.
Most diamonds are cut with 58 facets. The
brilliance of diamonds is heavily dependent
on the cut. The different angles and the finish
of a diamond determine its ability to reflect
light and cause its brilliance and fire.
Remember that the cut of a diamond can
have an impact on its durability as well as its
beauty. Some cutting faults can make a
diamond prone to breakage. A diamond
that is cut too thin can also cause light to
leak out of the back and the diamond will
lose some of the sparkle and appear not
to shine. So, as you can see the Cut is
probably the most important of the Four Cs.
During the formation process, inner flaws, or
inclusions occur in most diamonds. The
number and size of these inclusions
determine what is referred to as the clarity
of a diamond. Diamonds that are clear
create more brilliance and therefore are rarer
and highly priced. To be considered
flawless, a diamond must have no surface
or internal imperfections visible upon being
viewed by a skilled diamond grader using
10 power magnifications.
Carat is the unit of weight by which diamonds
are measured. One carat is equal to 200
milligrams. A carat is divided into 100
segments called points. 150 points would
equal one and a half carats.
When you go to the store to make that all
important diamond purchase, do not be shy!
Ask questions, get the answers needed to
make an informed purchase. Shopping for
certified diamonds enables you to make an
informed selection. Knowing the four Cs
allows you to comparison shop and purchase
the best diamond at a fair price. But, before
making a purchase, shop around and decide
what shapes and styles really appeal to you.
Enjoy your diamond for years to come!