Buying a diamond typically done with some forethought because it is such an important purchase. Fortunately, the most important elements when purchasing a diamond can easily remembered because they begin with the letter “C”. You may have heard of “the four C’s” which are cut, clarity, color and carat. Learning about the four C’s will help guide you on your way to making the perfect diamond purchase.
The 4 C’s of Diamonds
The allure of an individual diamond mostly depends on the cut over anything else. A traditional round diamond traditionally has 58 facets. Each precision cut can be as small as two millimeters in diameter. Without these precision cuts a diamond would not be nearly as beautiful. The cut of a diamond has three attributes: 1.) Brilliance: the total light reflected by the diamond,; 2.) Fire: the dispersion of light into the colors of the spectrum; and 3.) Scintillation: the sparkle or flashing when the diamond is moved. The most common diamond cut is a brilliant round diamond. Other cuts are known as fancy cuts which include marquise, pear, oval and more.
The clarity of a diamond refers to the absence of inclusions and blemishes. A diamond without inclusions and blemishes is considered a rare diamond making it very valuable. These are considered flawless. The Gemological Institute of America has a grading scale to determine diamond clarity. (FL) is considered a flawless diamond. A diamond with obvious inclusions and blemishes is graded an (I3). Most diamonds fall into the Very Slight Inclusions (VS) or Slight Inclusions (SI).
Diamonds and other gemstones are weighed in metric carats. One carat is equal to 100 points. A half carat diamond is equal to 50 points. It is possible that two diamonds could weigh the same, however their values can vary based on the other cut, clarity and color.
Many of the diamonds you will find within a jewelry store are colorless or slightly yellow. The Gemological Institute of America has established an industry standard scale for grading diamond color. The scale is based on the visible color of the diamond. It starts at D, a colorless diamond and goes to Z which is a light yellow colored diamond.