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The Diamond 4Cs

The 4Cs of diamonds, as they are commonly called, are the four main characteristics by which a diamond is valued or the price of a diamond is arrived at. It is important, when you go out to buy a diamond that these are understood and known.

These are Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight.

Diamond Cut
The first of these is the Cut. The cut of the diamond is very important. It is this that determines the diamonds brilliance. This is made up of a number of measurements that determine the amount of light that enters and is reflected back out of the diamond. A diamond with many other beautiful and perfect characteristics can have little sparkle if the cut is incorrect or poorly done. The cut of the width and the depth can have a marked effect upon the brilliance and it takes a master diamond cutter to bring this out in a diamond.

There are basically eight cuts of diamond.

Round Brilliant Emerald Cut Princess Cut Heart Cut Oval Cut Marquise Cut Pear Cut Round Brilliant

More information on the diamond cut can be found here on the Cut

Diamond Color
The second important characteristic is the color of the diamond.

Diamonds colors are graded into 13 colors or tints with pure white being the top, D grade, to a poor yellow being the bottom, Z grade. It is important to know the color of the diamond you are going to buy as it came make a tremendous difference to the price of the diamond.

With a pure diamond in which there are no impurities or defects the color will be completely absent and the diamond is perfectly transparent. These are rare of course and command the highest price of any diamond. Was one moves down the color scale the grade changes to more color and less value.

This does not apply to colored diamonds, such as the Hope diamond for example. Red diamonds are considered the rarest of all.

Information on the colors, complete with a list, can be found here Color

Diamond Clarity
Clarity is the next grading method and describes the quality of the diamond as regarding imperfections called inclusions, and surface defects called blemishes. Most of the inclusions you find in diamonds do not affect the performance of the diamond but where you have large clouds of imperfections then that will affect the ability of the diamond to transmit and reflect light resulting in less sparkle.

In addition if there are any cracks in the diamond this will make it prone to fracture and even break. This is why it is important to examine a diamond free of any clasp or prongs. present in gem-quality diamonds do not affect the diamonds' performance or structural integrity. However, large clouds can affect a diamond's ability to transmit and scatter light. Large cracks close to or breaking the surface may reduce a diamond's resistance to fracture.

Some advantages with inclusions and blemishes is that it makes the diamond easy to recognize, but it is the "flawless" that command the best diamond price.

Further information is available at Clarity

Diamond Carat Weight
The carat is a unit of mass used for measuring gems and pearls, and is exactly 200 milligrams. The last grading is Carat Weight. The weight of the diamond is perhaps the most important way of valuing them.

Diamonds are weight in carats which refers to how much they weigh which give you an indication of their size since all diamonds have the same hardness and one carat weight for all diamonds is the same weight and size.

The diamond weight is measured in units called carats. One carat is divided into 100 parts. Each part is called a point. A diamond that weighs one (1.00) carat also weighs 100 points. A carat weighs .2 grams.

Extensive information and a chart of the main diamond weights can be found at Carat weight

These are the four main ways of grading diamonds. There are other factors which get taken intro consideration but, in the main the 4c


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