The 4 Cs of Diamonds

Real diamonds have always dazzled even for those who are not familiar with the 4 Cs of Diamonds. These 4 Cs are a guide or standard that people can grade each individual diamond. The Cs stand for cut, clarity, color and carat.

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Cut

The cut of the diamond affects the reflective quality of a stone and is also used to described the basic shape of the stone. When grading a stone, the reflective quality is the basis for the first C. It shows how well the stone was cut and how well it reflects light thus giving it brilliance. When a diamond is cut well, it has angles and planes that reflect light so well that it seems to be on fire. Jewelers look for diamonds that “trap” the light and bounce it around inside as well as release it from different angles. For those of us who may not be able to afford a very expensive diamond, look for one that flashes the light well and has enough brilliance in spite of having a lower price. Cutters sometimes prefer to have a bigger stone and sacrifice its brilliance. If you want a bigger stone look at it from different angles and check how well it reflects the light; select the one that reflect light best.

Clarity

Natural diamonds have flaws in them that affect its brilliance. These flaws occur naturally and those inside are called inclusions while those outside are called blemishes. The more inclusions and blemishes there are, the lower the grade and the price of a stone. Inclusions are sometimes very small and can only be seen through a magnifier. Stones with inclusions that can be seen with the naked eyes are basically lower priced. Go for a stone that has the least blemishes and inclusions at your price range.

Inclusions can look like air bubbles or small black dots in the stone while blemishes are on the surface. Visible blemishes make a stone basically worthless. You can also feel some of the blemishes when you are handling a loose stone with your fingers. Do not purchase stones with big blemishes because these can lead to cracks and breaks in the stone.

Color

The color of the diamond is based on white diamonds only. Colored diamonds cannot be graded against this C. The whiter the diamond, the higher its grade. Truly white diamonds are not seen often and can be very expensive. Jewelers grade stones starting from D up to the letter Z. Common colors of diamonds are a very slight yellow to a light brown. Color may be difficult to ascertain without a lens so buy a stone that looks whiter than the rest in comparison.

Carat

This is the unit of measurement used for weighing a diamond. Although a diamond may be heavier in terms of carats, there is no guarantee that its quality is topnotch. You might want to have a baseline for the carat weight but always check the rest of the 4 Cs against the carat so you can have a high quality diamond.

The 4 Cs of diamonds is the best way to gauge the value of the stone that you have your eye on. A diamond that may be a great value for money, without breaking the bank, is usually around 1-2 carats with a great cut and a clarity of around VS1 – VS2. Factor in the whitest you can find with just the human eye for a great diamond.

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