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The 4 C's of Diamonds

The 4 C’s, Cut, Color, Carat, and Clarity are the four aspects on which a diamond’s value is judged. The criteria for Diamonds established in 1939.

Cut

For an ideally cut diamond, all the light entering from the top will bounce with in the diamond and be reflected back thus bring out the stone maximum brilliance and fire. A diamond that is cut too shallow or too deep will escape rather than reflect as brilliance.

The seven most popular and fashionable cut or shapes of diamond in today’s jewelry industry are the round brilliant, marquise, pear, emerald, oval, princess, and heart.

Color

Certain chemicals may have been drawn into the mix when a diamond was being formed out of carbon and add tinge of color in the transparent stone. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) grades diamonds color from D (colorless) to Z (yellow). Colorless, or icy white, diamonds are the most prized and most expensive.

GIA color grade:

D-F colorless
H-I near colorless:
JK faint yellow
L-N very light yellow
O-S light yellow
T-Z yellow
Z+ Fancy Bright, remarkable color: usually blue, pink, yellow

The 4 C's of Diamonds

Carat

Diamonds are measured in terms of weight, not size. The carat weight is the weight of the gemstone. A gem carat equals 200 milligrams, and there are 142 carats to every ounce. The carat is subdivided for a more sensitive scale called “points”. There are 100 points in a carat. A 3/4 carat diamond is also called a 75 point diamond. Generally speaking, the larger the diamond, the higher the price.

Clarity

Clarity is the term used to describe a diamond’s clearness or purity. Internal flaws of a diamond are called inclusions, and external ones are called blemishes. Many of these can not be see with the naked eye, but under magnification, tiny featherlike shapes, crystals, bubbles, and dark flecks become apparent. These marks are also referred to as the diamond’s fingerprint. The more imperfections there are in a diamond and the more visible they are to the eye, the lower the market value.

F Flawless Clear stone (no internal or external characteristics)
IF Internally Flawless; only external characteristics present, which can be removed by further polishing the stone
VVS1-VVS2 Very Very Slight Inclusion (Tiny inclusions are extremely difficult to find, even under 10x magnification)
VS1-VS2 Very Slight Inclusion (Minor inclusions are difficult to see under 10 x magnification)
SI1-SI2 Slight Inclusion (Inclusions are easy to see under 10x magnification)
I1-I3 Included; Inclusions and/or blemishes are obvious and rather easy to see without magnification, consider avoiding I2-I3 diamonds


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