When it comes to diamonds, think of the 4Cs: which represent Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat.
- Cut: how a diamond is cut will determine how it reflects light. A perfectly cut diamond will bounce light back out of the diamond making it shine and glitter. A poorly cut diamond will deflect the light away from the viewer so it looks dull and lackluster.
- Color: Typical diamonds used in jewelry are “white” diamonds and their ideal color is “clear” or “colorless”. The truly colorless diamonds are rare, most expensive, and most valued. These tend to be set in white gold or platinum so as to enhance their brilliance. There are many diamonds with a slight tinge of color. These are less expensive and in many cases look just as wonderful to the untrained eye. It is also important to realize that the color of the diamond is not easy to see if the diamond is small and set among other stones. Some diamonds are pink, yellow, or blue; these specialty diamonds are graded with different set of standards.
- Clarity: the clarity of a diamond refers to how many imperfections are embedded in the stone itself. These inclusions are naturally occurring: the fewer the inclusions, the more valued is the diamond. Most inclusions are so small that you cannot see them with the naked eye, thus clarity is not very important to the overall appearance of your diamond. It is nevertheless, a feature that gemologist look for in appraising diamonds.
- Carat: The carat refers to how heavy a diamond is. Most people think that the carat refers to a diamonds’ size. This is technically incorrect. In many cases, it is true that a 5 carat diamond is bigger than a 1 carat diamond. However, it also possible for a small diamond to appear bigger depending on how it is cut. Similarly a large diamond may not look impressive or big if it is poorly cut. The carat refers to a diamond’s weight, a physical property which doesn’t change based on appearance.
- Shape: There’s one more thing to consider beyond the 4Cs of a diamond and that is its shape. Diamonds can be cut into various shapes, the common ones are: