Sunday, August 16, 2009

Understanding the Four C's of Diamonds

These are the standards by which diamonds are graded,
and ultimately determine their value. They are Cut, Color,
Clarity and Carat weight. Below is a brief

Contrary to popular belief, a large stone
alone does not make a diamond valuable. While bigger can be
better, it's not the only factor. All the other C's carry as
much weight in the end, and be sure to use the size as a
factor, though not necessarily a determining one. A carat is
actually a measurement of weight, not size, equal to 200

The less color the better. In other words,
everything else being equal, a colorless diamond will be
much more valuable. Diamonds range in color from colorless
to brown, and are ranked by letter starting with
"D",(colorless) to "Z", (brownish) This is determined under
special lighting, and does not include the "fancy colored
diamonds", as these are graded differently. In short, the
clearer the better!

Another important characteristic of a diamond's
value is it's clarity. This deals with the number and size of
any inclusions; small clouds, crystals, feathers or cavities
noticeable under 10X magnification. The clarity grades are
F-Flawless (extremely rare); IF-Internally Flawless; VVS1,
VVS2- Very, Very Slightly Included; VS1, VS2 - Very Slightly
Included; SI1, SI2- Slightly Included; and I1,I2,I3-
Included. All you really need to know about this though,
(other than your diamond's grade) is that you should not be
able to see any inclusions with the naked eye.

Most people think that the cut of a diamond refers to
it's shape. That's not so. It actually refers to the way a
diamond is shaped to refract light, thus enabling it to
sparkle. This is quite an art and requires that each facet
of the stone be cut at precise angles to each other, in the
correct shape and size, to bring about the desired effect.
Each diamond shape has different measurements for it's
particular dimensions. There are eight basic shapes popular
today, and they are, in no particular order; heart,
princess, pear, marquise, radiant, emerald, oval and round.

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