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The Four C’s

When buying a diamond ring, it is important to purchase one of quality. For important factors that come into play when grading and buying a quality diamond are the four C’s: cut, carat, color and clarity. All of the four C’s are typically graded by the GIA.

Cut

The cut of a diamond is not to be confused with the shape. The shape of a diamond has a lot of options: round, brilliant, princess, emerald, etc. The cut, however, dictates how much and how well the light is passed through the diamond. When buying a quality diamond, pay close attention to the angles of the cut; if they are too shallow or too deep, the light will not be dispersed as well. The cut a jeweler will choose is often based on the natural proportions of the rough diamond that is mined. When buying diamonds, a popular cut is the round brilliant, especially for engagement rings.

Carat

A carat is the terminology used to weigh diamonds and other precious stones. One carat is equal to 200 mg. The term carat was adopted at the Fourth General Conference on Weights and Measures. A carat is also divisible into points and 100 points make up a carat. When buying a quality diamond, a good carat rating is very important. Also, when buying a diamond, the carat weight is the most easily defined characteristic.

Color

A perfect diamond is perfectly transparent. A colorless diamond will have no structural or chemical imperfections or flaws. In reality, though, there are very few of these perfect, colorless diamonds. On the other hand, there are very few naturally colored diamonds as well. Colored diamonds are typically treated with irradiation and heat to accomplish the color necessary. Often, color makes the diamond more valuable. Color is graded on a normal diamond color scale. When buying a quality diamond, it is important to find a good color grade. Perhaps when buying a diamond, a buyer should familiarize him or herself with the diamond color grading scale.

Clarity

Diamond clarity is measured by the amount of inclusions, imperfections or flaws found in the diamond. These imperfections can affect the light that passes through the diamond and give it less value. Clarity can be the most important of the four C’s because diamonds are famous for their sparkle. When buying a diamond, as long as a diamond sparkles, which comes from the clarity, the size and color may not necessarily matter as much.