The 4 C's of Diamonds

Carat: Carat is a term used to describe weight when referring to a diamond. When the concept of weight was introduced, diamonds were not weighed in grams or ounces, but in carob seeds. It was factored this way because a carob seed equals ⅕ of an ounce. A diamond carat weight is written in decimal form, such as .50 for a half carat diamond and 1.00 for a diamond that is 1 carat.

Color: This "C" refers to the absence or presence of color in a diamond. The scale begins at D(absence of color), gradually increasing in color and ending with Z(classification for fancy colored diamonds). Most diamonds found today contain traces of yellow but fancy colored diamonds can span the colors of the rainbow. Diamond graders use master stones for color comparison in order to account for the significant difference that color can have on diamonds.

Color Chart

Clarity: Clarity refers to all of the natural characteristics present within the stone and on the outside of the stone. These characteristics also help diamond graders determine if a stone is a genuine diamond or a simulant. Some of the basic characteristics may include feathers, crystals and on occasions, other gemstones.

Clarity Chart

Cut: This particular "C" does not refer to the shape but the proportions of the diamond. Added to diamond certifications in 2006, this grade is only applied to round stones. Diamond graders can determine how well proportioned a diamond is by using Tolkowsky's measurements for a perfect round diamond . The better the cut grade, the better the overall look of the diamond.

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