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characteristics that determine that quality of a diamond (4 C's)
Two diamonds may,
at first glance, look alike, but the truth is they are very different. Although
they may be of equal size, each diamond has characteristics unique to itself. To
understand these differences is to understand the 4 C's. It is the combination
of these four characteristics that determines the value of a diamond. Let our
diamond experts explain the 4 C's to you in more detail when you visit our
Many people confuse
cut with the shape of a diamond. The shape you select is a matter of individual
taste, and today your choice is only limited by the skill and imagination of
the craftsman. It is their effort during every stage of the fashioning process
that reflects the maximum amount of light back to the eye. Most round,
brilliant-cut or fancy-shaped diamonds possess 58 carefully angled flat
surfaces, called facets, whose placement will affect the fire, brilliance and
ultimate beauty of your diamond.
How a diamond handles light.
1. When a diamond is cut to good proportions, light is reflected from one facet
to another and then dispersed through the crown, or the top of the stone.
2. If the cut of the diamond is too deep, some light escapes through the
opposite side of the pavilion, or bottom.
3. If the cut is too shallow, light escapes through the pavilion before it can
The most prized
diamonds are colorless diamonds, because their beauty depends entirely upon
their remarkable optical properties. In such diamonds, all the colors of the
rainbow are reflected back to your eye. While the majority of gem diamonds
appear to be colorless, others can contain increasing shades of yellow to
brown, some of which are referred to as champagne diamonds. Other diamonds of
exceptional color--red, blue, green, pink, and amber--are known as
The color grading scale varies from totally colorless to light color or tinted.
The difference between one grade and its neighbor is very subtle. Experts never
try to remember color; they use master diamonds of known color for comparison.
Because of their
unique optical properties, diamonds, more than any other gemstone, are capable
of producing the maximum amount of brilliance. While minute crystals of diamond
or other minerals are contained in almost all diamonds, a diamond that is
virtually free of inclusions and surface markings will be judged as flawless.
In these diamonds, nothing interferes with the passage of light or spoils the
beauty. But these diamonds are extremely rare and will command a high price.
To determine a diamond's clarity grading, it must be examined under a 10x
magnification by a trained, skilled eye. What minute inclusions there may be
make every diamond unique. These are, in fact, nature's fingerprints and do not
mar the diamond's beauty nor endanger its durability. Without high
magnification, you may never see these inclusions. However, the fewer there
are, the rarer your diamond will be.
As with all
precious stones, the weight--and therefore the size--of a diamond is expressed
One carat is divided into 100 "points" so that a diamond of 25 points
is described as a quarter of a carat or 0.25 carats. Size is the most obvious
factor in determining the value of a diamond, but now you know that two equal
sizes can have very unequal prices depending on their quality. However,
remember that diamonds of high quality can be found in all size ranges.