The 4 C’s of Diamonds – Carat, Clarity, Color and Cut
The most important physical properties to look for in a diamond are referred to as the “4C’s” – Carat, Clarity, Color and Cut. The concept behind the 4C’s is that all of these qualities work together to create the best diamond for you.
Cut refers to not only the shape of the diamond, but its proportions and finish, two key factors which determine the sparkle of the diamond. A diamond can only be cut by another diamond; therefore the cut is completely in the hands of a skilled diamond cutter.
Diamond Carrot Size
Carat refers to the weight of a diamond as expressed in carats. The word carat originated from the carob tree – the tiny seeds of this tree are well known for their uniformity and consistent weight. Traditionally, diamonds and gemstones were weighed against these seeds until the system was standardized, and one carat was fixed at 0.2 grams.
Although diamonds appear to be clear and without color, most diamonds have hints of yellow or brown. When referring to a diamond’s color, this generally means the internal color of a diamond.
A diamond’s clarity refers to how pure the diamond is internally in terms of being free of flaws. To determine a diamond’s clarity, an expert views it under 10x magnification. The number of flaws found internally is called inclusions and external defects are called blemishes. Inclusions can be a result of mineral deposits, irregular crystals, flaws or cracks.
Physical Attributes of a Diamond
Purchasing a diamond is one of the most exciting and expensive investments you will make so it is best to educate yourself about the physical properties of a diamond, particularly the anatomy. As your knowledge about the physical attributes of a diamond grows, so does your ability to purchase the best possible diamond as well as stay within your budget.