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Educational Information: 4 Cs Of Diamond Quality You Must Know

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Published: 09/25/2011

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Educational Information

4 Cs Of Diamond Quality You Must Know

Jewelry shopping can be exciting, but it can also result in a lot of confusion where the first-time diamond buyer is concerned. If you purchase new or used diamonds before you understand the four Cs related to diamond quality, you could end up paying more than your jewelry is worth.

The 4 Cs consist of:

Cut: A diamond's cut takes into account two aspects of its appearance, the shape and make. Diamond shapes can vary quite a bit, but on the whole, a round brilliant cut is the one that is the most desirable. The round brilliant cut is made with 58 facets, which gives the gem a brilliant luster. Princess, radiant and marquise cuts are also valued higher than other diamond cuts.

The make of a cut determines the quality or craft of the workmanship done on the gem. If the diamond has a better make, this means that it has greater sparkle, and the make improves its quality. A diamond's true beauty can be highlighted with an excellent make.

Color: Diamonds don't have to be the dazzling white color we all think of when we think of diamond jewelry. In fact, diamonds are available in a range of colors. These colors are coded alphabetically, ranging from D to X. White diamonds denoted by a D label represent the palest color. Yellow fancy diamonds are still high quality and are given an S label. Diamond colors E and
F have excellent and beautiful qualities while J to M apply to desirable colors for diamonds that are larger. Diamonds that are blue, red, pink, green and brown typically denote diamonds that have been treated with radiation.

Clarity: Of all the quality components, diamond clarity is among the most important. The most desirable diamonds are flawless or perfectly clear, both inside and on their surfaces. The next level in quality are internally flawless diamonds, but that have a few small blemishes on the surface. If diamonds have inclusions making them less clear, or if the inclusions can be seen without assistance, they rank lowest on clarity scales.

Carat: A diamond's carats will tell you how big it is. Of the four Cs, a diamond's carat is considered last because a diamond's cut, clarity and color are considered to be more important. But make no mistake, the size and weight of a diamond impacts how much you will pay for it.

Carats are typically measured in points. Therefore, one carat is given 100 points, while half a carat is given 50 points, and so forth. This means that the price of a diamond can vary significantly for as few as 5 to 10 points. That's why you must know just how big a diamond is in exact carats and therefore points.

Regardless of whether you're shopping for new or used diamond jewelry, you'll be able to know you're getting just what you've paid for once you understand diamond quality as evaluated by the four Cs.