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An Impartial Guide to Diamonds
Information about the 4 C 's to Diamonds - The Carat Weight
What does the Carat Weight of a diamond, an important category in the 4C 's, mean? A Carat is a standard unit of weight for diamonds. Carat weights are also expressed as "points" with a one carat diamond equalling 100 points. The term 'carat' is often misunderstood to mean the size of a diamond. The size of a diamond relates to the dimensions of diamonds in terms of length, width and height. As the carat weight is a unit of measure, and not size, two diamonds both weighing 1 carat may appear to be different sizes! The final size of a 1 carat diamond depends on how it is cut. Some diamonds will have extra weight on the bottom part, or pavilion and therefore appear smaller. A well cut diamond will sometimes appear larger than many diamonds of a heavier carat weight.
Information about the 4 C 's to Diamonds - The Cut
The Cut of a diamond, an important category in the 4C 's, refers to two separate factors. The first factor relates to the shape and style of the cut e.g. Pear, Round, Marquise, Princess, Brilliant Heart shaped etc. The second factor is the way the rough diamond is cut to produce a polished diamond. The effects of a good diamond cut result in the heightened levels of brilliance, fire, sparkle and luster of a diamond. A diamond cuts with good proportions reflect more light and appear to look better than other diamonds of higher clarity and appear to look 2 or 3 grades higher than the actual color. The quality is also dependent upon the cut of the diamond facets.
Information about the 4 C 's to Diamonds - The Clarity
The Clarity, another important category in the 4C 's, relates to exactly how clear a diamond is and describes the presence, or absence, of Diamond Inclusions (flaws) within the diamond and any blemishes on its surface. Inclusions disrupt the flow of light in the diamond so that some of light reflected will be lost. The numbers, sizes, colors, locations and visibility of any inclusions or blemishes can effect the relative clarity of a diamond and its quality. The majority of diamond inclusions cannot be seen by the human eye so systems have been developed to grade diamond clarity as detailed in a Diamond Clarity Chart.
Information about the 4 C 's to Diamonds - The Color
The Color, another important category in the 4C 's, relates to rarity, value and quality of a diamond. What is the difference between natural and treated colored diamonds? Natural colored diamonds are a unique natural product created over thousands of years by the process of crystallization. Factors affecting diamond color include fluorescence and color enhancements such as high pressure, high temperature treatment and irradiation. The process called Irradiation is used to change the color of the diamond, these are called the treated color diamond. Synthetic colored diamonds are not natural as they are created in a lab. Synthetic stones are much cheaper than natural colored diamonds making them easily affordable to everyone.
Information about the 4 C 's to Diamonds - The Cost
The 4 C's to diamonds - the Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat Weight - provide a good guide to what a diamond should cost. Buying a diamond is not an everyday occurrence. This website will testify that the subject of diamonds is literally a minefield of information and most of us are not aware of the complexities of diamonds, until we have to buy one! The Cost can then be added to the 4C's to diamonds.
Carat Weight - Remember that the cost of a diamond does not increase in proportion to the weight of a diamond
Clarity - Remember that the cost will reflect the brilliance, fire, sparkle and luster of a diamond. The numbers and types of inclusions or blemishes need to be established
Color - Remember that the cost of a diamond will reflect the color. Natural colored diamonds are rare and expensive (Fancy colors). Treated or synthetic stones are much cheaper. The cost of White or colorless diamonds are graded from 'D' (colorless - most expensive) to 'Z' (dark yellow - cheapest). Fluorescence is also an important factor
Cut - Remember that the diamond quality is dependent upon the cut of the facets which reflect the brilliance, fire, sparkle and luster of a diamond.