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Know the Four C's of Diamond Characteristics

Sep 3, 2008
The diamond is, without doubt, the most well liked and valued of all precious stones the world over. While diamonds are often worn to extreme by many celebrities and members of royalty, diamonds are also accessible and prized by the average consumer.

The word diamond is derived from the Greek word "adamas", meaning unconquerable, and the toughness and beauty of the stone has been appreciated and admired since ancient times.

It is said that the Romans believed diamonds to be stars falling through the sky from the tip of the God of Love, Eros's bow, ensuring that everyone who wore diamonds would not only be filled with love but would radiate joy and happiness to all around them. Whether or not this is actually true, diamonds do seem to have an energy form and for this reason there are things you should pay special attention to when purchasing diamonds.

The Four C's of diamonds are Carat, Clarity, Color and Cut and when taking these four aspects into consideration it helps us to discover the real value of the diamond we are about to buy. Although this is a simple system used by trained professional jewelers, it is still very easily applied, even without any specific training.

The Carat

The carat is the unit used to measure the weight of the diamond with one carat weighing 200 milligrams, in other words one fifth of a gram and each carat is then divided further into one hundred points. When the majority of consumers are looking to buy a diamond this is the first thing to catch their attention.

The larger the stone, the more carats it will weigh and it will carry a price tag accordingly. Nonetheless, you would be mistaken for thinking the bigger the better as this is not necessarily the case. You need to find a diamond with an equal balance of the other three C's as well as being a good weight.

The Clarity

The word clarity takes into account the number and level of imperfections within the stone. The clarity rating of a diamond is influenced by any internal characteristics, known as inclusions and surface flaws or blemishes. Although most of these only affect the visual aspect of the diamond, some such imperfections can have an impact on the structural integrity of the stone.

Diamonds which are totally flawless are very rare, but the higher the clarity the more the diamond will cost you. Commencing with FL for Flawless, there are eleven grades of clarity for diamonds which go down in perfection to the lowest levels at I1, I2, and I3, I standing for Included. The range in the middle which is referred to as VVS1, VVS2, (very very slightly included) and VS1, VS2 (very slightly included) are the most popular choice for the majority of diamond purchasers with the grades of flaws only being visible to someone trained in gemology.

The Color

You would be forgiven for thinking, as most people do, that all diamonds are either white or colorless. In general most diamonds have a slight tone of blue, pink or yellow. The ones with blue or pink hues are likely to be of more value than the yellow ones.

The color of the diamond is graded in quite a complex manner ranging from D at the top end of the scale to Z at the bottom. D through to F are the rarest and naturally the most expensive colorless diamonds. G to I are almost colorless and represent great value for money. Any stone graded above K, as long as it has great cut and clarity can still look stunning. K through to M stones are a faint yellow shade, with N to R a slightly lighter shade of yellow than S to Z.

The Cut

This is the property of the diamond considered by the jeweler to be the most important. The way the diamond is made or cut will determine how well the light is reflected within the stone. This is the reason why professionals endeavor to ensure the diamond is cut as precisely as geometrically possible so that more light is reflected. The brilliance of the diamond is lost if the cut is not deep enough because the light will escape from the sides of the stone. On the other hand, if the cut is too deep the light is lost through the bottom of the stone resulting with the diamond looking either dull or dark.

A bright shining diamond, with a symmetrical appearance is a sure indication that the cut is of high quality.
About the Author
Amy Carrington is a fashion maven and editor at www.SorellaJewelry.com. Sorella Jewelry Studio creates elegant and original personalized jewelry with the names, words, dates and Chinese symbols that matter to you.
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