The Four Cs of Diamond Jewellery

By: gerald

There are various criteria you need to consider when buying a piece of diamond jewellery like diamond engagement rings for example. These qualities are the four C's - the cut, the clarity, the colour and the carat.
The cut of the diamond refers to the angles and proportions that diamond cutters create in the stone to polish it and maximise its brilliance and is the only one of the diamond's defining qualities that is not created by nature.
A classic round cut diamond is cut to 58 facets. Diamonds can also be marquise, heart, emerald, princess, pear and oval shaped. A poorly cut diamond, either cut too deep or too shallow, will allow the light to escape and it will not sparkle as effectively.

The clarity of a diamond is judged by the quantity, size, position, colour, release and shape of its inclusions. The fewer the inclusions, the greater the quality and corresponding value of a diamond.
The range of clarity is divided into grades.

IF (Internally Flawless) means the diamond has no visible characteristics under magnification, or that no flaws are visible. VVS means that the diamond is Very, Very Slightly Included, VS1/2 means that minor characteristics are visible under magnification, SI1/SI2 means that the diamond is slightly included, or that characteristics are visible under magnification, and I1, I2 and I3 mean that characteristics are visible with the naked eye. The numbers mean that the diamonds can be graded more precisely, as each number represents levels within each grade. The 1s will have fewer or smaller inclusions than the 2s.
Diamonds with no inclusions are referred to as flawless and are extremely rare.

Traditionally diamond engagement rings and wedding rings use clear diamonds. The closer a diamond is to being completely colourless, the more valuable it becomes.
Diamond colour is judged on a scale established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the range is from D (colourless and therefore extremely valuable).
A diamond's value is not judged by its size but by its weight. A diamond's weight is measured in carats, and one carat equals one fifth of a gram, or 200 milligrams. The word comes from the plant carob - in ancient civilisations carob seeds were used to compare weight with diamonds.
Not all diamonds of the same carat will cost the same - the quality of the other three c's, the cut, clarity and colour, all have to be the same also.
The fact that a diamond is large should only be considered in terms of the other c's - a large stone of poor cut, clarity and colour will not be worth more because of its size. A large stone of excellent cut, clarity and colour though will be worth more than a smaller diamond are more rare.

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