Four C’s to Buying a Diamond Diamonds are available in varying colors and sizes. They naturally occur in colors ranging from very clear fine whites to pinks, bright yellows, greens, blacks, and browns.
The value of a white diamond is determined by what are commonly referred to as the 4Cs. The 4Cs are the Diamond's Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat. Each of the 4Cs are important and the most valuable Diamonds are those that possess the best of all four measurements. Clarity Clarity is the term used to describe size and number of inclusions in a diamond. Almost all diamonds contain minute traces of non-crystallised carbon. These inclusions make every diamond unique. Most cannot be seen by the naked eye and require magnification to become apparent. Large inclusions interfere with the dispersion of light and therefore the diamond's brilliance. The larger or more numerous the inclusions the less valuable the diamond. The fewer the inclusions, the rarer the stone. Each diamond will have its own unique inclusions in various positions within the diamond. VVs, Vs and Si inclusions are not visible to the naked eye, they are only visible through magnification. Colour While many diamonds appear colourless, or white, they may actually have subtle yellow or brown tones that can be detected when comparing diamonds side by side. Diamond colour grades start at D and continue through the alphabet. Truly colourless stones, graded D, are extremely rare and very valuable. The closer a diamond is to being colourless, the rarer and more valuable it is. The colour of a diamond is graded with the diamond upside down before it is set in a mounting. The first three colours D, E, F are often called collection colour. The subtle changes in collection colour are so minute that it is difficult to identify them in the smaller sizes.
Although the presence of colour makes a diamond less rare and valuable, some diamonds come out of the ground in colours - well defined reds, blues, pinks, greens, and bright yellows. These are highly prized and extremely rare. Carat The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. One carat is divided into 100 "points" so that a diamond of 25 points is described as a quarter of a carat or 0.25 carats. The larger the diamond (and therefore the rarer) the more expensive per carat it will be. For example, a 1ct diamond costs much more than two 1/2ct diamonds and one 30 point diamond costs much more than 30 one point diamonds.
The Carat measurement of a diamond is actually a measurement of the Diamond's weight rather than its size or diameter. This is important to remember as depending upon the proportions of the Cut of the diamond, some diamonds may appear to have a larger top surface area ("table") than an ideal cut diamond but the diamonds may be of the same carat weight. Diamonds are sometimes cut in shallow proportions. Cut While nature determines a diamond's colour, clarity, and carat weight, the hand of a master craftsman is needed to release its fire and beauty. The cut gives each diamond its unique sparkle and brilliance by allowing the maximum amount of light to enter and reflect back out of the diamond. Diamonds may be cut in different shapes with the most common shapes being round (brilliant cut). Ideal proportions When a diamond is cut to ideal proportions, light is reflected from one facet to another and then dispersed through the top of the stone. The light refracted externally will amplify and disperse the refracted light from within to provide a myriad of colours and an even concentration of light, brilliance and lustre. Too deep If a diamond is cut too deep, some light escapes through the opposite side of the pavilion. Too shallow If the cut is too shallow, light escapes through the pavilion before it can be reflected.
To find the best Diamond that fits within your price range it essentially comes down to a compromise between the 4Cs and your consideration of which factors are most important to you. You may choose a larger lower colour diamond or prefer a smaller high colour, cut and clarity diamond.
Once you know how diamond grading works, it's just a matter for you to decide what is best for you.
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