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The 4Cs in diamonds stand for Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat.

  • Cut

The Cut is the most important and the key aspect when it comes to choosing a diamond. It not only refers to the shape but it is what basically determines the proportion, symmetry, and polish of a diamond. The right cut influences the beauty of a diamond and its ability to reflect the light exquisitely. It should not be too deep or too flat, the facets should be in perfect symmetry as this will maximize the sparkle of your diamond and it will look gorgeous!

For instance, if there are two diamonds of the same carat weight; a well cut diamond tends to appear larger and brilliant, whilst a poorly cut diamond can appear smaller and dark regardless of its color or clarity. 

  • Color

When it comes to buying a diamond, it is generally preferable to choose a stone with the least amount of color possible. The color of a diamond is influenced by the natural elements trapped inside like nitrogen. The diamond color is essentially graded on a scale marked with alphabets starting from D to Z; which are further divided into five categories: colorless, near colorless, faint, very light and light.

You may find it amusing, but diamonds come in all the colors of the spectrum! Color grading diamonds is one of the most difficult tasks, as without a controlled environment you cannot distinguish even if the diamonds are kept side by side with the naked eye. When you are comparing two diamonds, both the stones need to be at least two color grades apart so that you can notice the differences between them.

To explain this further we have described the major categories:

  • Colorless Diamonds (D-F): 

Colorless diamonds display two characteristics, i.e, transparency, and rarity. A colorless diamond is a rare form and is subsequently the most valuable of all the other stones on the color scale. The D and E color diamonds are absolutely colorless, whereas F colored stones tend to display a slight amount of undetected color if it is viewed face down by gemologists.

  • Near Colorless Diamonds (G-J):

As the name implies, the near-colorless diamonds appear to be colorless when they are viewed from a face-up position, but they tend to display a slight amount of color when they are viewed face down against a positively white background. This little hint of color is undetectable to the untrained eyes and especially if the stone is already mounted, you cannot see it. Near colorless diamonds are majorly used in the jewelry industry in the present times. They are also affordable in comparison to colorless diamonds. 

  • Faint Color Diamonds (K):

Diamonds that fall under this color category display a slight hint of color when they are viewed in the face-up position. These diamonds are a great option for those who are into colored stones; some people even love the color scheme displayed by these diamonds.

  • Clarity

To better understand the concept of diamond clarity, we must understand the process of how natural diamonds are created. When carbon is exposed to tremendous heat and pressure deep in the earth, they transform into diamonds. This process results in diamonds having a variety of characteristics which are split into internal characteristics or ‘inclusions’ and the external characteristics as ‘blemishes’. 

The evaluation of the stone’s clarity is determined by a lot of factors like the number, size, relief, position, and nature of these “characteristics”, as well as how these affect the overall appearance of the diamond.

Always remember that no diamond that is created naturally is perfectly pure. But the lesser it has inclusions the better will be its clarity. The imperfection present in the diamonds cannot be recognized by an unaided or naked eye. The higher the clarity, the more valuable the diamond will be. 

A diamond’s clarity is divided into 6 major categories which are further split into 11 specific grades, namely:

  • Flawless or FL: This means that there are no inclusions and no blemishes which are visible under 10x magnification.
  • Internally Flawless or IF: This means that the stone has no inclusions which are visible under 10x magnification. 
  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): The diamonds of this category possess inclusions that are very difficult to see for even a skilled grader under the 10x magnification. 
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): The inclusions present in the diamonds that come in this category can be observed with a slight effort under 10x magnification, but these inclusions are characterized as minor. 
  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): The inclusions which are noticeable under 10x magnification come in this category. 
  • Included (I1, I2, and I3): The inclusions which are very obvious under 10x magnification and these may affect the transparency and the brilliance of the diamond fall under this section. 
  • Carat

The correct term that is used to refer to the weight of a diamond is Carat. It is at times confused with the size of the diamond, although the size of a diamond is proportional to its carat weight, it is not the same.

The price of a diamond increase if the carat weight is increased, however, you should know that if two diamonds are of equal carat weight they can have very different price points, as this depends on the other three factors like the color, clarity, and cut as well.